Otunba Adegboyega Balogun Shoye is 60! But he does not look 60. He clocked 60th on the 28th of March, 2020.
You can mistake him for a 40-year-old. He looks many years young than his age. While a 60 years old man may likely have a bald head, eye bags and all, Otunba Adesoye can be taken for a young man in his early 40s.
If not for Covid, the highly reserved man would have hosted a big party. He would have been celebrated to high heavens. This is because he has made many millionaires, as a millionaire himself. That is just like his father, Balogun Shoye, late Balogun of Ijebuland. How did Otunba achieve so many feats in his life? What is his humble beginning like? Who is his father? How did he meet his darling wife, Otunba Folashade Adeshoye? At what age did he start his Aluminium business.
These and many more were the questions we asked him a while back. Otunba Adegboyega Adesoye is a popular Chief in Ijebu-Ode. He is one of Awujale of Ijebu’s Otunbas. He is also one of the popular Muslim leaders in the town. He is a successful businessman who sits atop a chain of businesses that are doing well. Just mention the name Otunba Gboyega Adesoye and everyone will tell you they know the name. His surname is a big name in Ijebu-Ode. This is because his late dad was a very popular man in Ijebu-Ode in his lifetime. He was the Balogun of Ijebu-Ode. That is why they called him Balogun Soye.
Otunba Gboyega Adesoye too has taken after his dad in so many ways, whether it is in the field of religion, culture and philanthropy. But he does not make noise about his accomplishments. By nature, he is a quiet and easy-going businessman. He is stylish too. He dresses well. You can be rest assured that any outfit he wears sits well on him. He has an eye for details and he is always prim and proper in whatever he wears. He is a very handsome man with lovely eyeballs that captivated his wife Sade the first day they set eyes on each other. Both complement each other.
He is not only a successful businessman, he is a grassroots Ijebuman and community leader. He is also a respected man among Ijebu Muslims. But we can tell you authoritatively that what made Gboyega Soye very popular is the big image his late dad had built in his lifetime. Before he died, he was a big Ijebu titleholder. So, Gboyega took after his dad in very much respect. His dad was popularly called Balogun Soye.
Adegboyega Soye is the Balogun Egbe Bobagunte (Okunrin) Akile Ijebu. He was born on March 28, 1961, to the late much-celebrated, vivacious, Alhaji Fasansi Adesoye Onasanya, the (Balogun of Ijebu Land (1951 – 1961) aka Balogun Soye and Alhaja A.T Adesoye. Those who knew Balogun Soye or have heard or read about his much-celebrated life would attest that his last child, who was born 12 days after his death, is not only a scion of the Balogun Adesoye’s dynasty but a chip off the old block. If you believe in reincarnation, Balogun Fasansi Adesoye has reincarnated in Balogun Adegboyega Adesoye.
Balogun Adegboyega Babatunde Adesoye had his early years in Lagos. He attended Methodist Primary School, Obele, Surulere, Lagos. On leaving primary school, he went to Ijebuland for his secondary education and attended Isonyin Grammar School, Isonyin, Ogun State and left after sitting for his West African School Certificate Examination. At Isonyin Grammar School, Balogun Adesoye was one of the trailblazers and was liked by both his fellow students and teachers for his gentle disposition and forward-looking traits. He also had a one-year spell at the famous Abeokuta Continuing Education Centre, Abeokuta established by the Oyewole Brothers. He went on to study at Durham Technical Community College, North Carolina, USA, Lagos Business School (Pan Atlantic University), Lagos and followed this with various training on Personal skills and General Management.
For a child, who was born after the death of his father, it was no surprise that Balogun Adegboyega Babatunde Adesoye was very close to his mother. Whilst on holidays during his schooling in Isonyin, he was always helping his mother in her Textile business in the then Ita Osu Market, Ijebu Ode. The knack for business apart from being an inherited trait from his father was also nurtured at his formative age by his stint with his mother at Ita Osu Market. In 1981 he joined Aluminium Manufacturing Company Limited (ALUMACO). He worked there for just three months and owing to his hard work and good work ethics, he was invited by his then Production Manager to join him when the latter left to form Moodframes Aluminium Company Limited.
He was with Moodframes for about a year before he left to establish his own company. His inherent business trait propelled him to establish Techlum Nigeria Limited in March 1982, a company with sole interest in the production and installation of Aluminium Windows & Doors. The company soon introduced the production of Glass Sheets and Aluminium coils into its core business.
Otunba Soye an astute and highly enterprising industrialist, has since from the modest beginning of Techlum Nigeria Limited expanded his business circle to include the manufacturing of Aluminium Cooking Wares, Aluminium Long Span Colour Coated Roofing Sheets, Step Tiles and PVC ceilings. Techlum Nigeria Limited is not only a household name in Nigeria, but also throughout the West African sub-region with state-of-the-art factories in Ogba, Ikeja, Ayobo, Ipaja, Lagos State, Ibadan, Akure, Ilorin, and its operating headquarters in Odetoyinbo Estate, Mulero, Agege, Lagos State. Techlum Nigeria Limited has over 100 staffers in its employment.
One significant and noteworthy attribute of Balogun Adegboyega Babatunde Adesoye is his humble nature in spite of all it has pleased the Almighty God to bestow on him.
Until lately, when Balogun gives you his business card what you will find on it is not the usual nomenclature “Chairman/CEO or Managing Director” that people of his status use, but simply “Tunde Adesoye, Sales Manager”.
He is a quiet philanthropist. He is a man of “immense benevolence and generosity” whose impact has been felt by many families, friends, social clubs, charity organisations, religious groups and various community-based organisations. When he turned 50, he did not only dedicate a gigantic mosque to commemorate the 50th anniversary of his father’s death but built a living quarters for the resident Iman and his family. In his professional calling, Balogun Adesoye is a member of the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN), Financial Secretary, Aluminium Coaters Association of Nigeria, General Secretary, Hollow Wares Manufacturing Association of Nigeria and member Aluminium Professionals of Nigeria.
In social circles, Balogun Adegboyega Babatunde Adesoye, a lover of culture and tradition, was a founding member of Egbe Bobagunte (Okunrin) Akile Ijebu and holds the much-revered title of Balogun Egbe. Also, he is a member of the Rotary Club of Gbagada, Lagos and Lagos Country Club, Ikeja, Lagos.
He is a devout Muslim and married with children. A few weeks back, this quiet unassuming man of immense intellect, quintessential investor, astute businessman, philanthropist and a man of good candour hosted City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and Assistant Society Editor, ABIOLA ORISILE where he spoke about his life.
You are from the popular Adesoye’s family of Ijebuland, how does it make you feel?
I feel good that I am from the Adeshoye’s family. I feel highly honoured.
You are a very stylish person, what is style to you?
What is style to me? I have to say that I grew up with stylish people, From my parents to my wife. My father used to be very stylish.
Most Ijebu people have lots of good things to say about your father, who was Balogun Adesoye’s father?
It was quite unfortunate that I didn’t meet my father, neither did he know me. I was born 12 days after his death. I didn’t know how important he was in his lifetime until when I grew up. Sometimes when people meet me, they would be praising my father for his good deeds when he was alive. I asked my mother and she was the one who told me that If Ijebu-Ode had as many people like my Dad, Ijebu-Ode would have produced many rich people back then. My mother said there was a popular saying that “Ti Ijebu Bam eyan pupo to da bi Adeshoye, ko ni si mekunnu ni Ijebu” My father was very rich and generous. People say that if you worked with Soye for 3 or 4 years and you didn’t build a house, Adesoye’s would send you away. He assisted people build houses. If you are working with him and you had no house, he would tell you to try and build one. He would also help you to put finishing touches to your house if it was uncompleted. He had made an impact on many Ijebu.
What have you enjoyed from his good name?
Yes, I have. Let me share this experience with you. I went to one “Onolo Motors” in Ibadan as I did a quotation for him on the garage he was building in Ibadan. The man asked for my name and I told him Adesoye. He asked if we are just related and I told him I am the last born. He said, were you the one they gave birth to 12 days after Adesoye’s death and I said Yes. He put on his dress and took me to his Mercedes car. He drove to his garage.
He took me to one big old bus. Though it was old, but it was still very good. He said I should look at it. I did and he ordered we should get back to the car. He told me that it was the bus, which liberated him from poverty and made him who he was then. He said my dad gave him the bus after serving him for 10 years.
He said it was the gift that liberated him and made him rich. He smiled and gave me the contract. A lot of things like that happened. This is why I would always cherish my father in every area of my life.
A few years ago, you held a 50-year remembrance for your father, why did you decide to do it?
Yes, that was in 2011 and I built a big Mosques in Ijebu-Ode, which was named after him. It was a big party as you have said that has continued to be on the lips of many till date.
What have you learned from your father’s lifestyle?
I have learnt a lot. His name has opened many doors for me. I hold his legacy in high esteem …
My father died at 61, but he was as popular as the currency in circulation back then.
Your father was a prominent Ijebu Chief, can you tell us about him?
Yes, my father was the late Balogun of Ijebuland in general. My father was from a Royal family of Ijebu-Ife. My father was preparing to become the king of Ife when he was bestowed with the title of Balogun of Ijebuland.
He used to combine his royal heritage with his Balogun title. So, all his children were named Oyebade.
That was what brought the title of Gbaderogun that I was given to by our paramount king of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona. So, that is the history of my title “Gbaderogun”. This is the combination of my royal and warrior titles.
You walk like a king as you have royal blood in your veins, do you see yourself becoming a king?
My philosophy in life is work hard, be truthful, prayerful and accept whatever comes your way. Otunba of Ijebu–Ode is not something I knew I was going to be. Kabiyesi honoured me by giving it to me. I used to go and greet him and he bestowed it on me. In the whole of Ijebuland, the Otunba title is held by just about 50 persons.
Let’s talk about your wife, you have known each other since a young age, how do you feel, about this?
As I said earlier, man proposes, God disposes. My father’s house and her father’s house were just 3 houses away from each other. Anytime I was in my father’s house when I was on holiday, I used to admire her. One day, I just went to her. She was in class 3 and I was also in class 3. She was in Ijebu Igbo and I was in Isoyin Grammar School. By the time we finished secondary school. we both decided we were going to do our A-levels in Abeokuta. We both went and it was after then that we both went to Lagos. She was living on Lagos Island and I was living in Ikeja. She was living with her uncle as I did too. One way or the other, we lost touch. She got married and I did too. But because God said we were going to be together, our paths crossed again. Fortunately for me, I have never taken any woman to the registry and likewise herself, so we got married and to God be the glory.
What do you like about your wife?
With my experience about women as I told you, I have been married before, even my experience in life, she is a gifted person. My wife is gifted and she got virtue and values that you hardly find in women. Sometimes, I tell her she is a white witch. I have my reasons for saying it. Sometimes, you do something to her and you believe she would flare up, but she would just maintain her cool.
If you start a topic with her, she would tell you the outcome. My wife is a good companion, a very good woman with a good heart. Very intelligent and to crown it all, very beautiful.