Princess Ajoke Riskat Adegeye-Adeniyi is a commissioner with the Lagos State House of Assembly Commission (LAHASCOM), and a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency.
She is also one of the wives of the popular Yoruba music maestro, King Sunny Ade.
In this interview, she explains all that is needed to be known about her, her marriage and her current political aspirations.
On her journey into politics she said: “I was born into politics, my late mother was a politician till she died and I used to go to political meetings with her as a young girl. When I grew up, I decided to be a politician. I have been in politics and I was trained by Chief Dapo Sarumi, a two-term minister in Nigeria. I was in the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and I was their leader of Women Wing in Obalende, Lagos.”
It is widely held that a woman still raising kids does not fit into politics. Do you agree with this?
If I decide to be self-employed, won’t I do my business? If I were a civil servant, won’t I go to work? I have been a politician since my children were under-aged, and I played my role very well as a mother, and I thank God that I have done well.
You have not talked about your husband, King Sunny Ade, you are in Lagos and he stays in Ondo State, how do you juggle the two?
He does not stay in Ondo State permanently; he still works. I always go to Ondo State anytime I know he would be there. I have the entire schedule; I have all the records of his activities for the month. If I am less busy in the office and I don’t have much to do with my children, I go there. Anyway, my children are no longer young; it is my grandchildren that are still young. So, I go to Ondo State to eat pounded yam and vegetables.
How did you cope with your early marriage since your husband is not always at home as a musician and with the impression that musicians have so many women in their lives?
People ask that question, even when I was younger, I didn’t see my husband as somebody that had many wives, which was why I didn’t have hypertension. I met wives in his house and he married wives after me. I think it is okay because the Yorubas say: ‘you have seen the farm already before you planted your groundnut there.’ So, I don’t look at him like somebody with many wives, he is a man of his words, he is a father and he is a good husband, so that doesn’t make me to think we are many or not.
How did your parents receive the news that you wanted to marry a musician?
It was a thug of war initially, but we thank God that it is all over now. My late father didn’t want me to marry a Christian being a Muslim. He had many wives too, about five, and so his problem was not because King Sunny Ade was a polygamist, but he had problem with the fact that he is a Christian. But at the end of the day, everything went on fine.
Are you still a Muslim?
I practise both, my late mother was a Christian, while my late father was a Muslim and he didn’t have any problem with that. We used to go to the church and mosque. So, on Fridays, I go to the mosque and on Sundays, I go to the church.