When It comes to playing big in real estate and transport business in Nigeria Alhaji Babatunde Shonola is a big force to be reckoned with. He is the Chief Executive officer of Tallmania properties and investment an organization which specializes in buying and selling of landed properties at affordable rates.
Apart from being a guru in the real estate and transport businesses, Alhaji Babatunde was made the Akinlagun of Owu kingdom via the influence of ex- president Olusegun Obasanjo due to his antecedents and doggedness . In this interview with Citypeople’s reporter FEMI FABUNMI, he bares it all on issues surrounding his real estate business plus how he became the Akinlagun of Owu Kingdom. Read on
Introduce Yourself Sir ?
My Name Is Alhaji Babatunde Shonola aka Tallman ,I am the Akinlagun of Owu Kingdom, the Oluomo of Ifako Ijaiye kingdom and the tunobase of Awowo land
You are Mostly known as Tallman even among your peers in Real estate , how did you come about the nickname ?
When I was growing up, I happened to be one of the tallest among my peers, I was always referred to as tallman whenever I was being beckoned upon by anyone neighbourhood that was how the name stuck.
You are an active player in Real Estate Industry ,fill us in into your mode of operation ?
The name of my company is tallmania properties, we have landed properties all over Lagos and Ogun state. We sell land and houses, as we speak there is Tallmania estate in Magboro very close to Mountain Top University, we have many ongoing projects in Lagos and Ogun. We are bent on providing quality affordable housing for Nigerians and I tell you we will not relax nor relent on this.
Apart from real estate, you are also involved in transportation, tell us about it ?
Tallman transport business is up and running. We are involved in interstate and intrastate, we use all kinds of vehicles good ones to ply our roads .We travel to the East, North ,South and even West in the country. Let me quickly inform you that we are also involved in hotel business .Simply put, I am an all round business man.
When do you intend to start operations outside Lagos and Ogun states?
Well, we want to stand firm in in these two states for now, before we nurse the idea of making incursions into other neighbouring states. Truth is , we need to show those ones what we have been doing, once they see that, they they will know we are tested and trusted.
What Stands Out Tallmania Properties out from other Real Estate Companies ?
we attach so much importance to integrity, we deal with our customers with utmost sincerity. We don’t take chances at all. Our customer relationship abilities is very good, we establish cordial relationships with them moreso,we ensure that all what they need are gotten for them.For instance, we ensure that our customers get C of O for their landed properties.
What prompted You to Venture into Real Estates ?
I think I was destined for this, anyone who goes into any business without seeking God’s first on it will be making a great mistake.
(Cuts in) I mean when did you take the bold step and what was the reason behind it ?
At some points our family land was taken over by some persons and I remember my mum always stopping me from going to fight for the land. One day, I went behind her and started the process of retrieving the land. I used my connection as a popular person within and outside the community .It was very tough but God used me to collect back the family land.
Share With Us Your Family Background ?
I am an Egba boy,My father is from Egbaland while my mum hails from Owu. Basically, I hail from Abeokuta in Ogun state.
Apart from being an entrepreneur you are a titled chief in Egbaland and even other places share with us some of your titles ?
well, I became the Akinlagun of Owu kingdom through baba’s influence our ex-president Olusegun Aremu Obasanjo in 2011. I was dressed by him because he his the Balogun of Owu Kingdom.After which I became the Oluomo of Ifako Ijaiye Lagos in 2013.
Why do you think Obasanjo supported you to become the Akinlagun of Owu Kingdom ?
Some group of guys impersonating president Obasanjo took over hectares of land in Owu , I put it upon myself to fight for the retrieval of the land .My mum is from Owu , baba Obasanjo saw my fighting spirit and doggedness plus the fact that my mum is an indigene of Owu .All these put together led baba to support me to become the Akinlagun of Owu. Moreso, The Olowu of Owu also supported and prayed for me too.
Apart from The Akinlagun of Owu what other titles do you have ?
I have many titles , I was also made the Oluomo of Ifako Ijaiye by the king there,I am the Omo Tunobase of awowo land and many more titles are yet to come.
You are also into hotel business, why did you venture into it ?
As a business man that I am, I shouldn’t be seen doing one business there is need to diversify ,the urge to diversify is what has led me into hotel business and it is quite profitable. I really want to do better in these line of businesses that I have chosen for myself. For transportation, some idle boys came to me and said that if they get something doing they will not be idling away. Since I realise that the Idle mind is the Devil’s workshop I chose to buy vehicles to get the boys engaged . Truth be told, that was what gingered me into transportation business too.