Reveals Plans For His 80th Birthday In JAN. 2020
Come January 11th and 12th, 2020, the whole of Lagos social scene will shake to its foundation, as the patriarch of Okoya dynasty, Aare Rasak Olanrewaju Okoya, will be 80.
The billionaire, Aare of Lagos, who is one of Nigeria’s foremost industrialists is surely leaving no stone unturned to make sure the event is grand.
Though, preparation is still under-wrap, but Aare Rasak Okoya has started the count down to the big day.
The industrialist and Chairman of Eleganza Group and RAO property investment, who started his life working in his father’s tailoring shop, and businesses which include the sale of tailoring materials. He said he saved every pound he made until he had 20 pounds, while his mother gave him 50 pounds.
According to Aare Rasak Okoya, at his late parent’s remembrance, he revealed that he waited for the blessings of his father before he set up his own business in his 20s.
His words. “I had to wait till my father gave me the go-ahead before I could float my business, officially.
I was also staying at my parent’s house till he allowed me move into my house after it was built. I don’t joke with my parent’s blessings.
The then 70 pounds and serious hard work, that produced the Eleganza Industrial City, now has over 34 hectares of land and many branches of Eleganza across the 36 states of Nigeria and in other African countries. Not only has he built his business dynasty, his name is now a household in Lagos.
Mention Eleganza and Aare Rasak Akanni Okoya’s image will come forth. This is not just why he is celebrating, he is celebrating a life well spent in abundance blessings.
Few days ago, Aare Rasak Okoya’s friend of over 60 years, Prince Sam Adedoyin, clocked 84 and his friend, Aare Rasak Okoya, was a guest with his younger brother, Dr. Tajudeen Okoya. Aare Rasak Okoya spoke to City People’s Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE. He narrated his relationship with Prince Adedoyin and what life has taught him at 80. Enjoy the excerpts.
You share a very strong bond with your siblings, and it is obvious. Was there anything that shaped this?
It was our mother. My mum, the late Alhaja Idiat Abeke Okoya, made sure 3 of us never joked with one another. When our mother was alive, she made sure we were closed and that is why you will notice that my siblings and I never joke with one another. I have always been playing the role of a father to Tajudeen since he was 7 years old and my sister Wosilat was 4 years old. I was in my 50’s then. My mother made sure we never separated. That was what she had always liked and we shall remain close like this forever, Insha Allah. Those who know me would tell you I don’t joke with my siblings.
What comes to your mind when you see how grown up both are now?
It’s unexplainable. I am always happy and full of thanks. I don’t have any other person than my siblings. We are inseparable.
Your friend of over 60 years is 84, Prince Sam Adedoyin. How did you meet him?
We have been friends for over 60 years and still counting. We met at Dosumu market. He was in his 30s while I was in my 20s. We took to each other immediately and we did lots of business together. Almighty Allah blessed both of us and made us prosperous. We give thanks to Allah. We pray that we turn 90 and more.
What do you love about Prince Adedoyin?
He is a complete gentleman. He is very blunt and highly straight forward.
He is 4 years older than you, why has age difference not affected your friendship?
We both respect each other and I thank God that we have never had any issue or misunderstanding.
We would like you to advise young entrepreneurs who see you as their mentor and also aspire to be like you?
They should be patient; everything is a gradual process. It is one step at a time. Don’t try to be a billionaire overnight. Take things easy and work hard, If you don’t want riches that would give you sleepless night, you have to be honest with everything you are doing and be straight forward. And also, you have to be contended with all that God gives you.
Those are the trainings I gave my children. I have taught them to be straight forward and concentrate on our business.
How old were you when you started?
I was in my early 20; I was between the age of 20-25.
You will be 80 by January, what has life taught you?
Life has taught me to be patient. For you to be able to maintain your business for 60 good years, you have to be humble, and be patient. You have to be very hardworking and also do not look for quick money. Don’t be in haste to make quick cash.
What time do you resume work now that you are clocking 80?
I am beginning to retire little by little. My junior wife, Sade Okoya, is now taking care of everything. And she will take care completely. I am handling over to her gradually and she is doing so great at it.
What do you wish your friend, Prince Samuel Adedoyin?
I wish him many happy returns We will both witness more fruitful years in good health.