The Man That Defied Impossibilities: The Story of Chief Emmanuel Adanoritsewo Temile JP, Esama of Warri Kingdom (Okpeyo)

The Man That Defied Impossibilities: The Story of Chief Emmanuel Adanoritsewo Temile JP, Esama of Warri Kingdom (Okpeyo)

December 20
10:29 2020

He is seen by some people as a charismatic trailblazer. Others see him as an unstoppable phenomenon. Even more so, his kith and kin proudly celebrates him as one of Warri’s true luminaries. From a local trader, he became a towering business icon. Chief Emmanuel Adanoritsewo Temile JP, Esama of Warri Kingdom (Okpeyo) rose from humble farming origins to become one of the leading entrepreneurs and businessmen from the famous kingdom of Warri in this generation.

Chief Temile popularly known as Okpeyo became embedded in the downstream sector of the oil and gas industry, and has managed to still be relevant until his demise.

The great icon, also known as E.A.T was born to the family of Pa Abamitele Temile and the very industrious Mama Babine Temile, on Tuesday 10th of November, 1936, at Ogbawu Waterside, Igbanke in the then Mid-Western Region of Nigeria, now in Edo State, He was the last of five children.

He attended St. Paul’s Anglican School, Onuiyi Ogbawu, where he obtained his Standard Six Leaving Certificate after which he joined his mother who was then a business woman from whom he learnt how to do and grow a business.

His love for adventure and drive for success spurred him to relocate to Abudu where he started his quest for success and moved around venturing into different businesses. From Owo in the West to Asaba and Onitsha in the East, he explored his business acumen and dexterity, engaging in different types of businesses ranging from timber logging to palm oil and rubber sales.

He later left for Ughelli, now Headquarters of the present-day Ughelli North LGA of Delta State. After an encounter with some officials of Shell British Petroleum (Shell BP) who exhibited some traits of his dream, he decided to work for the company in Kokori as an Operator. His desire to uplift himself motivated him to move to Ughelli where he established his first company, E.A Temile and Sons, a contracting firm to Shell BP.

He was one man who never saw impossibilities. When he encounters situations and circumstances that appear impossible, he just smiles and go to work on doing the impossible, until it becomes possible. He is a specialist in seeing impossibilities turning into new realities.

When he left his plum job to venture into the uncertain waters of business, it wasn’t a popular thing to do but guts and trust in God propelled him to; and he didn’t look back thereafter nor has he any iota of regret taking that path. If anything, he has soared like the eagle. He believed that his trust in God has enabled him to do what is deemed impossible, because God turns impossibilities into possibilities. He will tell people around him that when every dream gets shattered, find a shelter in the presence of God. His presence changes impossibilities into possibilities.

He set out to grow his company and create a lasting legacy, believing that life is not a bed of roses and that for one to achieve extraordinary feats, one has to be willing to add extra to the ordinary. He was very hard working, resilient and honest, attributes which endeared him to all who came in contact with him.

His high intelligence quotient, accentuated by great skills, meticulous nature and fast learning speed enabled him to acquire various skills even with very minimal training. The expansion of his business after the civil war necessitated his relocation, in 1973, to Warri where he lived till his transition to the spirit world. As Chairman of E. A. Temile and Sons Development Company Limited, he was a firm and detribalised disciplinarian who never discriminated against anyone, irrespective of socio-economic status or religious inclinations.

He was conferred with the chieftaincy title of Esama of Warri Kingdom by the then Olu of Warri, His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Atuwatse II, on Saturday 20th November, 1999 and reconfirmed by His Royal Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the present Olu of Warri on Tuesday 9th February, 2016. Traditionally, he was known by the Akpuja (alias) ‘OKPEYO.’

Chief Temile bagged several distinguished awards including Justice of the Peace, JP; Grand Patron of the Justice of the Peace; Delta State Icon Award for Lifetime Achievement; National Excellency Millennium Award; Grand Patron of Warri Progressive Society (Otonloye); Grand Patron of Warri Ladies Vanguard; Grand Patron Odokun Cultural Society, to mention but a few.

Chief Temile loved God with all of his heart. He was an ardent believer of Jesus Christ and a staunch member of First Baptist Church, Warri, where he worshipped and was baptized. He contributed immensely to the growth and development of the work of God, donating generously to the Church and providing hospitality to Christian missionaries and the faithful in need.

He encouraged every member of his family to always find time to be in the presence of God. This he did by showing a good example of always being at the family morning devotions.

Chief Temile loved sports. His love for sports began in his early years at Ogbawu where he learnt to swim and fish at the Amebo River during his time with his mother on her business trips. He often returned home with big fishes for his mother whom he fondly called IYAYI to make sumptuous delicacies for the entire household. His love for swimming influenced his becoming a member of the Warri Club in the early ’70s, and he ensured that his children learnt how to swim while growing up. He enjoyed playing table tennis, lawn tennis, squash and golf. Despite the challenges that come with age, he created time to walk round the house as a form of physical and aerobic exercises.

Chief Temile was a humble, gentle and an exemplary father and a strict disciplinarian. He was a man of integrity, impeccable character and self-discipline with deep encyclopedic memory and an accommodating heart.

A lover of Law and the legal profession, he had a collection of books ranging from Law to Accounting and Philosophy. He loved pictures and often gathered the family for a snap at every given opportunity. Listening to music was a great passion of the Esama of Warri Kingdom. His collection ranged from highlife and Juju music with special interest in the music of King Sunny Ade, Victor Olaiya and Ebenezer Obey, to Country music by Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, et cetera. He loved the Itsekiri culture and tradition, and had a super collection of Itsekiri music.

Chief E. A. Temile loved the good things of life, including eating good food. He loved to smell the roses and he was a great host to his guests. He was full of life and believed so much in his family with an exemplary ideology that his children were his first friends and associates. He hated cheating and would not hesitate to initiate a legal process when necessary. He believed in equity, justice and fair play, the virtues which he displayed throughout his business and family lives. Chief E.A. Temile, the Esama of Warri Kingdom, was a happy and fulfilled man during his sojourn on earth. He consistently acknowledged and appreciated God’s goodness, mercy, favour, protection and providence in his life, which stimulated his dream and steady progress in his chosen career. He was able to raise and manage his large family, the Temile Dynasty, and trained all his children to the highest educational levels in their chosen disciplines.

He was respected for his humility, wisdom, foresight and perseverance. Indeed, he was a kind man, a fountain from which so many drew and drank. He would be greatly missed by his families, in-laws, the Church and all who crossed his path. He was a quiet, modest and noble gentleman; a rare Itsekiri man of royalty from the renowned Uwangue Dynasty. He was a gift to humanity.

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December 2020