Meet Manchester’s very own ‘royal’ Charles who serves the local community

"Charles' unique background and perseverance serve as an inspiration to us all"

As the day of King Charles III’s Coronation gets closer, the team at the Corn Exchange in Manchester have unveiled they have their very own ‘royal’ Charles amongst them.

Charles Okhivia who works as a supervisor at the Corn Exchange originally hails from a small village called Ozalla in Edo State, Nigeria, where his grandfather was once the leader of the village, making Charles a ‘prince’ by birth right.

Known for its natural beauty, warm hospitality, and rich cultural heritage, the village of Ozalla is nestled in an area of nature surrounded by hills, valleys and dense forests and is a hidden gem. It can be found in the heart of Nigeria’s southern region in Edo State and at the helm of the Kingdom is the highly revered Oba of Benin.

While each village in Edo State has its own traditional leader, the path to leadership in the village of Ozalla is different from that of the British monarchy where succession to the throne is determined at birth. The head seat in Ozalla is held by the eldest person in the village and is determined when the current one passes on, and if Charles were to live long enough to become the eldest person from Ozalla, he too could one day hold this position just like his grandfather once did.

However, Charles now lives in Manchester and has worked at the Corn Exchange for eight years. While he stays connected to his family and community in Nigeria and makes sure to share his experiences in the U.K. with them, he has embraced life in Manchester.

Despite a very different background to King Charles III, both men share some commonalities especially when it comes to serving their community. Charles Okhivia plays an active role within the Christ Salvation Ministry (Overcomers) in Manchester, where he preaches at Sunday School, works with the elderly and provides marriage counselling. Charles is also actively involved in mentoring and guiding the youth particularly providing them with practical advice on behaviours and career choices and also encourages them to pursue their dreams and aspirations which is similar to the fantastic work undertaken by The Princes Trust Charity founded by, at the time, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in 1976.

“As we celebrate the coronation of King Charles III, it’s important to remember that leadership comes in many forms,” said Amy Gough, Soft Services Manager at the Corn Exchange.

“Charles Okhivia, our very own ‘royal’ Charles, is a testament to this. His unique background and perseverance serve as an inspiration to us all. We are proud to have him as part of our team at the Corn Exchange and we look forward to seeing him continue to grow as a leader in his own right.”

The Corn Exchange is an iconic and historic building in the heart of the Manchester and with its grand architecture and array of culinary delights, it’s no surprise that this venue has become one of the most popular places to dine in the city. We may not all have a seat at the royal table, but you can certainly indulge in the luxurious dining experiences that the Corn Exchange has to offer over the Coronation weekend.

The Corn Exchange in Manchester is a dining destination fit for a king and it looks like they even have their own ‘royal’ Charles to prove it!


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