Nigerian prince, 62, turns his back on royal life back home where his brother is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu to spend his days hunting leaks for Thames Water in London
- Akeem Adenuga’s brother is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu in Nigeria
- Mr Adenuga – who lives in Tottenham – came to UK in 1994 to study and stayed
- Mr Adenuga leads team of 24 engineers who find and fix hidden leaks in London
- His brother’s full title is: Royal Majesty Oba Asunmo Ganiyu Aderibigbe Balogun, Jamade 1, Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu
A Nigerian prince has given up a life of royalty to spend his days hunting leaks for Thames Water in London.
Akeem Adenuga, 62, comes from the state of Lagos, Nigeria, where his brother – King Asunmo Aderibigbe – is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu.
The prince – who now lives in Tottenham, north London – took a break from royal duties in 1994 to study in the UK.
He fell in love with the country, taking a job as a trainee leakage technician at Thames Water in 2000, and he has worked there ever since.
Mr Adenuga now leads a team of 24 engineers who find and fix hidden subterranean leaks across the capital.
Nigerian prince Akeem Adenuga, 62, has given up a life of royalty at home to spend his days hunting leaks for Thames Water in London
Father-of-five Mr Adenuga 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.
‘That’s why it’s so important to me that I look after my team – health and safety is my top priority.
Mr Adenuga, 62, (right) comes from the state of Lagos, Nigeria, where his brother – King Asunmo Aderibigbe (left) – is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu. Centre: King Asunmo’s wife Olori Abimbola
King Asunmo Aderibigbe is The Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu (pictured) in Nigeria
‘It gives me joy every day when they all get home safely.’
Despite moving thousands of miles away, Akeem remains deeply connected to 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.
Mr Adenuga now leads a team of 24 engineers who find and fix hidden subterranean leaks across the capital
Mr Adenuga, who is a massive Arsenal fan despite living in Tottenham, 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.’
His brother is Royal Majesty Oba Asunmo Ganiyu Aderibigbe Balogun, Jamade 1, the Paramount Ruler of Odo-Ayandelu.
But 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 (NEPA) in Nigeria.
Thames Water is now uncovering a record number of leaks, with more than 70,000 repaired in the last financial year.
It is spending more than £1 million a day to help reduce leaks on an underground network of pipes that’s almost long enough to circle the Earth.
Recent successes include plugging a leak that was losing three million litres per day in Guildford Street, near Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Danny Leamon, Thames Water’s head of water networks, said: ‘We have dozens of teams working around the clock to find and fix an average of around 1,400 leaky pipes every week right across our region.
‘We’re determined to drastically reduce the amount of water that escapes from our pipe network to help protect customer supplies and the environment for now and future generations.’