One of Nigeria’s biggest Cement dealers, Alhaji Kazeem Odeyeyiwa, was recently installed the new Babalaje of Itoriland. Till he was installed by Olu-Itori, Oba Abdul Fatai Akamo Akorede, he has always lived a quiet life despite his enormous wealth. But ask around town, you will be told that Chief Kazeem Odeyeyiwa and his beautiful wife, Alhaja Mutiat Odeyeyiwa, are rich and influential. Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, knows him in person. He is one of the biggest dealers on the stable of Dangote Cement. So also is at Lafarge Cement.
A few weeks back, the Olu-Itori Land brought husband and wife together and installed Odeyeyiwa The Babalaje and his wife, Iyalaje of Itoriland. Alhaji Dangote was not there but he sent one of his directors to represent him. City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE interviewed his wife, Alhaja Mutiat Odeyeyiwa, during which she spoke about her husband and their love story.
You and your husband have just been installed Iyalaje and Babalaje of Itoriland. How do you react to the honour?
To God be the Glory. Yes, today we have been installed as the Iyalaje and Babalaje of Itoriland. I am happy and excited to be installed as Iyalaje alongside my husband, Alhaji Odeyeyiwa.
How long have you known Kabiyeesi?
We have known Kabiyeesi for the past 15 years, that was when my husband was working with Lafarge Cement. Since then, he has been a wonderful father and brother. My husband and I hold him in high esteem. If they don’t tell you, you won’t know that he is not my husband’s biological brother, you won’t believe.
What would you say about Oba Fatai Akamo?
I wish him so many years on earth. I wish him a life full of God’s favour with good health. I appreciate him just like I appreciate my beautiful Olori Barakat Olabisi Akamo. She is my sister from another mother.
You and your husband look good together, how did you meet?
I met my husband when we were both in school. We both went to Obafemi Awolowo University. I was in part 2 when he was in the final year. I read Theater Art and he read Accounting.
What was the first thing he said to you when you met?
He said “Omo Butter” you look so pretty. (Laughs). I was “Ajepaki” and I laughed. It took me 3 years to say Yes and the rest is history.
Why did it take you that long to accept him?
It is because he is from Modakeke and I was afraid of Modakeke people. It was the time Ife and Modakeke people were fighting. I had my fears despite being from Abeokuta.
Who are your parents?
My father is late Olanrewaju Soreolu, my mother is still alive. She is Alhaja Fausat Soreolu, Mr Tunde Kelani of Mainframe is my maternal uncle and I grew up with him. My mother is the immediate younger sister to T.K.
So, is he here?
Yes, he came in early and left because he had an appointment in Lekki. I grew up with him and he is my father.
Was it because of him you read Theater Art?
Yes, somehow he made me read Theater Art. When I was given the letter to read Theater Art, I took the letter back to him and he said Desola, you can’t. It is so difficult.
Is it true that your husband is a big time Ogun Cement dealer?
Yes. He is a Cement dealer. Number 1 Cement dealer at Lafarge and Number 3 at Dangote in Nigeria.
How did he start?
My husband is the CEO of Lasab Heritage at Number Wemabod Estate. We have branches across the state.
How long have you been married?
I have been married for 17 years and still counting.
Do you mean your husband is one of the biggest Cement dealers in Nigeria?
Yes, to the glory of God. He was working as an Accountant with Lafarge before he left.
What do you do?
I am also into business. I am the major distributor of Coca-Cola and 7up. I also sell anything drink.
What has sustained your marriage for 17 years, since your husband is rich?
I thank God for blessing me with an amazing husband like Odeyeyiwa. He is my friend, my confidant. You know ladies of nowadays, even if a man doesn’t toast them, they will come for him, but with the glory of God, we are counting and staying in love.
What do you call him?
I call him Baba K, I call him “Olowo Orimi”.
Whad do you call him when you are angry?
I call him Baba Ibeji (Laughs).
What does he call you?
He calls me Iya Ibeji or Desola.
What has brought you this far?
God and my husband. I am blessed with him.
What is your advice for young couples?
Start from the scratch, build your home, don’t listen to external people. My husband always tells people that we started together. So we have a story.
You have a story, what is your grass-to-grace story?
Amazing and to the glory of God, we started with nothing but ended with something to the glory of God. We both had nothing. Few days to our wedding, armed robbers stole all his money. He was left with nothing. His salary was just N11,000 when we married.
How funfilled are you now?
I am saying Allihamdullilahi.
Tell us about your hubby?
I want to say Alhamdullilah Robil Alamin. He is a good husband and very wonderful. My husband doesn’t listen to hearsay. He doesn’t discuss anything about me with people. If I start talking about him, we won’t leave here. I love you so much, my husband.