The great Awosika family of Ondo City have rehabilitated their 160-year-old family house where the first Awosika High Chief, Sasere Awosika, lived with his family before his death on April 9, 1909, thereby turning it to a Museum and Hall of Fame.
The museum and hall of fame, located at number 2 Odotu Street, Ondo, was officially inaugurated in Ondo City on December 11, 2021.
The family said, “As recorded in the Book of Families in the Library of Congress of the United States of America, the Awosika family from Ondo City, Nigeria, is one of the largest families in Nigeria and Africa”
“The building has been in existence for a very long time at the least 160 years ago as at 2019 (Carbon 14 dating). This “Listed Building” originally built with mud has been structurally restored.
“The restoration from donations by Awosika family members and friends all over the world, was professionally executed to ensure stability of the aged building while keeping the spaces intact as well as providing modern lighting, ventilation and conveniences,’’ it said.
The family added in a statement that the mosque built for the Muslim community in Odotu area by the Awosika family between 1890 and 1910, was also restored.
It said that the museum is composed of the Awosika Gallery, the Awosika Hall of Fame, Ekimogun Gallery, Chief Victor Oloyede Awosika Exhibition Hall and the Awosika Mausoleum.
The Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo, Dr. Victor Adesimbo Kiladejo, the Jillo III CFR, thanked the Awosika family for restoring the old house, adding that it would enhance tourism in the area.
Kiladejo used the opportunity to call on other families in the community to emulate the Awosika family, especially with the reconstruction of the old and historical Odotu Lane (Liwanja street) with interlocking stones to beautify the adjacent areas.
Chief Benson Awosika, the Chairman of the Museum Board of Trustees, said that the museum had been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) as a non-profit organisation that would be open to the public free of charge.
Also speaking, Prof. Larry Awosika, Secretary of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, thanked the Osemawe and Paramount Ruler of Ondo, and other attendees for witnessing the ceremony.
Awosika enjoined the public and those in diaspora to feel free to visit the museum daily from Monday to Saturday, between 10:00am and 5:00pm.
The inauguration of the museum also provided opportunity for the induction of one living and 12 dead members of the Awosika family into the Hall of Fame, for their contribution to the progress of Ondo, the Awosika family and Nigeria.
The ceremony was attended by the Osemawe of Ondo, his high chiefs and chiefs, dignitaries, Awosika family friends from Abuja, Kaduna, Lagos, United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany.