At Abolarin College in Oke-Ila Orangun, Osun State, students pay no school fees. They also enjoy free hostels, free food, free internet, free uniforms, free laptops and 24 hours power supply; and all these expenses are paid for by the town’s king, Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Abolarin. What is the most astonishing is that the king himself also teaches in the school.
Many of those kids previously hawked pepper, sachet water, fruits etc. Some came from farms where all they did was work under the hot sun weeding and planting. Many were hawkers, child labourers, delinquents, etc but now they have hope and a future.
The school was set up to fight poverty through education and is strictly for indigent students of Nigerian origin. Oba Abolarin himself is a highly respected academic with 3 degrees – a law degree, a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in International Relations, all from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State.
Òkè-Ìlá Òràngún (capital of Ifedayo LGA of Ọsun State) is a small town of between 8,000 – 10,000 people are mostly agrarian. Ifedayo LGA is located at the north eastern tip of the state. Oba Adedokun Abolarin was enthroned as the Òràngún Òkè-Ìlá in 2006, and he has only one wife.
Kudos to Oba Abolarin for his philanthropy and vision. In years to come, his impact will be deeply felt in society and his name will reverberate in the annals of greatness. Change begins with just one individual – Dare to be different; Dare to make an impact!