A NIGERIAN prince has dropped his royal life to become a plumber for Thames Water in London.
Akeem Adenuga, 62, comes from near Lagos in Nigeria where his brother, King Asunmo Aderibigbe, is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu.
The prince took a break from royal duties in 1994 to study in the UK where he fell in love with the country. In 2000, he took on a job as a trainee leakage technician at Thames Water and he hasn’t looked back since.
The story is almost identical to Eddie Murphy’s 1988 film, which depicts a fictional Prince Akeem – the crown prince of a made-up African country – who travels to the US in the hope of finding a woman he can marry.
The real-life Akeem now leads a team of 24 engineers who find and fix hidden subterranean leaks across the city.
Father-of-five Akeem said: “I really look forward to coming to work and I’m always raring to go out and get stuck into work in the streets of the capital.”I love my job, and the people I work with really make it special.”
Akeem now lives in Tottenham and is a huge Arsenal fan. But despite moving thousands of miles away, he stays in touch with his hometown of Agbowa-Ikosi – a small town a two-hour drive from the city of Lagos.
He and five friends donated $25,000 for an ambulance in 2017, so that locals could take patients to the nearest hospital – an hour away.
Akeem said: “As a prince back home, my family gets a wonderful welcome every time we visit.” But I always remember the advice my late father gave me many years ago – be humble, kind and productive.
“That’s a really good way to live and has always carried me through.”
It’s a sentiment his brother – Royal Majesty Oba Asunmo Ganiyu Aderibigbe Balogun, Jamade 1, the Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu – shares.Before taking up his role he studied Block Laying and Concreting at a technical college. He then went on to be a masonry officer and union leader at the National Electric Power Authority in Nigeria.