At Abolarin College in Oke-Ila, Osun State, the students there pay NO school fees; enjoy free hostel, free food, free internet, free uniform, free
laptop for every child, and 24 hours power supply; and all these expenses are paid by the town’s king. What is the most shocking is that the king teaches too in the school.
What makes this school remarkable is that one major criteria for getting admitted in is being poor. If your parents are rich, you cannot get admission. Unlike other schools, Abolarin College wants poor kids who are very brilliant. If you are poor but brilliant, the king will admit you!
The king believes poor brilliant kids should also be given an equal opportunity to become something in life- so that the future does not belong only to those born with silver spoons in their mouth. The king himself has a law degree and masters in law- and he also teaches in the school.
From what we gathered, the king has only one wife. Obviously, he is not using the money of the kingdom to accumulate wives or properties; instead he is investing it in the education of future leaders while he aims to reduce the burden of illiteracy in the society. For him, it doesn’t matter the religion, it is not about nepotism, neither is it restricted to Yoruba children nor only children from Oke Ila; it is about any less privileged child anywhere who is willing to be educated. That is why the only criteria for admission is poverty and brilliance.
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 are orphans, hawkers, child labourers, delinquents, children of petty traders, but now they have hope, and not just hope, a future.
Some Kings may have more money than this king, but in years to come, King Abolarin's impact will take him to the echelons of greatness. What if we also have many Northern Sultans and Emir engaging in this? All across history, change begins with just a man! Dare to live differently, making an impact.
Oba Adedokun Omoniyi Abola