She is many things to many people. To many, she is a benefactor. To millions of the less privileged folks she feeds, clothes and sends to school, she is a mother. To culture enthusiast, Princess (Dr.) Toyin Kolade is a ‘daughter of Oodua’ who promotes the development of Yoruba rich traditions and culture.’
Not many were surprised when in April 2021, ‘Baba’ as she always refers to the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Adeyeye Ogunwusi, Ojaja II conferred on her the prestigious title of Iyalaje Oodua. The MD/CEO of Fisolak Global Resource, Princess Kolade, a successful player in the Nigerian private business sector, started as a petty trader over 35 years ago, in Ilesha, Osun State.
According to the Ooni of Ife, his decision to confer this title on this prominent business tycoon cum philanthropist, Princess Toyin Kolade, was based on many reasons. First, he said Princess Kolade’s involvement in the promotion of the rich Yoruba cultural values, her countless humanitarian services, her virtuous character as a disciplined family woman and her respect for the royal institution, have qualified her for the prestigious title of Iyalaje Oodua.
Ooni said, “Aside from her unquantifiable efforts in the promotion of cultural activities in Ile-Ife and Yorubaland, the colossal contributions of Princess Kolade towards the revival of the ancient Aje festival which has today gained tremendous global limelight cannot be overemphasized. “Today, ‘Aje’ festival which is the celebration of the deity of commerce, markets, wealth and prosperity is as prominent as any festival one can be proud of in Africa because of Princess Toyin Kolade’s superlative coordinating capacity, which is driven by dedication and patriotism as a proud descendant of Oduduwa.”
Meanwhile, in fulfillment of his cultural/tourism revolution agenda for Yoruba people and the larger Oodua race worldwide, Ooni Ogunwusi who is regarded as the Traditional Head of the Oduduwa Race worldwide, in 2017 appointed Princess Toyin Kolade as his Cultural Ambassador in charge of AJE festival. Her responsibility is to attract global acceptance for the annual celebrations of the Aje deity, which is one of the 401 deities who had populated the first dynasty of mankind known as Ife Oodaye thousands of years ago.
Thus advancing the cause of Aje festival as assigned, Toyin Kolade has so far successfully coordinated five editions of the annual celebrations in Ile-Ife hugely participated by local and foreigners. In September 2019, Princess Toyin Kolade led a team to launch Aje festival in Brazil hosted by the City Parliament in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil where she received awards of excellence for herself and for the Ooni from the Government of Rio De Janeiro. The Ooni of Ife revealed that a date in July 2021 will be announced for the installation ceremony which will take place in Ile Ife.