A Nigerian prince visiting New York City on business rented out an entire restaurant for a first date with a model he met on the street, who his now his wife.
Prince Adekunle ‘Kunle’ Adebayo Omilana, from the Arugbabuwo ruling house, saw California-born Keisha Omilana outside the W Hotel in Manhattan, as she was waiting for a modeling call.
He asked her for her number and, a few weeks later, they agreed to go for dinner at a Brazilian restaurant, which has since closed.
He rang the establishment and said he wanted to hire the entire place.
‘The restaurant told me it was going to cost a lot of money, but I said I don’t care,’ Kunle told Insider.
Prince Adekunle ‘Kunle’ Adebayo Omilana and his wife Keisha met in New York City in 2004
Keisha had no idea Kunle (right) was royal until she met his mother (center) two years later
‘I said: ‘Just get me nice rose petals on the floor, get everything set in a romantic way. It’s going to be like a date, but I want it to feel like a proposal.”
That was 16 years ago; she had no idea he was a prince until two years later, when she met his mother, before the couple married.
They now live in London, with their two children.
‘The way she carried herself, the kindness, I was blown away,’ he said. ‘It’s something where you think, this is going to be my wife.’
Keisha told Insider that Kunle’s mother referred to her as ‘my princess’, which she took as a term of affection until it was explained who her fiance was.
‘And when you hear, ‘princess,’ well, all moms call their daughters princess,’ she said.
‘So that’s what I thought she was saying. But then we sat down and she told me the story of who her son was, what his name means, where he comes from, and I was just like ‘oh my goodness.”
The pair married on January 28, 2006, at The Water Club in midtown Manhattan.
The prince and princess pictured in London in December 2016
The Omilana family pictured in June 2019, celebrating their daughter’s second birthday
The couple have been together for 16 years and plan to renew their vows
‘We were planning to go big and have a traditional wedding in Nigeria, but at that time there was a big commotion where there was political turmoil.’ Kunle told Insider.
‘So we have been postponing it.’
They are now, 14 years later, hoping to hold the ceremony at one of their properties in Sao Tome, a small island close to Nigeria.
‘It will be the renewal of vows, because that’s very important to us,’ he told the site.
‘That’s actually what it is in our culture — a royal wedding is actually forever, so every year you celebrate and renew your vows. It will be perfect to do it in Africa, but not in Nigeria, the situation there is not changing.’
Nigeria is currently wracked with protest against the country’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad, also known as SARS, after videos were posted on social media showing police brutality.
The country’s traditional rulers were stripped of their constitutional power in 1963, but their descendants still serve as the local custodians of law and order.
No one knows how many traditional rulers there are in the West African nation.
‘We don’t get involved in politics, but we always stand for the people,’ Kunle said.
‘I just want them to leave the people alone.’