•What He Told City People About His Life
The election of Ibadan Recreation Club executive is usually one of the major landmark events in Ibadan. It’s the next election people get involved and watch out for after inter-political party elections. Friends, families, associates of contestants do get involved. It’s a big social issue. The club has 700 members. Gboyega Fisher is a rich Ibadan-based businessman, who is into Interior Decoration business. He is the Chairman of G.S.F Limited. He joined Ibadan Recreation Club 29 years ago and has contributed meaningfully to the club, physically, financially and socially.
He was Chairman of Table Tennis Section between 1991-1993, ex-Officio member of the Central Executive committee and Vee Pee between 2006-2007. He has successfully anchored and raised funds for the club, at least, 5 times since he joined. With his antecedent as a trailblazer and personality (a man of integrity, excellence, team worker and discipline – per excellence) and success story, he emerged the new President of Recreation Club and had a huge Inauguration party a fortnight ago. He spoke to City People 4 years ago.
Can you tell us about yourself, sir?
My name is Gboyega Fisher, born and raised a little over 60years ago in the city of Ibadan. I am an indigene of Abeokuta, a biochemist from the University of Lagos, but now a reputable interior decorator. I worked briefly after graduation with JOAS Electrical Industries Limited as sales manager before setting up my company, GSF Limited, where I am the Chairman/Managing Director. Happily married and blessed with three children and a sweet pretty grandchild.
At 60 a lot of beautiful things have been happening to you. You just had a grandchild. Your business keeps booming. And you became the president of the Recreation Club. You said it that life begins at 60?
Yes, one thing I asked the Lord for is that: when I am 60 I want a grandchild. And God granted me that wish. It’s a pretty girl. You know I have been in this business of contesting the Presidential post of the Recreation club. But I thank God that it happened at the right time. I contested it so many years ago, but it was cancelled because of some malpractices. But now I think it is the right time that God wanted me to be the president. And I thank him for that. Like I said, my covenant with God, to serve the Recreation club and be accountable to the club will never ever be broken. I made a promise that I would serve with pleasure and that is what I am going to do. There is nothing you can do without the backing of God. I keep telling God that this is what I wanted to do and God granted it to me. And it was a divine appointment.
Why did you say it is divine?
Because it was what God wanted. It was the planting of God. Let me tell you why I said it was a divine appointment. You see, 25 years ago, I was the chairman of table tennis section of this club. The man who swore me in as the Chairman is now a Trustee. He was the same person who swore me in on the 29th of Match this year. And you can’t believe it; in 1902 when this club was founded, Mr. Johnson, an English man, was sworn in on the 29th of March and that was in 1902. His inauguration was on the 29th of March. My inauguration was on the 29th of March too. So why won’t I thank God. That was a beautiful coincidence. So, I give God all the glory.
What inspired you to be party President?
By my antecedent and understanding of our great club and having served in various capacities including the CEC, I strongly believe that the club deserves some innovations and new ideas. While I recognise and commend the efforts of past leaders, I think the club needs a person like me at this point in time; to take the club to the next level.
What is your strength?
I have never doubted God’s tender mercies that have continually guided my life so far. I also do not rely on my own ability but ever trusting in God for guidance. Having passed through life’s many challenges; the Lord has been kind to let me emerge a stronger, finer and brighter person like raw gold passing through the furnace. I am confident that my team would be another trail-blazer for the club. We have everything it takes- Men, materials and the experience to run a successful administration of the club. My personal tradition, integrity would be jealousy guided during my tenure. We are all going to be part of the success story of bringing and uplifting the club to higher levels by divine guidance, dint of hard work, well laid out programmes and the support and cooperation of our members.
You have a very unique personality. You have always been seen as a leader of men, boys and women. People respect you. They attribute a lot of dignity to you. They want you at their events. You are one of the notable men in Ibadan who is well respected, well-loved, and very popular. Where did this leadership thing come from?
I have been in Ibadan for some time and like I rightly said, one thing about me is that I cherish relationships a lot. I love my folks and I don’t want to hurt them. I also love investing in people’s lives because when you touch people’s lives, God will naturally touch your life. I’m not a lady’s man. I don’t know why people say that. I relate with them and I relate with my friends too. I relate with everybody. Even in this club too. You can ask them. Even the junior workers here: they all like me. They were all so excited when I became the president because I don’t discriminate. No matter how big or how small you are I believe that God created all of us equally and has a unique purpose for everybody. So you can never look down on anybody. You don’t do that. God detests the proud. Who brought money from heaven? Nobody brought money from heaven. All good gifts around us are given to us by the Father of light. That is my own belief about life and nothing is going to change that.
How do you sustain this popularity, success and everything? Because you’ve been around for over a decade as a popular man, a big socialite and a top businessman yet you still keep on going?
Well, I think it is divine. Like I always talk about divine intervention, divine luck! Though I go to parties but let me tell you something; I don’t believe it, but I pray a lot and sing a lot.
But nobody would know that aspect of you.
Yes, even those who are close to me know that I sing. Even at BCOS when they had their last Christmas Carol I sang. Everybody kept asking me. My friends know that I sing a lot and pray a lot irrespective of my social interaction I believe in God. And I know that one day we are all going to go. Did we jump from heaven? God created us; so we must love God. And we must put our total trust in him and he will never leave us or forsake us.
You see, I had a beautiful mother who loved me so much. So, she spoilt me with money. Rich woman! Pretty woman! She died 10 years ago and I think I owe her a lot. She pampered me, she brought me up. She loved me so much. And let me say one thing; the only regret that I have about this club thing is that; my aunty, I had a beautiful aunty. I don’t know whether you know her; she is Mrs. Kike Ayandipo. She is dead. She died two weeks before my inauguration. That woman prayed with me. She was my aunt. She was my mother. She was my confidant. She loved me so much. That she was not present during my swearing-in; I cried about it is because she wanted me to be the president at all costs. She had prayer sessions with Mrs. Alli who owns Ultimate also with Aunty Sola Olufawo. They were always praying that; Gboyega aburo mi (My younger brother) you will become the president. She prayed. She would hold my hands and pray but she never saw the swearing-in. I pray that may her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. That is Mrs. Ayandipo.