• Tells City People The Story Of Her Life In Business
Popular Lagos businesswoman and CEO, Fisolak Resources Limited, Princess Toyin Kolade, is known for her social engagements and philanthropic gestures. She puts a smile on the faces of everyone who comes in contact with her. And she has vowed not to stop influencing the lives of people for good
Iyalaje Apapa, as she is fondly called is, by all means, a worthy ambassador of the House of Oduduwa under the indefatigable leadership of the Ooni of Ife, Arole Oodua Olofin Adimula, Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II on whose behalf she has been superlatively coordinating the annual Aje Festival Celebrations in Ile-Ife. The Ooni is set to bestow the title of Iyalaje Oodua on her this year.
During the last yuletide season, Iyalaje decided to storm LTV 8 Blue roof to run 3-weeks discount sales. She brought no fewer than 3 containers to the popular Blue Roof, consisting of Furniture, Computer accessories, refrigerators, home appliances, fashion and beauty products, building materials and many more, selling them at 50% percent reduced price.
City People media crew stormed the trade fair center and get her to talk about her driving force and inspiration amongst other interesting conversations. Enjoy excerpts.
How has the response been so far?
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 about three weeks ago. The response has been very commendable. People are calling us from Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Adamawa. And we have been sending our goods to the north. I am so overwhelmed by the 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 products 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 discourages most people who would have come from Island, mainland, Ikorodu and all other axes within Lagos. This is why we feel there is the need to fashion out a way to put a 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.
And basically, what you sell 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 any challenges offering all these services?
In fact, if not 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 per cent 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 became 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 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, 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 heled 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 fare 3 years ago but I didn’t have time. I am happy I’ve finally launched it this year. And you haven’t seen anything yet. I want God to bless me more than this, so I can make more people happy. That’s my calling.
How do you plan to celebrate your birthday this year?
If the surge of COVID-19 is controlled, we will have a big one, but there’s something else I will also be celebrating, that I won’t mention now. And I’m sure you’re aware of it. It will be a good. If it comes through this year, then that will be enough. And I will make sure that I use that position to serve humanity and make everybody happy, with God on my side.
How do you juggle your many commitments, considering the fact that you run many businesses?
You know I’m a clearing agent, and I want my customers to be satisfied, so I handle it’s 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 your 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 per cent loves me, I leave 80 per cent to God. Aiyefele said 80 per cent, but I don’t even mind 20 per cent (laughs).
What’s your projection for 2021?
This 2021 by God’s grace, will be a great year. Blessings, Goodness, Mercy, Joy, Happiness, will come my way this year. I have that confidence in God. Even last year that people were complaining, I never complained for a day. You can even see what I did in 2020, I gave some things and food items out. Oga, do good and goodness will follow you.
Can you tell us how you got into business?
It’s in the public space (laugh). I started young while I was following my mother to the market to buy and sell. I learned from my father and mother.
I also noticed you sound prophetic…
(Cuts in)..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.