INTERVIEW: 2018 a mixture of identifying with the title and mapping plans on how to take it to the next level, Says Erelu Asa of Nigeria
Funmilayo Dendeninuola Rotiba, a culturally beauteous and traditionally enlightened personage of grace, glamour and royalty, says 2018 was a mixture of identifying with the title and mapping plans on how to take it to next level.
In this interview with Godfreytimes the Culture-spirited combined with tourism enthusiast brings to know what and who is Erelu Asa, her belief on Chieftaincy titles, tourism in Nigeria and her first year as Erelu Asa of Nigeria.
Severally I have been asked what is Erelu Asa or who is Erelu Asa? Could you please kindly give me an answer to that?
Erelu Asa is a female Royal title in a Kingdom, she is a powerful woman—Erelu is a big title on its own and when it is combined with Asa that is really combining two powerful positions together—Asa is culture, way of life. Erelu is not just a title given to anybody, it's a selected title for people, a one of a kind title—the combination of Erelu and Asa is superb, a superlative royal title— and to be given that is an honour to my family and my state, Ondo State.
From my following of your activities via your Facebook timeline, I could say you've had a tremendous 2018 but on the strength of details and clarity, how was 2018 for Erelu Asa?
I was coronated as Erelu Asa of Nigeria in 2017, A first of its kind title in Nigeria, it has never been given to anybody—it's either you are Erelu of a particular town, state—there are honorary Erelu titles that are given to the wives of governors because their husbands are at the realms of power or their wonderful contributions to humanity —Erelu of Lagos is a huge Royal title, She is a Princess and also Erelu, as a matter of fact she brought limelight to Erelu Title. People always want to follow in her footsteps, she is the first person I Iove—there's so many Erelus I may not be able to mention them all I am sorry, Erelu Dosunmu, Erelu Ojora, Erelu Fayemi, Iba Gani's wife Aare Ona Kakanfo, the wife's title before he became Aare Ona Kakanfo was Erelu Adams but now the title of his wife is Ayinba Adams given the fact that her husband is Iba Gani so the title that belongs to the Erelu is Ayinba—she uses both anyway, Anyinba Erelu Adams because the Erelu title is something you cannot just erase — now 2018 after my coronation in 2017, it was a year I had to showcase a younger lady, experienced in tourism and culture—it was the combination of my personal self and the present culture on board. A blend of all,that is why my first year as Erelu Asa was about visiting more of Kings, partnerships and programs...telling them about myself, how I became Erelu, who coronated me and I was so welcomed. I visited about 30-50 Kings, there was no Kingdom I went to that was not friendly an always welcome for next visit. I am the first person to be bestowed with such title , Erelu Asa combined together, so when there's a program in Ibo or Hausa land I can go there and represent Yoruba as a whole, beyond the country I can also represent Nigeria—2018 was a mixture of identifying with the title and doing introduction about the title.
Erelu Asa Ile Yoruba and Erelu Asa of Nigeria what is it like?
With regards to that,when I write a post on my timeline on Facebook some say Erelu of Yoruba land, some say Erelu of Nigeria... If you are Erelu Asa of Nigeria and you are a Yoruba person, you are automatically Erelu of Yoruba land, that is my side too but Erelu of Nigeria makes it wider because when I am using Erelu of Nigeria, I am actually saying I can meet with an Ibo man, go for events in the North, South, anywhere in Nigeria and when I use Erelu of Yoruba land I am authenticating my root as a Yoruba lady—the combination of Erelu of Yoruba Land and Erelu of Nigeria is the same thing to me—I could use both or differently it depends on my conversation with people or what I am writing about.
You are very active and also pay much attention to how you are being addressed, to up this level is there a possibility for Erelu Asa of Nigerians in diaspora?
It's a good idea but I don't think I have ever imagined it—to me there are some things I am not particularly fond of,a chieftaincy title is actually very good, they push people to the world, it lets people see whats in-you, what you can do—it curbs you of some things, On chieftaincy title, There are some people in the Diaspora not all but some people that are actually not using the chieftaincy title given to them beyond the Facebook limits, every other thing that is in their title is not just working—for example, if you are given a chieftaincy title in a country, town, city and the people don't see or let alone feel your impact, you don't go back to your King, don't give back, there is nothing coming from you to them, what is your title about? But you go on Facebook everyday and post pictures, is that a chieftaincy title? There are some chieftaincy title you can give to some people that it's just honorary for diaspora—I don't think you need to give somebody in diaspora a chieftaincy title that is meant for good people within Nigeria or community, —there are titles that are meant for the people on ground not the people abroad—some are Yoruba core chieftaincy titles, in-core Ibo titles, in-core Northern chieftaincy titles that are not meant for diaspora,sincerely. I have always weighed any conversation and when I see any chieftaincy based abroad well, its the King decision,you should be based here for some kind of chieftaincy titles, there's something coming up in my country and you need to be there—everything about that town should be in your priority, there's no festival that you will not attend. I was vested by the Ila Oragun the King and even the Oloris they call me and I ensure I am utmost in my availability and this brings to my know the festivals of the months and I make my impact, partake in what they are doing, if I can't go I will send someone. How do I have a Royal chieftaincy title I am based abroad and they see me once in a year? No, that’s an error—there are some chieftaincy titles that are not meant for the diaspora...This my belief.
I find you are also in the spheres of Tourism, could you share this with us?
I am very much in tourism with 13 years of experience. Just last year, I bagged Dr. litt in Tourism , over 120 categories of awards, Even in Nigeria I am in the list of top 100 women in tourism Nigeria and in the West African sub-region I am well founded with top 100 Tourism Personality. When my Company started we brought a new dimension into Tourism program and it is, “We don't do visa for people and that was one thing my staff and clients know very well not to entertain or bring up for inquiry. We only engage clients on trips, holidays, event, conferences and trainings. Many Government project we executed to various Countries. There are visa collectors and there are tour operators and there are travel agencies in Nigeria, I run a travel agency where my staff, the front desk they issue tickets. I have another section where all we do is tour package and there is a platform that we all use to handle group—. It has been well for me in this industry because I determine what I want and how I want my business to be. By the grace of God, November 16 this year, this office will be 10 years.