(Alhaji HAMZART DARAMOLA; 1870–1962)
Alhaji Amusa Daramola, who was born in Ondo in 1870, not only became a highly successful timber magnate during the colonial era, he was arguably, the preeminent entrepreneur in the logging business in Ondo Division. Along with his bosom friend, late Seriki Seidu Tugbobo Fawehinmi and a few Britons, they dominated the timbre business from Igbon all the way to J4 near the Ijebu Waterside.
Baba Amusa Daramola built the first three-storey building in Ondo at Iparuku in 1939 and for many years, even after the construction of the Osemawe Palace in 1942, his house still stood as the tallest building in the town.
He bought the Iparuku land where Bọlawa the bicycle repairer was plying his trade from the owner, Chief Lisa Oṣinrungboye. In a rather surprising turn of events, Baba Daramola erected the tallest building in Ondo there. The inscrutable hands of the Almighty that could transform an unremarkable and nondescript bicycle repair site into an architectural masterpiece through the agency of Baba Daramola, evolved an Ondo legend that has now become a proverb:
“Ùgbẹ̀yìn aiye du mọ; ìyó d’ifa ghún atipoo’li Bọlawa, yo da pẹ́tẹsì mẹta ghún Amusa!” The essence of the proverb is that nobody knows tomorrow.
Ipauku again used to have a market which was patronized most times at the death of an Osemawe. Baba Daramola, a lover of horses, who in his rather aristocratic manner, introduced horse riding to the Ondo people, also had his horses frolicking at the rear end of this market and this formed a part of an Ondo folkloric song later popularized by ace Highlife maestro, Akintola Ademuwagun, alias Roy Chicago:
“Ipauku tẹu-tẹu n’odo ọja ib’ẹṣin yia, Yọ́yọ́ gbe o, yọ́yọ́ gbe, ọbọn’yinbo”
In 1955, Baba Daramola became the first Ondo man to undertake the holy pilgrimage to Mecca. He was one of the first Nigerians to travel for the Hajj by plane and he arrived Nigeria same year via Kano to a rousing welcome by the Ondo community led by late Mr. D.H Ajao.
Alhaji Amusa Daramola was a trailblazer in many areas of life. He formed a lifelong bond with his friend, Seriki Tugbobo Fawehinmi and this was evident in the quick succession of their passing to the great beyond— Daramola passed on in Oct. 26, 1962 and his friend followed on the 5th of Feb of 1963!