Olu Ogiame Atuwatse III Tsola Emiko of Warri kingdom, Nigeria

Warri/Iwere Kingdom, Delta state, Nigeria

Warri kingdom is a traditional monarchy of the Itsekiri etnic people of Nigeria. The name Warri is actually a mispronounciation by the white visitors who could not pronounce the word Iwere. The Itsekiris speak a Yoruboid language of the Benue-Congo branch of Niger-Congo languages and share elements of culture with the Yoruba, Edo, Ilaje, Urhobo and Ijaw through a variety of contacts. The Warri kingdom was founded in 1480 by a Crown prince Ginuwa, son of 14th Oba Olua of Benin Kingdom. Read more about Benin royal family here – Benin Royal Family, Nigeria

Warri kingdom is located in the rich niger delta with various a landscape of mangrove swamps and freshwater wetlands as a result of the Niger delta. These waters provided the major economic activity of the Itsekiri which was fishing. Their location also enabled them to interact with foreigners like the portuguese sailors, in which today we can see in the traditional dressing of Itsekiri.

The royal palace is located at Ode Itsekiri and at Ijala is the burial ground of all late kings

Photos; Seun James Taiwo/Olu of Warri

Royal Titles

  • Olu – King in local language
  • Ogiame – title means King of the river as kings were custodians of the traditional worship of the River Goddess
  • Olori – Queen
  • Iye Olu – King’s Mother /Queen Mother
  • Ologbotsere – Prime minister
  • Egogo – King’s Mouthpiece

List of Olu(Kings) of Warri kingdom

  • 1st – Olu Ogiame Ginuwa – 1480 to 1510
    • Crown prince, son of 14th Oba Olua of benin kingdom. He left Benin and formed Warri at Ijala
  • 2nd – Olu Ogiame Ijijen Ogbowuru – 1510 to 1525
  • 3rd – Olu Ogiame Irame – 1525 to 1550
  • 4th – Olu Ogiame Ojoluwa – 1550 to 1570
    • started the boat regatta tradition
  • 5th – Olu Ogiame Esigie – 1570 to 1596
  • 6th – Olu Ogiame Atorongboye Dom Sebastiao – 1597 to 1624
    • He was the first christian Catholic king and was awarded the title Dom and was close to King Phillip II of Portugal
  • 7th – Olu Ogiame Atuwatse I Dom Domingos – 1625 – 1644
    • He was the first African university graduate in subsharan Africa in Europe. He married a noble Portuguese lady
  • 8th – Olu Ogiame Oyenakpagha Dom Antonio Domingos – 1644 to 1654
    • He was known as the king with the golden skin due to his mixed race. He also married a portuguese lady like his father
  • 9th – Olu Ogiame Omoluyiri Dom Matias Ludovico – 1654 to 1674
  • 10th – Olu Ogiame Adejoye Dom Luigi – 1674 to 1700
  • 11th – Olu Ogiame Akenjoye Dom Ludivico Domingo – 1701 to 1709
  • 12th – Olu Ogiame Omagboye Dom Miguel – 1709 to 1730
  • 13th – Olu Ogiame Akengboye Dom Agostinho Sebastiao Octobia – 1730 to 1734
  • 14th – Olu Ogiame Atogbuwa Dom Manuel Octobia – 1734 to 1760
  • 15th – Olu Ogiame Erejuwa I Dom Sebastião Manuel Octobia – 1760 to 1795
  • 16th – Olu Ogiame Akengbuwa – 1795 to 1848
    • 88 years Interregnum 1848 to 1936. His son left and formed the Usele community. Queen Iye Idolorusan, daughter of Olu Erejuwa ruled briefly and later merchant princes dominated
  • 17th – Olu Ogiame Ginuwa II – 1936 to 1949
  • 18th – Olu Ogiame Erejuwa II – 1949 to 1987
  • 19th – Olu Ogiame Atuwatse II Godwin Emiko – 1987 to 2015
  • 20th – Olu Ogiame Ikenwoli I Godfrey Emiko – 2015 to 2020
  • 21st – Olu Ogiame Atuwatse III Tsola Emiko – 2020 –

Olu Ogiame Atuwatse III

Olu Ogiame Atuwatse III is the current King (Olu) of Warri (Iwerre) kingdom of Itsekiri people, Nigeria. Born Prince Tsola Emiko (UtieyinoriTsetsola Emiko in 1984 2nd April, he is the son of late 19th King (Olu) Ogiame Atuwatse II who reigned from 1987-2015 and his wife Olori Gladys Durorike Emiko goddaughter of the Ooni of Ife , Oba Okunade Sijuwade OulUbuse II.

Photos; Seun James Taiwo/Olu of Warri

with his parents

Education and Career

He got his basic education from NNPC Primary school in Warri and for his secondary education, he went on to Adesoye College, Offa, Kwara State during the period 1995 to 2001. He was admitted to Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA where he bagged his Bachelors of Arts majoring in International Studies & Political Science, while minoring in History & Economics during the period 2002 to 2006. He earned a Master’s of Science in Management, from Case Western Reserve University in 2007. He returned Back to Nigeria for NYSC in 2008 where he served in the Public Affairs Department of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS). Between 2009 – 2010 he worked as an officer as Shell Nigeria Closed Pension Fund Administrator (SNCFPA) and Govt Relations, Sahara Energy. 2010-2012. He is the founder of NobleNigerian Ltd and Coral Curator Ltd. He is the Chairman, Ocean Marine Security Ltd and Directors, Gulf of Guinea Ltd and Vessellink Nig Ltd.

Photos; Seun James Taiwo/Olu of Warri


Olu Ogiame Atuwatse IIII succeeded his late uncle King (Olu) Ogiame Ikenwuoli Godfrey Emiko who died of covid19 in December 2020 after reigning for 5 years. He was initailly supposed to succeed his late father but the Warri royal council chose his uncle after various internal disagreements following a 1979 edict that Olu of warri must be born of a benin woman

He underwent various precoronation rites to ascend the throne;

  • Seclusion period of 90 days knwsn as Idaniken
  • Selects one of the swords from a line of swords of the late kings. This determines his new reign name. He chose his fathers sword
  • Breaks a potof water and chops wood with an ax and paddling a canoe signifying he is no longer working but now rules as king

He was officially crowned on 21st August 2021 as the21st Olu of Warri Kingdom, taking the reign name Atuwatse III which means the one who restores wealth. The title Ogiame coincides with him being the king of the river as custodian of the traditional woship of the goddess of the river

Photos; Seun James Taiwo/Olu of Warri

Queen (Olori) Atuwatse III

Olori Atuwatse III (born Aiyivieruewinoya “Ivie” Okunbo) is the wife and Queen consort to Olu Ogiame Atuwatse III. She is the daughter of late billionaire and philanthropist captain Honsa Okunbo. They married in 2014 in double traditional and church royal weddings. In 2021 during his coronation she was bestowed with the title Olori Atuwatse III. Her role in the kingdom is of importance to the women of Warri as she supports various charitable causes in the kingdom. Together they have three children namely

  • Oritsetsemaiye Emiko
  • Oritsetsemisan Emiko
  • Oritsetsemeyin Emiko

Photos; Seun James Taiwo/Olu of Warri

Royal Crowns and regalia

The king is crowned using a 400 year old bronze crown said to have been gifted to Olu Ogiame Atuwatse (Dom Domingos) who reigned from 1625 to 1643) from the King of Portugal after he had completed his education in the European country in 1611. It was used since then to crown the successive kings. After the death of late Olu Ikenwoli I in 2020, the alleged crown was said to have disappeared due to sucession wrangles. The current Olu now adorns two new crowns, a gold one and a silver one.

The Olu also adorns coral beads as day to day crowns, necklaces and wristbands.

The traditional dressing of the King is also unique .

Long live the king

Visit – https://warrikingdom.org/ for more

© The African Royal Families. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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