These are good times for Princess (Dr) Toyin Kolade, the popular Lagos businesswoman and CEO of Fisolak Resources Limited. She is a big philanthropist who usually put smiles on the faces of everyone who comes in contact with her. And she has vowed not to stop affecting the lives of people for good
Iyalaje Apapa, as she is fondly called because of her Clearing & Forwarding business at Apapa port, is a worthy Ambassador of the House of Oduduwa under the leadership of the Ooni of Ife, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, on whose behalf she has been superlatively coordinating the annual Aje Festival in Ile-Ife.
The big news is that, this week, the Ooni is set to bestow the big title of Iyalaje Oodua on her in Ile-Ife. The event will take place in a brand new 7,000 seater event centre. She is expecting about 4,000 dignitaries. A lot of dignatries will not only be coming in from South-West States, many will be coming from Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Kaduna and the East. Many of her friends in the UK, US, Canada and Dubai will be flying in. She is expecting Guests from Brazil and Cuba.
As you read this, there is a last minute rush for Aso-Ebi for both high profile guests and her teeming supporters. There is also a scramble for the high quality Invitation Card printed by a high class printing company.
What will make the event a mega event is the fact that it falls around her July 13th birthday, which she normally celebrates.
City People gathered that the Ooni of Ife decided to honour her with the award because of her immense contributions to Culture, Tradition & Trade across Yoruba land.
For those who don’t know lets quickly tell you that Princess Toyin Kolade is a successful businesswoman.
A few months back, she held a mega sale promotion that rocked Lagos. It was very successful. How did she do it? “Well, I give glory to almighty God because I don’t even know that this was going to be this big until when we started. The response was been very commendable. People were calling us from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Adamawa. And we have been sending our goods to the north. I was so overwhelmed by response.”
“You know when you have a product with value and it is also affordable, the rate of demand will be awesome.”
“Some of our products are from Turkey, London, Germany and part of it are from China. The Chinese product that we sell are very quality that we give you two to three years guarantee on every purchase.”
“We decided to storm Ikeja because of the situation of the road at our main warehouse in Apapa. The road has been riddled with traffic and all our prospective customers have been complaining of the hurdles they face in traffic, spending 5 to 6 hours in traffic when they come to buy from us. This usually discourage most people who would have come from Island, mainland, Ikorodu and all other axis within Lagos. This is why we feel there is the need to fashion out a way to put smile on their faces, by bringing the goods close to them and slashing the prices. At least we brought in more than 50 to 60 set of chairs last year, and people are still calling and didn’t want us to leave this place. But by God’s grace, we will be at Ikeja, we’ll be in V.I, Ikotun, Ibadan, because we have lots of goods to sell.”
So basically what she sells are household goods?
“We have household items, we have food items, we have kitchen cabinets, we have furniture and computer accessories from the UK and we have Logitec from America. We have building materials. We have lots of doors, sanitary wears, and tiles from Turkey. We have stones for external building designs and interiors, we have wallpapers, and we have everything for the new house. If you are building a new house, we can equip it for you. We have 2021 latest kitchen cabinet.”
Are there challenges offering all these services?
“There is none. Because of the Clearing and Forwarding that I’m doing as my major job, I intend to further expand our supply and services, but we thank God that we have seen a number of interested prospective partners that we can work with.”
“We are launching a capital induce support for middlemen with as low as N100,000.00. With just a hundred thousand, we will equip you with goods that you can start earning from and make a decent living out of it.”
“Just yesterday, we had more than two containers of ceramic plates and we sold each for N100 per plate. Ceramic plate in the market is N500, but I gave them for N100. If they sell it, they have make over 400 percent excess profit from the product.”
“Some peoples’ salary are very small, we sell durable clothes that is economically affordable for them to buy within their budget size, despite their low income. These are clothing materials that will not fade in many years. If in the end a made a little profit, I am fulfilled.”
“I do not believe in making excess profits. It’s all vanity. One day I will leave this world. If my children become bigger than me, they will tell me the house we built is old, and they either dump, demolish for rebuilding or they just build better ones and leave the house. So what’s the rationale for amassing too much profits to myself? That’s why I prefer that people enjoy what God gave to me with me, while I’m alive. So that by the time I’m gone, God will absolve me. That’s my mission. If I have one million naira today, I can give out N999,999 naira and remain 1kobo. When you save money, you don’t know who will spend it tomorrow. You are sleeping tonight, you don’t know if you’ll wake up tomorrow. Our sleeping and waking is a function of God’s grace over our lives. So we should learn not to be greedy with what God has given to us.”
“One day we are leaving and nobody knows when.”
“David, Solomon and the rest of them who had money, they are all gone. The Range Rover, Gwagon, they will not bury us in them…only white clothes and for the Christians, they are buried in caskets.”
“Even our mothers don’t know expected delivery dates when they had us in their bellies. Even the doctors will tell you it’s plus or minus two weeks. It is only God that knows. And when the baby is born, the umbilical cord is buried. That one will tell you the date and time you are leaving this world.”
“Some people have a bad destiny, they don’t end well. Imagine, I was told how a family got burnt together in a vehicle and they all died. Some people will have a lot of money while they were young, but when they grow old, they will be begging for food. It could be because they never held anyone while they had the money at their young age. They never invested on anyone. Even when they see beggar, to give as small as N50 naira is difficult for them. But when your mind is pure, you will never fall into a pit. Never. You will remain on top. Even of your enemy wants to try to pull you down, it won’t work. Because your heart is pure and you invest in people.”
“I’d wanted to do this trade fair 3 years ago but I didn’t have time. I am happy I’ve finally launched it this year. And you haven’t seen nothing yet. I want God to bless me more than this, so I can make more people happy. That’s my calling.”
How does she juggle her many commitments, considering the fact that she runs many businesses?
“You know I’m a clearing agent, and I want my customers to be satisfied, so I handle its my own. I love the job, even if I come back to this world, I will love to be a clearing agent again. I don’t lie to my customers and they know me for that. So my main job is clearing agent. These other commitments are only 10% of my business activities. I’m into road construction. I’m into building construction. I import a lot of hospital materials. We furnish offices, homes, kitchen decorations, kitchen cabinets and many more. And we do it well.”
What inspires her Philanthropic lifestyle?
“You see, so many people have taught me big lessons. Don’t trust anyone in your life. People are bad. Most people don’t appreciate me, but God does, and my father. And you know that my father, the Ooni of Ife, and my husband. These are the only people I can trust. Of course the people that surround me now are very loyal. But most people just want to use you and dump you. But you know we can only by the day, and nobody knows tomorrow. You give them money now and they will mock you the next minute. But I believe that the more I give, the more God keeps blessing me. So I will continue to give. I will never allow what they are saying affect me in any way, because they are not my God. That’s why I don’t blame people that don’t give. But I will continue to give because I know I’m only doing God’s ordinance on me. I have been doing this since I was very young, and will never stop it. If 20 percent loves me, I leave the 80 percent to God. Aiyefele said 80 percent, but I don’t even mind 20 percent (laughs).”
How did she get into business?
“I started young, when I used to follow my mother to the market to buy and sell. I learnt from my father and mother.
Is it true she is a Prophetess?
“Yes, I’m a Prophetess. From the beginning of my life. I’m a big prophetess from Ilesha. You can ask people that surround me. That’s what you can see here today now. If you are not prayerful, forget. There are enemies always lurking around, but when you have God, you pray. They will try but they cannot succeed. That’s why they call you many names. When they try and try to pull you down but couldn’t succeed, they see you as having strange powers. But we give glory to God.
Why the unnecessary envy, Why can’t we love each other unconditionally? I’m a happy person and I love happy people around me. When you call me to come and celebrate with you, I will come with my family, come with all I have to celebrate with you. I won’t wait until you give drink or food, because I know what it takes to organize a party.
She wears white all the time, how does she cope? How does she design it? Does she design herself or she has someone that does that for her?
“I design myself and I also have people around me that appreciate me. They want the best for me. It’s not easy to be wearing white but since the beginning of my life I love white. My name is Oluwatoyin. Even my mother told me not to wear red, or black. I’ve been wearing white since the beginning of my life. Like I said, it’s not been easy but because of my calling, and because I celebrate Aje. And I thank God for the life of my husband, my children and my Royal Father, Imperial Majesty, Ooni of Ife. I will continue to thank him because he has always been there for me too. I pray to God to spare his life and give him long life, and by the grace of God he’s going to be there 70/80 years, that’s my prayer for him and his family.
Her calling to celebrate Aje has taken her to so many places, Can she tell us what she likes about it and what gives her the thrill to celebrate it?
“Ever since I started celebrating Aje, if I touch people or pray for people they will come back to me with lots of testimonies. Aje is not just an ordinary festival. Everybody loves Aje and everybody prays for it every day of their lives.”