It was in the year 1945. A stubborn boy was brought to the very Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome-Kuti (1891-1955), then principal, Abeokuta Grammar School for an offence that would warrant the disciplinarian’s cane. The boy had been brought from a college in Ile-Ife to Abeokuta to be tutored and trained in academic excellence.
As Kuti raised his cane to beat him, the boy fumed, ‘You would dare beat a prince, the son of a king’?
Kuti was perplexed and at the same time angry. He had never been confronted like that, not in his 15 years as Principal, talk-less of his years as a teacher and disciplinarian.
What impudence! What effrontery!! What audacity!!!
‘Mount him’, Kuti barked. As a senior boy mounted him, the boy was still defiant. ‘You dare beat a future king?’, he cursed.
But Kuti would have none of that. He feared no one but God. Not even the Alake nor any other Oba in the Western region.
‘Wai, wai, wai, wai, wai, wai’, the cane landed on his back. Kuti beat with much vigour and strength.
‘Feeeeem’, he roared, and the weeping boy kept silent at once. He warned him double of the punishment just meted out on him if caught again. From that day onward, he never caused much trouble but Kuti didn’t stop beating him.
The boy who was a rascal prince, turned out to be a useful King. He became the 50th Ooni of Ile-Ife (1980-2015); Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse III (1930-2015).