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SINCE 1996

SUPERB PICTURES AND INSPIRATIONAL INTERVIEW INSIDE

BANKING COLOSSUS

OTUNBA SUBOMI BALOGUN CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF GOD’S GOODNESS IN ROYAL STYLE

© OVATION 2014


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PUBLISHER’S INTRO

ISSN-1362-7309 Issue 155 CREW PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dele Momodu momodudele@yahoo.co.uk

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mobolaji Momodu EDITOR Michael Effiong mikeffiong2009@yahoo.com mikeffiong@ovationinternational.com

MANAGING EDITOR Segun Adebowale PHOTO EDITOR Adekoya Adegbite PRODUCTION MANAGER/ART DIRECTOR Isaac Edoh-Philip ASSISTANT DESIGNER Kwaku Yeboah Darteh CORRESPONDENT Mo Salami…Dele Salako…Babatunde Martins PHOTO JOURNALISTS Colin Ramsay… Ade James (USA)… Dayo Adedayo Isaac Adegbite… Dragan Mikki… Bodise Wilson Soji Adekunle… Vera Odjugo… Tope Brown Solomon Ekhaiyemhe… Abraham Falodun Segun Lawal… Ken Ehimen...Sunmisola Olorunnisola Guy L’ Avenir (Benin Republic) Ben Dzakah (Ghana) MARKETING/ADVERTS Zed Dominic Okolue (Benin Republic) US CORRESPONDENTS Samantha Ofole Prince… Shola Orolugbagbe CONTRIBUTORS Jimi Akinniyi… Sanya Ojikutu… Isatou N’jie Dayo Olomu… Makeba Boateng LAGOS OFFICE Bamisebi Richard Ojo-Head Admin Aderemi Abiola-Admin. Officer UK OPERATIONS 7 Du Maurier House, Lawn Road, London NW3 2XE Tel: +447951026178, +447956967160 UK DISTRIBUTION/WORLDWIDE SUBSCRIPTION Jay Magazine & Newspaper Distribution, UK +44(20) 76358888, +447976628251 UK AND EUROPE DISTRIBUTION Quality Magazine Distribution Global Distribution MANAGING EDITOR BENIN REPUBLIC BUREAU Jeanne-Frances Maduakor Centre Commercial Xanadu-Ancien Pont, Wlacodji Contonou Tel: +229 97221918, +299 98155422 CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Onukaba Adinoyi-Ojo… Ike Okonta… Sunmi Smart-Cole Okagbue Aduba… Osasu Obayiuwana… Dupe Ashama Isha Tejan-Cole (West Africa) ...Richie Dayo Johnson GHANA OPERATIONS #17, Asafoatse Afua Street, West Airport. Tel: +233-21-762595, 778737. Fax +233244843099 LAGOS 13B Ladipo Kuku Street, Off Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria Tel: +234-0-8023002090, (0)8055069220, (0)8055069212, (1)4543030 TOGO BUREAU King Nee +2289160855 Chinyere Ndukwe +22890039631 PRINTED BY The Magazine Printing Company Ltd., Enfield, England. DIRECTORS Segun Fatoye, Mobolaji Momodu, Damola Aderemi, Dele Momodu (CEO) OVATION Magazine is published as a periodical by OVATION Comm. Ltd. ©OVATION International Reproduction in full or part of any contents of OVATION magazine (without prior written consent from the publisher) is strictly prohibited.

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BANKING COLOSSUS

OTUNBA MICHAEL SUBOMI BALOGUN CELEBRATES 80 YEARS OF GOD’S ABUNDANT BLESSING

Story: Michael Effiong & Dele Salako French: Chinyere Ndukwe Photo: Adekoya Adegbite, Ken Ehimen, Abraham Falodun, Segun Lawal & Family Album

The celebrant: Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, CON

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The celebrant: Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, CON

OTUNBA SUBOMI BALOGUN’S TESTIMONY “I have learnt considerable lessons in life and I have gone through the crucible of a chastening experience! With the support of providence I have renewed strength like an eagle, and I am in a position to soar to whatever level my God will take me. I will testify that I have discovered my God, the Almighty, the only one who can make and unmake, the only wise God. Although, I was thoroughly shaken, I was not uprooted and my head was bowed but not crushed. In spite of all these, the Almighty God gave us the grace to reorganize and restructure the group in order to forge ahead"

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t was a spectacle like no other. It was a heartfelt tribute to a towering symbol of the Nigerian banking, enterprise and excellence as Otunba Michael Olasubomi Olayiwola Oladimeji Olaonipekun Balogun, a man of panache, a man with a rich pedigree , The Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu and the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, turned 80 in regal style. Known for his fine taste, elegance and all things white, the celebration was fitting for a man who had

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spent the best part of his years building an institution, the First City Monument Group from relative obscurity to its present popularity with branches in so many sectors of the economy and in different parts of the globe. Otunba Balogun's special day by sheer providence fell on a Sunday, March 9, 2014-and since he has always believed that, "Christ is the Cornerstone; on Him alone we build", the celebration was to begin from the house of the Lord.

However, the buzz and anticipation of this event which has been one of the hottest dates in the Nigerian social calendar was palpable from the early morning when young associates which included Tunde Sofowora and Kunle Ogunmefun surprised him with a short royal ceremony inside his inspirational and creatively-crafted home in Ikoyi, Lagos. That morning, a gleaming white Rolls Royce Phantom (he has many in his collection but this one was ordered specially to mark this landmark birthday) had been waxed, warmed and ready. This Rolls was extra special because, apart from its special number plate Olori Omoba @80, the head rest of each seat had the inscription of Otunba Balogun's official emblem. Thus, as he came out and took a step towards the car, he was jolted by the sound of a fanfare of drums and the sight of some mounted horses with the riders waving white flags which had his official emblem emblazoned on them. To say he was truly shocked was an understatement, but being a man of regal style, he quickly recovered, thanked all who had planned the surprise with a smile and then, showing that he is a true man of tradition, began to sway to the beat of the drums. After literarily "opening the floor" like we say in Nigeria, he then invited his wife, Olori Adetutu Abimbola Balogun to join him. Arm in arm, they walked back to the centre of the compound and


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...IN THE BEGINNING

Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun’s father at age 55 in 1957

ORIKI Omo Borogun, I’aseso, siwo siwo I’asowo, Bi owo ba r’egun I’ase so, Bi a re egbawa s’owo, bi ole la ri, Omo n’ile nla ti mba ole I’eru, Omo a gun eshin I’osan, gun enia I’oru, Ayo bi eni oba bo, A rin gbede b’eni egbe dun, Egbe o dun, ara ni re, Omo osi I’oye j’oye, O je Balogun tan, o wa je seriki, Omo Balogun Dododawa, Omo arojo j’oye, A dele teji teji, Omo afi aran p ojo; Omo a yi ninu aran bata butu, Omo olowo j’oye meji, O je Awujale tan, O tun je Daagburewe, O je oye, Ki oye wuni ije; Omo Olisa, Ogeru ilu, Oru lamuren ewo I’orun.

His mother, Alhaja Balogun, Iya Suna of Ijebuland at 75 in 1987

LA CELEBRATION SPECTACULAIRE DU 80EME ANNIVERSAIRE D’

OTUNBA MICHAEL SUBOMI BALOGUN

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'était un spectacle pas comme les autres. C’était un vibrant hommage à une personnalité symbolique du monde bancaire au Nigeria, de l’entreprise et de l'excellence, a Otounba Michael Olasubomi Olayiwola Oladimeji Olaonipekun Balogun, un homme de panache, un homme avec un riche pedigree, L’Olori Omo - Oba Akile Ijebu et l’Asiwaju des d’Ijebu chrétiens qui a souffle sa 80eme bougie avec un style majestueux. Connu pour son goût raffiné, l'élégance et la couleur blanche, la célébration était normale pour un homme qui avait passé la plus grande partie de ses années à créer une institution, le First City Monument Group de l'obscurité à sa popularité actuelle avec des branches dans de nombreux secteurs de l'économie et dans différentes parties du globe. La journée spéciale d’Otounba Balogun, par pure providence, est tombée sur un dimanche, le 9 Mars 2014 et comme il a toujours cru que «le Christ est la pierre angulaire ; sur Lui seul nous construisons ", la célébration a commencé dans la maison du Seigneur. Cependant, le buzz et l'anticipation de cette célébration qui a été l'une des événements les plus chauds dans le calendrier social nigérian était palpable dès le matin, lorsque les jeunes

associés qui comprenait Tunde Sofowora et Tunde Ogunmefun l’ont surpris avec une cérémonie royale très courte à intérieur de sa belle maison magnifiquement conçue à Ikoyi, Lagos. Ce matin, une éclatante Rolls Royce Phantom ( il en a beaucoup dans sa collection, mais celle-ci a été spécialement ordonné pour marquer cet anniversaire historique ) avait été lavée a fond, réchauffée et apprêtée. Cette Rolls était très spéciale car en dehors de sa plaque d'immatriculation, chaque dossier du siège avait l'inscription de l'emblème officiel d’Otounba Balogun. Lorsqu’il est sorti et a fait un pas vers la voiture, il a été secoué par le son d'une fanfare de tambours et des chevaux montés avec les coureurs qui agitaient des drapeaux blancs sur lesquels étaient graves son emblème officiel. Dire qu'il a été vraiment choqué était un euphémisme, mais étant un homme de style royal, il s’est vite repris, et a remercié en souriant tous ceux qui avaient prévu cette surprise et, pour montrer qu'il est un vrai homme de tradition, il a commencé à danser au rythme des tambours. Après avoir ouvert la danse comme on le dit au Nigeria, il a ensuite invité sa femme, Olori Adetutu Abimbola Balogun a se joindre à lui. Bras dessus, bras dessous, ils ont 9


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THE EARLY YEARS

The 1948-52 set, Igbobi College, with Otunba Olasubomi Balogun sitting at the extreme right

danced heartily for minutes. This was indeed a dress rehearsal for the fun, excitement and the expression of God's goodness that would unfold that day. Otunba Subomi fondly called the Grand Master of Nigerian Capital & Money Market, like a true blue-blooded royal that he is, was then escorted out of his residence led by the mounted horses. Indeed the whole area stood still as his cortege glided slowly on its way to the famous Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, venue of the Thanksgiving and Choral Communion Service. On arrival in Church, the cortege was met by very influential Nigerians. And welcomed with a praise song by some gaily dressed women led by his Personal Assistant of over 35 years, Mrs. Busola Adekusibe. As he stepped into the bowels of the church hall with his lovely wife, the congregation was on its feet and began singing "Sing Alleluia Forth in Duteous Praise. And with the words "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here this afternoon in a service of Praise and Thanksgiving to celebrate the love and protection of God Almighty on our brother, Otunba (Dr.) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, on the occasion of his 80th birthday " the service began. The lively service was filled with prayers and praises, two of the celebrant's sons, Gboyega and Oladipo took the Bible readings before The Most. Rev. Dr. E. Adebola Ademowo, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Lagos and the Diocesan Bishop of Lagos was invited to deliver the sermon. Dr. Ademowo said that Otunba Subomi was well known in Lagos, Ogun and indeed the world on account of his indelible contribution to the 10

church and the country. He was of the opinion that First City Monument Bank (FCMB), an indigenous bank which was established by the celebrant over 30 years ago has become the cynosure of all eyes, the first among equals because of the culture of excellence that had been ingrained by the Chairman, Otunba Balogun Noting that the celebrant is noble and charitable, the Reverent gentleman stated that Otunba Balogun has service and giving to others in his blood and so he was a good example that should be emulated by others. Describing the celebrant who is the kind of man that inspires confidence and tenacity as meticulous, painstaking, impeccable, hardworking and honest, he said "We need more Subomi Baloguns in this country" Dr. Ademowo likened Otunba Subomi Balogun to John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States of America who confessed openly that the secret of his success was his Christian upbringing. "It is not that Subomi is perfect, no one is. I am not perfect, But his pluses are more than his infinitesimal minuses" He went on to draw a roadmap for the celebrant as he begins a new phase of his life. In the words of Dr. Ademowo "Read your Bible more than ever before. Mark it, learn it, digest it. Look more heavenly because God has stood by with you from Igbobi College till today" He quoted from Heb 11:6 and advised the celebrant to be Christcentred, Spirit-centred and Godcentred. The man of God urged Otunba Balogun to be an encourager and continue to put smiles on people's faces,

marche jusqu’au centre de la piste et ont dansé de bon cœur pendant quelques minutes. Ce fut un avant-gout générale pour le plaisir, l'excitation et l'expression de la bonté de Dieu qui allait se dérouler ce jour-là. Otounba comme un vrai sang bleu royal, a ensuite été escorté hors de sa résidence escorte par les chevaux. En effet toute la zone était immobilelorsque son cortège s’avançait lentement sur la voie de la célèbre église cathédrale du Christ de Marina a Lagos, lieu du service d’actions de grâce et de la Communion de la Chorale. Arrivé à l’église, le cortège a été accueilli par des Nigérians très influents et avec une chanson de louange par certaines femmes fièrement habillées et dirigées par son assistante personnelle de plus de 35 ans, Mme Bukola Adekusibe. Il n’y a que lui et sa charmante épouse qui sont entres dans l'église avec la congrégation qui, debout, a commencé à chanter «Sing Alleluia Forth in Duteous Praise>>. Avec les mots <<chers bien aimes, nous sommes réunis ici cet après-midi dans un service de louange et d’action de grâces pour célébrer l'amour et la protection de Dieu Tout-Puissant envers notre frère, Otounba ( Dr ) Michael Olasubomi Balogun, à l'occasion de son 80e anniversaire>>, le service a commencé. Le service était animé de prières et de louanges ; deux des fils du célébrant, Babajide et Oladimeji ont lu des passages bibliques avant que le Révérend Dr. E. Adebola Ademowo, archevêque de la province ecclésiastique de Lagos et évêque diocésain de Lagos, ne soit invité à

prononcer le sermon. Dr Ademowo a dit qu’Otounba Subomi était bien connu à Lagos, à Ogun et dans le monde entier en raison de sa contribution indélébile à l'église et au pays. Il était d'avis que First City Monument Bank ( FCMB ), une banque indigène qui a été créée par le célébrant il y a plus de 30 ans, est devenue le point de mire de tous les regards, le premier parmi ses pairs en raison de la culture de l'excellence qui a été ancré par le Président , Otounba Balogun. Notant que le célébrant est noble et charitable, le révérant a déclaré qu’ Otounba Balogun a le fait de servir et de donner aux autres dans son sang et qu’il était donc un bon exemple qui devrait être suivi par d' autres. Décrivant le célébrant comme méticuleux, minutieux, impeccable, travailleur et honnête, il a déclaré: « Nous avons besoin de plus de Baloguns Subomi dans ce pays ". Le Dr Ademowo a comparé Otounba Subomi Balogun a John Quincy Adams, le sixième président des États-Unis d'Amérique qui a avoué ouvertement que le secret de son succès est son éducation chrétienne. " Ce n'est pas que Subomi est parfait, loin de la. Je ne suis pas parfait, mais ses avantages sont plus que ses inconvénients infinitésimales ". Il a continué par dessiner une feuille de route pour le célébrant comme il venait de commencer une nouvelle phase de sa vie. Selon les mots du Dr Ademowo <<Lisez votre Bible plus que jamais. Marquez-la, apprenezla, digérez-la. Soyez plus enclins aux choses célestes parce que Dieu s’est tenu a tes cotes a partir du d’ college d’Igbobi Collège jusqu’aujourd'hui>>. Il a cité Hébreux 11:06 et a conseillé le


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Townsend House, Igbobi College, with the 1952 school leavers in black jackets. Otunba Olasubomi Balogun sitting at the extreme right, next to the principal Rev. R.B Parker

noting that there are many Nigerians that are egocentric. But the celebrant should ensure that his life will make a difference in the lives of others. And also to keep abreast with the younger generation by being technology savvy. Quoting Isaiah 40:31, he advised the celebrant to do good to others and trust the Lord absolutely. According to the Preacher "If you put your trust in God, you will not be put to shame, enemies will not have dominion over you. There may be ups and downs. Sometimes it may be cloudy, tough, turbulent and tempestuous but God will make it work for you own good. There is always light and hope with God" The sermon over, there was communion and also a special thanksgiving session for the celebrant, family and friends-and the Otunba danced without any inhibitions to the delight of all the first-rate guests which included two former Heads of State: General Yakubu Gowon and Chief Ernest Shonekan, two top-rate monarchs, the Alake of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo and the Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona and countless captains of industry. Next stop for the powerful Subomi Balogun birthday train was a grand reception which was to be held at a superbly-decorated marque inside the Tafawa Balewa Square, Tinubu, Lagos. The reception venue had a happy and glorious. The decor handled by Tunde Sofowora's Red Ribbon Limited was upscale: The venue was bedecked with chandeliers, scented candles, fresh flower arrangements and enhanced with a red-carpet bridge which was surrounded with an aquarium complete with life gold

fishes. It was so lovely to behold. What of the well-lit Balogun Hall of Frames, where memorable family pictures were displayed for the pleasure of guests as they walked into the intimidating hall? That too, was captivating. Special care was also taken to give the VVIP seating area a touch of class, with spotless white chairs, fresh flowers and an unmatchable array. Thus, guests' had all their senses filled with pleasure as they were welcome by courteous hostesses into the venue. Of course, to ensure that the event was attended by only guests with special invitations, KSquared Security personnel were at their professional best. From top monarchs including the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, the Ayangburen of Ikorodu, The Osile of Oke-Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuosho, to very senior executives in the private and public sectors including Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Wale Tinubu, Abdulsamad Rabiu, everyone was sitting patiently when the Man of the day, cruised into the TBS escorted regally by the mounted horses. The atmosphere was amazing and everyone was in good spirit as the reception was opened with prayers by Rev. Olu Odejimi after which the, Dayo Benjamin-Lawuyi and the celebrant's eldest son, Bolaji Balogun took charge as Compere and MC in charge of introductions respectively. In his opening remarks, Bolaji Balogun stated, "As a family, we are humbled by the remarkable show of goodwill that we are seeing here today. Without further ado as this is not the day for long speeches, allow me make

célébrant à se centrer sur le Christ, sur l'Esprit Saint et sur Dieu. L'homme de Dieu a exhorté Otounba Balogun être un motivateur et a continuer à mettre des sourires sur les visages des gens, tout en notant qu'il y a beaucoup de Nigérians qui sont égocentriques. Mais le célébrant doit s'assurer que sa vie fasse une différence dans la vie des autres et aussi d’être à l’écoute de la jeune génération en étant au parfum de la technologie. Citant Isaïe 40:31, il a conseillé le célébrant à faire du bien aux autres et a avoir une confiance totale au Seigneur. Selon le prédicateur <<si vous mettez votre confiance en Dieu, vous ne serez pas déçu et vos ennemis n'auront pas de pouvoir sur vous. Il peut y avoir des hauts et des bas. Parfois, il peut être avoir des moments difficiles, turbulents et orageux mais dieu fera que tout cela concourt a votre bien. il y a toujours de la lumière et de l'espoir avec Dieu>>. Le sermon terminé, il y a eu la communion ainsi qu’une session spéciale d’actions de grâce pour le célébrant, la famille et les amis. Les Otounba ont dansé sans retenue au plaisir de tous les invités de premier ordre qui comprenaient deux anciens chefs d' Etat : le Général Yakubu Gowon et le chef Ernest Shonekan, deux grands monarques, l’Alake d’Egbaland, l’Oba Adedotun Gbadebo et l’Awujale d’Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona et d'innombrables grandes personnalités de l’industrie. La prochaine étape de la celebration de l’anniversaire de Subomi Balogun a été une grande réception qui devait se tenir à un endroit superbement décoré à l'intérieur de la Place Tafawa Balewa a Tinubu, Lagos.

La salle de réception était des plus coquets et glorieux. Le décor pris charge par Tunde Sofowora de Red Ribbon Limited était haut de gamme : Le site a été orné de lustres, de bougies parfumées, de fleurs fraîches bien arrangées et le tout rehausse avec un pont sur le tapis rouge qui était entouré d'un aquarium avec des poissons dorés vivants. C'était très agréable à voir. Qu’en est-il des Balogun Hall of Frames bien éclairés, où des photos de famille mémorables ont été affichées pour le plaisir des invités lorsqu’ils se déplaçaient dans la salle ? Cela aussi, a été captivante. Une attention particulière a également été prise pour donner une touche de classe au coin VIP, avec des chaises blanches impeccables, des fleurs fraîches et une gamme incomparable de bougies. Ainsi, les invités avaient du baume dans le cœur lorsqu’ils étaient accueillis dans la salle par des hôtesses courtoises. Et pour faire en sorte que l’événement ne comprenne uniquement que les invites avec des invitations spéciales, le personnel de KSquare Security ont assuré le meilleur de leur profession. Des grands monarques à savoir l'Oba de Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akinolu, l’Ayangburen d’Ikorodu , L’Osile de Oke - Ona Egba, Oba Adedapo Tejuosho, aux très hauts dirigeants dans les secteurs privés et publics, y compris Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Wale Tinubu, Abdulsamad Rabiu, tout le monde était assis patiemment lorsque l' homme de la journée, a fait son entrée a TBS, royalement escorté par ses chevaux. L'atmosphère était incroyable et tout le monde était dans un bon esprit à l’ouverture de la réception avec des prières par le Rev Olu Odejimi après 11


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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun with his father when he was leaving for the United Kingdom in 1956

a few introductions. I am very delighted to welcome His Excellency, General Yakubu Gowon, and his lovely wife, Mrs. Victoria Gowon. You are most welcome. I am also delighted to welcome Chief Ernest and Mrs. Margaret Shonekan-you are most welcome. I am delighted also to welcome Former Vice President of the nation, Dr. Alex Ekwueme and his lovely wife. Please permit me to make a few closer-to-home introductions. If the Balogun family is having a ceremony and Bashorun Kola Daisi and his wife are missing, then truly, that ceremony can never be complete. I am delighted to welcome both of them. "We also have with us, fondly referred to as my dad’s elder brother, who had the good fortune of celebrating his own 90th birthday recently, and we are told in church today that he is extremely technologycompliant, Chief Christopher Ogunbanjo. You are very welcome sir. May I also introduce the immediate past Governor of Ogun State, His Excellency, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and his wife, Yeye Funke Daniel. We also have here his own predecessor as Governor of Ogun State, Aremo Olusegun Osoba and his lovely wife, Beere Derin Osoba. Ladies and gentlemen, it is not a day for long speeches. Let me bring the introductions to a short close at this point. The other distinguished invited guests here, we will continue to acknowledge you as the day goes on. Otunba Subomi Balogun whose testimony and guiding principle as noted in his book, The Financial Monument built by God is “I have learnt considerable lessons in life and I have gone through the crucible of a 12

chastening experience! With the support of providence I have renewed strength like an eagle, and I am in a position to soar to whatever level my God will take me. I will testify that I have discovered my God, the Almighty, the only one who can make and unmake, the only wise God. Although, I was thoroughly shaken, I was not uprooted and my head was bowed but not crushed. In spite of all these, the Almighty God gave us the grace to reorganize and restructure the group in order to forge ahead.” was the cynosure of all eyes as guests such as the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola came over to wish him well and pay homage to this icon, colossus and titan of our time. The Balogun Family was at its hospitable best throughout the reception. Full course, meals fit for royals were served from all corners of the hall, drinks including vintage wines and upscale champagnes flowed freely-and for lovers of natural juices and canapes, they were aplenty. Little wonder that anywhere one looked, all you could find were cheerful, smiling faces. Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, CON, The Olotu of Ijebuland, a long time friend of the celebrant was the Chairman of the Day and he did not waste words at all, extolling the virtues of the celebrant. “It gives me great pleasure to be part of this celebration of Subomi’s 80th birthday. “We must thank God for the opportunity given him to attain the age of 80 years; thus joining the ranks of octogenarians in excellent and robust health. I know I am not proposing a toast to this distinguished Nigerian, but

quoi l'animateur, Dayo Benjamin Laniyi ainsi que le fils aîné du célébrant, Bolaji Balogun se sont relayés comme Compère et MC en charge de l'introduction. Dans ses remarques liminaires, Bolaji Balogun a déclaré: « En tant que famille, nous sommes très touchés par le spectacle remarquable de bonne volonté que nous voyons aujourd'hui. Sans plus tarder, car ce n'est pas le jour pour de longs discours, permettez- moi de faire quelques présentations. Je suis très heureux d'accueillir son Excellence, le Général Yakubu Gowon, et sa charmante épouse, Mme Victoria Gowon. Vous êtes les bienvenus. Je suis également très heureux d'accueillir le chef Ernest et Mme Margaret Shonekan - . . . vous êtes les bienvenus, je suis également ravi d'accueillir l'ancien vice-président de la nation, le Dr Alex Ekwueme et sa charmante épouse. S'il vous plaît permettez-moi de faire quelques introductions relatives à la maison. Si la famille Balogun tient une cérémonie et que Bashorun Kola Daisi et sa femme sont manquants, alors vraiment, cette cérémonie ne peut pas être complète. je suis ravi d'accueillir les deux. «Nous avons également avec nous, celui qu’on appelle affectueusement le frère aîné de mon père, qui a eu la chance de célébrer son 90e anniversaire récemment, et on nous a dit aujourd'hui dans l'église qu'il est extrêmement au parfum de la technologie, le chef Christopher Ogunbanjo. Monsieur, j vous souhaite la bienvenue. Je vous présente aussi le gouverneur sortant de l'Etat d'Ogun, son Excellence, Otunba Gbenga Daniel et sa femme Yéyé Funke Daniel. Nous avons également ici son

prédécesseur au poste de gouverneur de l'Etat d'Ogun, Olusegun Aremo Osoba et sa charmante épouse, Beere Derin Osoba. Mesdames et Messieurs, ce n'est pas un jour pour de longs discours. Permettez-moi de mettre fin aux présentations. En ce qui concerne les autres invités distingués ici presents, nous les présenteront pendant le déroulement de la cérémonie. Otounba Subomi Balogun dont le témoignage et le principe directeur comme indiqué dans son livre, Le Monument financier construit par Dieu est, et qui y a stipulé «J'ai appris des leçons importantes dans la vie et je suis passé par le creuset d'une expérience de châtiment ! Avec le soutien de la providence j'ai renouvelé la force comme un aigle, et je suis en mesure de m'élever à ‘importe quel niveau que mon Dieu m’amènera. Je vais témoigner que j'ai découvert mon Dieu, le Tout-Puissant, le seul qui peut faire et défaire, le seul Dieu. Quand bien même j’ai été secoue, je n'ai pas été déraciné ; ma tête était penchée mais pas écrasée. En dépit de tout cela, le Dieu Tout-Puissant nous a donné la grâce de réorganiser et de restructurer le groupe afin d’aller de l'avant>> était le point de mire de tous les regards et des invités tels que le gouverneur de l'Etat de Lagos, Babatunde Raji Fashola sont venus lui souhaiter bonne chance et de rendre hommage à cette icône, ce colosse et titan de notre temps. La famille Balogun était à son meilleur en hospitalité à la réception. Des plats complets, des repas digne d’une famille royale ont été servis à tous les coins de la salle ; des boissons, du vins et des champagne haut de gamme coulaient librement et


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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun on his graduation at London School of Economics in 1959

let me say a few words about him and about my special relationship with him and his family. Otunba Subomi Balogun was born in Ijebu Ode. He attended Igbobi College which I also attended from 1938 to 1941. He read Law in London School of Economics and was employed as Principal Counsel with the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB) in Lagos where I had a close relationship with him as the retained External Solicitor. In fact, I rated him among all the other solicitors invited for the interview and I did not make any wuru wuru - he was simply the best. Give him a round of applause. " He started the first fully privatelyowned Nigerian merchant bank, First City Merchant Bank Plc. in 1982. He has made great success of FCMB, which is now First City Monument Bank. Undoubtedly, he is very intelligent-an entrepreneur who has the Midas touch. He is a good Christian who has supported financially, the Anglican Communion, Cathedral Church in Lagos and Ijebu Ode and other churches. " He is a strong believer in the power of prayer. From time to time, he says prayers for me his elder brother. He is a prayer warrior. He is a philanthropist par excellence. Otunba Subomi has a special place in my heart. I am his brother. I was appointed his mentor by his late mother, Alhaja Balogun, Iya Suna of Ijebuland. For those who know this, she said to me, he is my younger one and I, his elder brother. She handed him over to me to be his mentor. And I have never hesitated in telling him what is right and what he must do. I congratulate you.

"In this life, everyone has one travail or the other. You have had your travails but your pluses far outweigh your minuses. I will tell you one particular thing which I will never forget. When I was attacked in 1999, Subomi came with me from St. Nicholas Hospital and accompanied me to the airport. He is the one who arranged the AIICO insurance which myself and Chief Awolowo used… And of course, I was operated upon for five and a half hours in Wellington Hospital in London. And of course, the lesson which I learnt was that everybody has an allotted time to spend in this world, when your time has not come, the angels of Lucifer cannot take you. "Subomi, God will bless you. And I say to you that you will celebrate 85, 90, 95, 100 but let me warn you that it is not easy. When I wake up in the morning now, I set a CD on which will bid me good morning for 7.30am. I am not an early riser. I used to go to Ijebu with my late wife on Fridays but these days it is really difficult; by the time I get there, I have to take 75mg of aspirin. Subomi, God will bless you and God will make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. I salute all of you and I appreciate all of you." The Chairman was greeted with a resounding round of applause and warm handshakes from those on the top table Next to speak was the host Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, the Governor of Lagos State. He revealed his intimate and long-standing family ties with the Baloguns. "I am delighted to be here and I come here not only officially, but

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun on being called to the English Bar in 1959

pour les amateurs de jus de fruits naturels et de canapés, ceux-ci étaient nombreux. Pas étonnant que partout où l'on regardait, on ne voyait que des visages souriants. Le chef Chris Ogunbanjo, CON, L’Olotu d’Ijebuland, un ami de longue date du célébrant, était le Président de la cérémonie et il n'a pas été avare de mots pour faire vanter les vertus du célébrant. En ses mots <<le célébrant distingué, Michael Balogun, Olori omoba Akile - Ijebu et l’Asiwaju des chrétiens d’Ijebu; remercions Le Seigneur pour ce jour et pour l'occasion de voir encore un autre jour ; je suis content d’avoir part a cette célébration du 80e anniversaire de Subomi. " Nous devons remercier Dieu pour l’opportunité qui lui est donnée d'atteindre l'âge de 80 ans; rejoignant ainsi les rangs des octogénaires en excellente et robuste santé ; je sais que je ne pas en train de proposer un toast en l’honneur de ce nigérian distingué, mais permettez-moi de dire quelques mots sur lui et sur la relation spéciale qui existe entre sa famille et moi. Otounba Subomi Balogun est né à Ijebu Ode. Il a fréquenté le Collège d’Igbobi que j'ai également fréquenté en 1938-1941. Il a étudié le droit à la London School of Economics et a travaille à titre de conseiller principal pour la Banque nigériane pour le développement industriel ( NIDB ) à Lagos, où j'ai eu une relation étroite avec lui en tant que solliciteur externe ; je l'ai classé parmi tous les autres avocats invités pour l'interview et je n'ai pas perdu du temps. il était tout simplement le meilleur. Faites un ban en son honneur. Il a commencé la première banque d'affaires nigériane entièrement privée, la First City Merchant Bank Plc en

1982, il a fait de FCMB un grand succès, qui est maintenant First City Monument Bank. A ne pas en douter, il est très intelligent - . . Un entrepreneur qui a la touche de Midas. C’est un bon chrétien qui a soutenu financièrement l’Anglican Communion, et le Cathedral Church de Lagos ainsi que d’autres églises. <<C’est un fervent partisan de la puissance de la prière. De temps en temps, il dit des prières pour moi son frère aîné. C'est un guerrier de la prière. C'est un philanthrope par excellence. Otounba Subomi a une place spéciale dans mon cœur. Je suis son frère. j'ai été nommé par son mentor sa défunte mère, Alhaja Balogun, Iya Suna d’Ijebuland. Pour ceux qui le savent, elle m’a dit, il est mon cadet et moi, son frère aîné. Elle l’a remis entre mes mains pour être son mentor. Et je n'ai jamais hésité à lui dire ce qui est juste et ce qu'il doit faire. je vous félicite. <<Dans cette vie, tout le monde a un travail ou un autre. Vous avez eu vos déboires mais vos avantages l'emportent largement sur les inconvénients. Je vais vous dire une chose en particulier que je n'oublierai jamais. Quand j'ai été attaqué en 1999, Subomi venu avec moi de SaintNicolas et m'a accompagné à l’aéroport. C'est lui qui a organisé l’assurance AIICO que Chief Awolowo et moi avions utilisée ... et bien sûr, j'ai été opéré pendant cinq heures et demie au Wellington Hôpital au sud de Londres. La leçon que j'ai apprise est que tout le monde a un temps imparti pour vivre dans ce monde, quand votre temps n'est pas venu, les anges de Lucifer ne peuvent pas vous prendre. " Subomi, Dieu vous bénira. Et je vous dis que vous allez célébrer 85, 90, 95, 100, mais laissez-moi vous dire que 13


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“My late father taught me that, if one got to the stage of being successful and wealthy, one had a corresponding duty of not enjoying the fruits of these endowments alone, but should try to benefit those around him

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, relishing in the family tradition of riding a horse during his father’s burial. A proud scion, one of the earliest and distinguished Baloguns of Ijebu Ode

personally, because the relationship between the Baloguns and us is one that predates even my own birth. I know that the celebrant and my father were childhood friends and it is a relationship that endured till the day his friend, my dad, passed on. But somehow, there has also been a bond between Bolaji, Ladi and I. And we have found ourselves, so to speak, in a generational relationship. On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I officially wish the celebrant a very happy birthday, many happy returns as much as the Chairman of the occasion, a very noble Nigerian, Chief Ogunbanjo has wished him. "And as I have become wont to say, whatever he wants from God, surely, God will answer. I urge him to enjoy this day as much as he can because it will be an understatement to suggest that he has earned it. And he has really earned this day. He has paid his dues. He has built institutions. He has built men and women who have succeeded him. And I am sure that as he nears 90,…he will look back and see the successes that God has wrought through him and I know that it will continue to give him joy and happiness. God bless you”. Governor Ibikunle Amosun, the Governor of Otunba Subomi Balogun's homestead, Ogun State was next to take the microphone. "Let me first congratulate Otunba Subomi Balogun and mama, because when you turn 80, you are our baba. When you see Otunba Olasubomi Balogun in a traditional etu, shorty before being installed as the 14

Otunba. This is the last time he wore a non- white traditional outfit

us, you will say, no, we are brothers, sir, you are not our brother, you are our father. Congratulations on behalf of myself and my wife and on behalf of the good people of Ogun State. We are here to celebrate one of our own, a quintessential lawyer, a man of excellence, a colourful man-not just being colourful for nothing-a noble man, a man that is truly of Ogun standard. Yes, he is a proud son of Ogun State in whom we are well pleased. And I thank God for your lifecongratulations sir. And all that you have achieved, you could not have achieved alone; of course it is the grace of God. And I want to congratulate mummy, the celebrant, because she is the celebrant too. I congratulate all the children, every one of you should be happy for him today. You who have celebrated 80 today, you will celebrate 90 and your 100th. And I want to believe that when you’re celebrating your 100, you will be just as strong as you are now at 80. Just as Baba Ogunbanjo is. That is our prayer for you. Once again, congratulations sir, we wish you many happy returns of today". Soon it was time for the cutting of the cake. Like everything associated with Otunba Subomi Balogun, the array of cakes to be cut were first-rate and extra-ordinary. One was moulded to look exactly like the Rolls Royce Phantom that he was chauffeured in to the occasion complete with all the special number plates. The other was an icon of his Ikoyi, home. Everyone acknowledged that these cakes, created by Dr. Tayo Adeniji, were amazing. To officiate the cake-cutting ceremony, the celebrant chose long-time friend, General Yakubu Gowon who invited the celebrant's immediate family


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“I know him to be an astute entrepreneur. He has tremendous and prodigious initiative and I believe that he is endowed with ideas about entrepreneurship. He is highly intelligent, very deep thinking and a hard worker. I also believe that he has a lot of integrity, personal self-respect and pride. Thank God for the insight with which he is endowed, and I commend the contributions he has made to the growth and development of Nigeria, particularly the economy and the financial sector. -Bashorun Kola Daisi Otunba Olasubomi Balogun as the Company Secretary in NDB

Family picture taken in London in 1959 to mark the departure of Chief (Mrs.) Ajayi. On the extreme right is Otunba Olasubomi Balogun and on the extreme left, Chief Bayo Kuku

1974. At the completion meeting for the sale of shares of Daliy Time. Otunba Olasubomi Balogun the Director of ICON Securities, the issuing House and Alhaji Babatunde Jose, Chairman and Managing Director of Daily Times

1974. At the completion board meeting of Mobil Issue, the Company Secretary, Bayo Kuku (standing) read the verification question. Sitting to his left is Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, Chairman of Issuing House

ce n'est pas facile. Quand je me réveille les matin maintenant, je mets un CD qui me dit bonjour à 07:30 car je ne suis pas un lève-tôt ; je l'habitude d'aller à Ijebu avec ma feue épouse les vendredis, mais de nos jours cela devient très difficile ; . . lorsque j’arrive là-bas, je dois prendre 75mg d'aspirine. Subomi, que Dieu vous bénisse et que Dieu fasse resplendir son visage sur vous et vous donne la paix. Je salue chacun de vous et je vous remercie tous>>. Le président a été salué par des applaudissements retentissant et des poignées de main de la part des conviés à la table. L'orateur suivant était le gouverneur hôte, M. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, gouverneur de l'Etat de Lagos. Il a révélé ses liens intimes et de longue date avec la famille Baloguns. «Je suis ravi d'être ici et je viens non seulement ici officiellement, mais personnellement, parce que la relation entre les Baloguns et nous est même antérieure à ma propre naissance. Je sais que le célébrant et mon père étaient des amis d'enfance et c'est un relation qui perdure jusqu'à ce jour. Mais d’une certaine manière, il y a également un lien entre Bolaji, Ladi et moi. Et nous nous sommes trouvés, pour ainsi dire, dans une relation intergénérationnelle. Au nom du gouvernement et du peuple de l'Etat de Lagos, je souhaite officiellement le célébrant un très joyeux anniversaire, je souhaite un bon retour au président de la cérémonie, un très noble nigérian, chef Ogunbanjo. " Et comme j’ai coutume de le dire, tout ce qu'il demandera a Dieu, sans aucun doute, Dieu l’exaucera. Je l'invite à profiter de cette journée autant qu'il le peut, car ce sera peu de dire qu’il l’a gagné. Il a vraiment mérité ce jour. il a payé ses redevances. Il a créé des institutions. il a bâti des hommes et des femmes qui lui ont succédé et je suis sûr que, lorsqu’il s’approchera des 90 ans, ... il regardera en arrière et verra les succès que Dieu a forgés a travers lui et je sais que cela continuera à lui donner de la joie et du bonheur. Dieu vous bénisse. Le Gouverneur Ibikunle Amosun, gouverneur de la ferme d’Otounba Subomi Balogun de l'Etat d'Ogun était le prochain à prendre le micro. " Permettez-moi d'abord de féliciter Otounba Subomi Balogun et maman, parce que quand vous avez 80, vous devenez notre baba. Lorsque vous nous voyez, vous direz, non, nous sommes frères ; non monsieur, vous n'êtes pas notre

frère mais notre père . . Félicitations au nom de ma femme et moi et au nom des bonnes gens de l'État d'Ogun. Nous sommes ici pour célébrer un des nôtres - un avocat par excellence, un homme d’excellence, un homme de plusieurs facettes - un homme noble, un homme qui est vraiment à la norme d’Ogun. Oui, c’est un fils de l'Etat d'Ogun de qui nous somme très fiers et je remercie Dieu pour sa vie. Félicitations monsieur. Tout ce que vous avez réalisé, vous n’auriez pas pu le réaliser tout seul ; c'est bien sûr par la grâce de Dieu et je tiens à féliciter Maman, parce que c’est aussi sa fête. Je tiens à féliciter tous les enfants, chacun de vous doit être contents de lui. Vous qui célébrez vos 80ans aujourd'hui, vous fêterez votre 90 et 100 ans. Je veux croire que quand vous célébrerez vos 100, vous serez tout aussi fort que vous l’êtes maintenant à 80 ans. Tout comme Baba Ogunbanjo. C'est notre prière pour vous. Encore une fois, félicitations monsieur, nous vous souhaitons beaucoup de bonheur>>. Ce bientôt fut le moment pour la coupure du gâteau. Comme tout ce qui est associé à Otounba Subomi Balogun, la gamme de gâteaux à découper était de premier ordre et extraordinaire. L'un a été moulé pour ressembler exactement à la Rolls Royce Phantom dont il était le chauffeur avec toutes les spéciales plaques d'immatriculation. L'autre était une icône de sa maison d’Ikoyi. Tout le monde a reconnu que ces gâteaux, faits par le Dr Tayo Adeniji, étaient incroyables. Pour la coupure du gâteau, le célébrant a choisi son ami de longue date, le général Yakubu Gowon, qui a invité la famille immédiate et des invités spéciaux du célébrant pour effectuer cette coupure. Cela a dû être un moment très émouvant pour Otounba Subomi lorsque ses petitsenfants se sont tenus autour de lui pour exprimer leur amour à un homme qu'ils appellent tous "Le meilleur grand-père dans le monde. Le toast a été proposé par Bashorun Kolawole Akanbi Daisi, CON. Il a commencé ainsi : «Je ne propose pas seulement un toast car je vais aussi rendre mon propre hommage car il a été convenu de proposer des toasts au cours de la cérémonie. L'éditeur et coordinateur, Bolaji Balogun a personnellement exigé pour que j’y contribue aussi. J’avais refusé, sachant que l'écriture d'un hommage à Subomi reviendrait à composer une biographie sur lui avec une mini- autobiographie sur moi. A chaque événement, je sais que j’aurai a assumer une tache. Mesdames et Messieurs, s'il vous plaît prêtez vos oreilles ». Décrivant son ami comme une 15


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Otunba & his younger sister, Chief (Mrs.) Olaronke Atere with their mother just before she died at 87

and special guests to perform this ceremony. It must have been a very moving moment for Otunba Subomi as his grandchildren all encircled him and expressed their love to a man they have all termed "The Best Grand Dad in the world". The toast was proposed by the celebrant’s close friend, Bashorun Kolawole Akanbi Daisi, CON. He began thus " I am not just going to propose a toast, I am also going to contribute my own tribute because it was a part of the preparations for this celebrations to compile a group of toasts. The Editor and coordinator, Bolaji Balogun had requested personally for my own contribution. I had declined, knowing that writing a tribute to Subomi would be tantamount to composing a combined biography on him with a mini autobiography on me. In any event, I knew I was going to be performing a relative assignment on this occasion. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, please lend me your ears". Describing his friend as an epitome of excellence, an exemplary husband and a philanthropist par excellence, Bashorun Kola-Daisi then invited all to rise and in unison to raise a toast to a remarkable Nigerian and a worthy citizen of the world. When it was time to say thank you, Otunba Subomi Balogun was so overwhelmed with joy that he was on his feet for many minutes. "My distinguished Chairman, my dear egbon, Chief Christopher Oladipo Ogunbanjo, the Olootu of Ijebu – my mentor, my guide and my senior brother, acknowledged by my late mother in her dying days. " In fact, a few weeks before she died, she handed me over to Chief Chris Oladipo Ogunbanjo, saying, “This is your young brother. Only God knows when he will call me but please take care of him.” I can testify that Chief Ogunbanjo has not failed in this duty. "The Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and his dear wife. If anyone can prove to me that he can perform the duty that I have always given him at all my ceremonies better, I will bet my last penny. General Gowon and I were students in the United Kingdom. He was in Sandhurst and I was at the London School of Economics and we were living at No.1 Anne's Crescent, the British Council Hostel. We 16

The two women who saw it all from the beginning. Otunba’s then young mother & his younger sister, Chief Mrs. Olaronke Atere

had something in common, every Sunday we went to Church, St. Paul's Brompton and we developed a camaraderie, a togetherness for Jesus which we continued in Nigeria. " When he was Head of State, my wife and I were regular on his list of guests to attend services at the Dodan Barracks where he was staying. We later discovered that we were born in the same year and our friendship gelled even more. Even at my 60th, I invited him, my 70th, he was there, my 75th, he officiated the cutting of the cake and now my 80th, it was almost automatic. "His dear wife, is a darling to my wife and I. In my small Chapel at the Olori Omo-Oba Place, we usually invite close friends to worship with us, General

Gowon is a regular member of the small group of Christ For the World as I call it. I also refer to it as The Chapel of Reaffirmation of our Faith to our God. I have found so much in General Gowon that I can emulate. I can say without any gainsaying that he is the only former Head of State that no one has got anything to say against in this country. He spends more of his time preaching peace and unity. Jack, I am delighted having you and your dear wife here. "My other distinguished friends around this table, I like to thank you for your support and patience. When I had my 75th birthday it was large but this one is double that, initially we had challenges with sitting arrangement, I am glad everyone is comfortable now. "There is a traditional ruler here that is close to my


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...A WIFE LIKE NO OTHER

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun & his inseparable companion, Olori Abimbola Adetutu at the miniature city, Madurodam in Holland

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun & his inseparable companion, Olori Abimbola Adetutu on holiday in Acropolis, Athens

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun & his inseparable companion, Olori Abimbola Adetutu at a formal Dinner event

17


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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun and his wife at the send-off party from NIDB in 1977

“There is no difficulty which industry, prayers and perseverance cannot overcome” “Even when the less faithful would believe that prospects are bleak, my prayers and my strong faith have always shown me bright light at the end of the tunnel” heart, I am happy he agreed to stay till the end. My in-law, Ide Ahaba of Asaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu, I greet you. I will rather call him my brother because we knew ourselves over 50 years ago before our children decided to go after each other. If I have to mention everybody here, Erelu Dosunmu, Abah (Folawiyo) we will not leave here. But I have to thank my aburo, Alhaja Sherifat Abike Daisi, she has made my day. "I do not think this celebration would have been complete without her. I am so overwhelmed by the awesome power of God who has sustained me through all the tribulations and trials of this life to the extent that I can push my chest forward, and say He has been wonderful. All I want to do now is to give thanks. I said in one of the interviews I granted that I am no longer looking for anything in life unless the Almighty God in His mercy can add to the bounteous blessing He had already given me. I have dedicated the rest of my life to serve mankind. To be kind to the less-privileged and to give more to other people than myself. To commit myself totally to serving my God. To commit myself to making this life a better place. This is my objective in life. "I started giving back in a different way and it has crystallized into many 18

benefactions. But the one that is closest to my heart is child care. The welfare and treatment of all the diseases that affect our children. In the last 15-20 years, I have made up my mind to devote a good portion of what the good Lord had given me towards the betterment of Children. I have sworn that no child in Nigeria will die of any curable disease. I have sworn that if I have the funds, I will devote about 75 per cent of it to the healthcare, welfare and survival of these children. "I started every adopting, restructuring and perpetually giving N10m b-monthly to the Children's Ward in University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan which has now been named after me, The Otunba Tunwase Children's Hospital. It is about the best organized Ward in the UCH. When my people in Ijebu said I have kept doing things outside, I had to listen to them. I went and built a 40-bed, airconditioned, totally self-sufficient hospital for children. " At my 60th birthday, because the Naira was devalued and there was a serious haemorrhage on the value of the Naira, the project stalled but I spoke to my God that I will do it, and it took me nearly 10 years to do it. When I was celebrating my 70th birthday, I was able to take everybody including the then

incarnation de l’excellence, un mari exemplaire et un philanthrope par excellence, Bashorun Kola- Daisi a ensuite invité tout le monde à se lever pour porter un toast à un Nigérian remarquable et un digne citoyen du monde. Quand il était temps de dire merci, Otounba Subomi Balogun était tellement ému qu'il fut sur ses pieds pendant plusieurs minutes. " Mon président distingué, mon cher egbon, chef Christopher Oladipo Ogunbanjo, l’Olootu d’Ijebu - mon mentor, mon guide et mon frère aîné, reconnu par ma mère vers la fin de ses jours. En fait, quelques semaines avant sa mort, elle m'a remis au chef Chris Oladipo Ogunbanjo, en disant: " C'est ton jeune frère. Dieu seul sait quand Il va me rappeler à Lui, mais s'il te plaît prends soin de lui’’. Je peux témoigner que chef Ogunbanjo n'a pas manqué à ce devoir. " L'ex- chef de l’Etat, le général Yakubu Gowon et sa chère épouse. Si quelqu'un peut me prouver qu'il peut mieux accomplir le devoir que je l'ai toujours donné à tous mes cérémonies, je parie mon dernier sou. Général Gowon et moi étaient des étudiants au Royaume-Uni. Il était à Sandhurst tandis que j'étais à la London School of Economics ; nous vivions au British Council Hoste, au No.1 Anne's Crescent. Nous avions quelque chose en commun ; chaque dimanche, nous allions à l'église St . Brompton Paul et nous avions développé une camaraderie, une solidarité pour Jésus que nous avons continué au Nigeria. "Quand il était chef de l’Etat, ma femme et moi étions régulièrement sur sa liste d'invités pour assister à des services à la caserne de Dodan où il était habitait. Nous avons découvert plus tard que nous sommes nés dans la même année et notre amitié s’est

encore plus solidifiée. De plus, à mes 60ans, je l'ai invité ; lors de mes 70 ans il était aussi présent. Pendant mes 75 ans il a officié la coupure du gâteau et maintenant a mon 80e anniversaire, c’était presque automatique. " Sa chère épouse est le chouchou de ma femme et moi. Dans ma petite chapelle à Olori omoba Place, nous invitons souvent des amis proches pour adorer avec nous et le général Gowon est un membre régulier du petit groupe de Christ Pour Le Monde comme je l'appelle. J'ai trouvé tellement de choses chez le Général Gowon que je peux imiter. Il passe le plus de son temps à prêcher la paix et l'unité. Jack, je suis très heureux que vous et votre chère épouse soyez ici. "Mes autres amis distingués autour de cette table, je tiens à vous remercier pour votre soutien et votre patience. La cérémonie de mes 75 ans était grandiose mais celle-ci l’est encore plus. Au début nous avons eu des problèmes pour les places assises, mais je suis content car tout le monde est confortablement assis. " Il y a un chef traditionnel ici qui me tient à cœur, je suis heureux qu'il accepte de rester jusqu'à la fin. Mon beau-frère, Ide Ahaba d’Asaba , chef Sunny Odogwu, je vous salue. Je vais plutôt l'appeler mon frère parce que nous nous connaissons depuis 50 ans, avant même que nos enfants ne décident d’aller l’un a l’autre. Si je dois mentionner tout le monde ici, Erelu Dosunmu, Abah ( Folawiyo ), nous ne quitterons pas ici. Mais je dois remercier mon aburo, Alhaja Sherifat Abike daisi, elle a fait ma journée. «Je ne pense pas que cette célébration aurait été complète sans elle. Je suis tellement submergé par la puissance impressionnante de Dieu qui


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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Until I have excelled and I have achieved the best, I would not be satisfiedâ&#x20AC;?

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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun addressing members at the first Board meeting of FCMB

Board of Directors of FCMB PLC in the early days with the Company Secretary, Ms. Molokwu standing in the middle

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Love so amazing, love so divine

Inseparable companions

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President, and the then Governor of Ogun State there to show what at that time looked gargantuan. I had spent nearly N2billion of my own at that time. But what was unique about it was that I was bent on sustaining the culture of excellence. I can say it is a world class children's hospital for treatment, teaching and research. As at today, the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre has cost me about N4billion. "I am involved in so many other benefactions, and I now have what you can call donor fatigue. So, I had to approach the then Provost, Prof. Adenike Grange, that instead of N10m, I would only be paying N7.5m and six months later, I said it will only be N5m, that, I have been doing that now for some years. "I have a lot of benefactions. I was embarrassed when the Archbishop of Lagos announced what I had done in the House of God. Not only in the Anglican Communion but I have been doing things in the entire Christian world. I was involved in the setting up of some Dioceses in the North, I have also helped some Pentecostals to build their churches. And my friend, Evang. Ebenezer Obey reminded me that when he was going to be an Evangelist, I was one of the people who encouraged him to come and address a congregation in my House in Ijebu. That has been my life and that takes a heavy toll. As a first-rater, I would not want to do anything sub-standard. So, one day I called my wife, that I am getting old that I am not a Medical person, whatever resources I have, I will give, but I will not have the time again, let me give the institution away lock, stock and barrel to competent hands. "We first thought of giving it to the government, we said no, that the standard may be lowered, we thought of a state university, I said no. I have decided to give the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre to the doyen university, the University of Ibadan as a gift, lock, stock and barrel, everything. " The only thing I want is that they should kindly retain the name, but the 50 Acre land, all the developments there, the extra-ordinary furniture, the state-of-the-art equipment, the facilities. We have an auditorium to the capacity of a thousand and we have residential accommodation for Post-Graduate students. We have a clinical section which is one of the best equipped in this country, for those of you who are familiar with neo-natals, pre-mature babies, we have 10 incubators in that place I am not sure how many teaching hospitals in Nigeria have such a number. We have two surgical theatres with observatory, we have a Laboratory service, which with all due sense of humility is one of the best in the country. We also have other facilities, so when I looked round, UI came to my mind because they have always been appreciative of what I have done before, because they are 5-star institution, because they have a good reputation all over the world. "If you have a degree of Ibadan, you are regarded as primus inter pares. And I pride myself as one of the earliest to be given a Doctorate degree Honoris Causa by Ibadan, I was in the company of Chinua Achebe. And history has it that of all the Ijebus, after the legendary Baba Odutola, I was the second to be so honoured by Ibadan. A few other Universities have given me degrees but I have given service to the University of Ibadan, I was Chairman of their UI Ventures, I have given them an endowment for Professorial Chair, so giving something to them was like giving it to my own. "But knowing the financial state of the country, I do not think, I can do it alone to the level of excellence that I want, I promise that from time to time I will be extending something from my foundation to them, but I would like all men and women of goodwill that if you should save the life of a child, you would have saved the life of a people. The child is not only the nucleus of a group of people, it is the essence of the beginning of creation. "Like I said in my letter, God had given me enough, and I am bewildered and overwhelmed by the awesome protection, the abundance of blessing the Good Lord has given me, don't give me a personal birthday present, give everything you have for me to the Children's Hospital. "I have been very blessed by God. I have four 24

sons, we call them the four musketeers, I have 16 grandchildren all at a blow. Maybe the good Lord is appreciating what I have been doing. Whenever I look round and I see my children, my daughter and the ten grandsons and six grand daughters we have, I feel fulfilled, I am recommending it to you, spare a thought for these children, donate something, however, small to assist the children of this hospital so that they may not die of any curable disease. If you do this for me, you have made my day. Thank you very much, please support OTNPC and the good Lord will bless you adequately" Oladipupo Balogun, the third son of the celebrant and Group Managing Director of FCMB, gave the vote of thanks. His speech was short, sharp and straight from the heart. According to him" I want to thank you all for the love that you have shown our father on 80th, and specially, I want to thank all of you that have supported the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre. That you very much for your generosity. I wish you travelling mercies and God Bless you all. What began with a joyous dance was rounded off with loads of dancing and good cheer as Evangelist Ebenezer took centre stage to entertain guests till late into the night.

…AND RED RIBBON ENTERS WITH A TOUCH OF CLASS… No one will doubt that in terms of style, colour, class and uniqueness, the 80th birthday of Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun will definitely hit the upper rungs of any rating. What many who attended the event did not know was that the celebrant was involved in many aspects of the planning, but most of the concepts and execution which wowed the thousands who attended the ceremonies was the handwork of Red Ribbon Limited, a young and dynamic PR, Creative Event and Experiential Marketing Company that has just arrived on the scene. The company is headed by an exjournalist/ Banker, Tunde Shofowora with over 21year experience spanning the world of Media, Marketing and PR. Reflecting on the Otunba @ 80 celebration; Shofowora told Ovation in an interview that the Otunba @ 80 was a bespoke event According to him "We don't just manage events, we create events that add great value to the personality of individuals and corporate organisations. Our over 21 years of knowledge and experiences from the client's perspective, give us a good advantage to see events beyond the ordinary eyes". “At Red Ribbon, we have a creative mind which flows from our DNA. We create and activate innovative,

attention-grabbing events for individual and Corporate brands. “Our clients' background provides us hindsight to deliver highly targeted, memorable experiences that connect brands to the emotions of their consumers, generate leads and drive consumers to actions" Concerning the Horse Rider concept which also added a lot of glamour to the celebration, Shofowora said it was meant to add a royal and regal touch to the Otunba @ 80 celebration. “Otunba is a Man of Royalty who also love horses”. The event venue was elegantly decorated by PK Lamour Creation working in line with the concept originated by Red Ribbon Limited. One of the uniqueness and the height of the decor was the bespoke triangular royal table (first of its kind) and the aquarium landing red carpet walk-way, which was titled "Way to paradise". The theme of the celebration was "A walk Down Memory Lane" which was depicted by the red carpet tunnel that had pictorial story of the celebrant that took the guests on an historical excursion into the life and times of the celebrant. Shofowora revealed to us that working with Otunba over the years helped the team deconstruct his vision for the celebration, but being a man of excellence who is finicky about class, it was a tough task delivering on Otunba’s set goals. From what we saw however, kudos should in deed go to Shofowora and his team because they did deliver big time. Everyone acknowledged that the ceremony was in many respects first-rate.


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Today, I celebrate my best friend, my husband, my lover, my confidant, my prayer partner; and the father of my children…my inspiration…a man of unwavering faith…a man I greatly admire and respect…and love so very dearly…a remarkable human being…an unrepentant lover of God…my source of joy and happiness! It’s been 45 glorious years; and still counting by the grace of Almighty God! I feel so humbled and emotional as I recall the years we have been together. We have been so blessed by God who has graciously bestowed on us a beautiful family, both nuclear and extended; and also made His abundant provision for us.

m'a soutenu durant toutes les tribulations et les épreuves de cette vie à telle enseigne que je peux dire avec conviction qu’Il a été merveilleux. Tout ce que je veux faire maintenant, c'est de rendre grâce. Je l'ai dit dans l'une des interviews que j'ai accordées que je ne suis plus à la recherche de quoi que ce soit dans la vie à moins que le Dieu ToutPuissant, dans sa miséricorde veut ajouter à la bénédiction généreuse qu’il m'a déjà donné. J'ai consacré le reste de ma vie à servir l’humanité. Pour être bon pour les moins privilégiés, pour donner plus à d'autres personnes que moi. Pour me remettre totalement au service de mon Dieu. Pour m'engager à faire de cette vie une meilleure place. C'est mon but dans la vie. «J'ai commencé à donner en retour d'une manière différente et cela s’est résulté en de nombreux bienfaits. Mais celui qui est le plus proche de mon cœur est la garde des enfants. Le bien-être et le traitement de toutes les maladies qui affectent nos enfants. Dans les 15-20 dernières années, j'ai pris ma décision de consacrer une bonne partie de ce que Dieu m'avait donné pour le bien-être de l'enfance. J'ai juré qu'aucun enfant au Nigeria ne mourra d'une maladie curable. J'ai juré que si j'ai les fonds, je vais consacrer environ 75 pour cent de cela à la santé, au bien-être et a la survie de ces enfants. «J'ai commencé par l’adoption, la restructuration et en donnant perpétuellement N10M par mois au Children's Ward au centre hospitalier universitaire d’Ibadan qui a été nommé d'après moi, The Otunba Tunwase Children's Hospital. Quand les gens à Ijebu disent que j’ai garde l’habitude de faire les choses dehors, je dû les écouter. J’ai construit un hôpital de 40 lits avec air - conditionné pour les enfants. " Lors de mes 60 ans, a cause de la dévaluation du Naira, le projet était au point mort, mais j'ai promis à mon Dieu que je vais le faire, et il m'a fallu près de 10 ans pour le réaliser. Lors de mes 70 ans, j'ai pu prendre tout le monde y compris l'ancien président, le gouverneur de l'Etat d'Ogun d’alors, pour montrer ce qui à ce moment-là avait l'air gargantuesque. j'avais utilisé près de N2billion de ma propre poche à cette époque. Mais ce qui était unique à ce sujet, c'est que je suis penché sur le maintien de la culture de l'excellence. je peux dire que c'est un hôpital pour enfants de classe mondiale en terme du traitement, de l'enseignement et de la recherche. A ce jour, le Centre de pédiatrie nationale Otounba Tunwase m'a coûté environ N4billion. «Je suis impliqué dans tant d'autres œuvres de 26

bienfaisance et j'ai maintenant ce que vous pouvez appeler la lassitude des donateurs. Donc, j'ai dû approcher le principal d’alors, le professeur Adenike Grange, qui au lieu de N10M, je ne paierais que N7.5m et six mois plus tard, j’ai dit que ce sera N5m, ce que je fais depuis quelques années. " J'ai beaucoup de bienfaits. J'étais gêné quand l'archevêque de Lagos a annoncé ce que j'avais fait dans la Maison de Dieu. Non seulement dans la Communion anglicane, mais j’ai aussi fait des choses dans le monde chrétien tout entier. J'ai été impliqué dans la mise en place de certains diocèses dans le Nord, j'ai aussi aidé certains pentecôtistes a construire leurs églises. Et mon ami, l’Evang Ebenezer Obey, m'a rappelé que quand il allait être un évangéliste, j'étais l'une des personnes qui l'ont encouragé à venir s'exprimer devant une congrégation dans ma maison à Ijebu. C’est ça ma vie et j’en ai payé un lourd tribut. Comme une personne mue par l’excellence, je n’aimerais rien faire de médiocre. Alors, un jour j'ai appelé ma femme t lui dit que je me faisais vieux et que quelque soit les ressources que j’ai, je l’ai donneras mais comme je n’ai plus assez de temps je vais donner les clés. " Nous avons d'abord pensé à donner au gouvernement, nous avons dit non, nous avons pensé à une université d’Etat, j'ai dit non. J'ai décidé de faire de donner l’ Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric à l’université doyenne comme un cadeau. " La seule chose que je veux, c'est qu'ils puissent conserver le nom, mais le terrain de 50 acres, tous les développements là-bas, les meubles extra- ordinaire, l’état de l'équipement à la fine pointe, les installations. Nous avons une salle de spectacle de 1000places, nous avons un logement résidentiel pour les étudiants postuniversitaires. nous avons une section clinique qui est l'un des mieux équipés dans ce pays, pour ceux d'entre vous qui sont familiers avec les néo- natals, les bébés prématurés, nous avons 10 incubateurs et je ne suis pas sûr du nombre d’hôpitaux au Nigeria qui en possèdent un tel nombre. Nous avons deux salles d'opération avec un observatoire, nous avons un service de laboratoire, qui avec tout le sens de l'humilité, est l'un des meilleurs dans le pays. Nous avons également d'autres structures, alors une fois l’université d’Ibadan m’est venue en esprit, car ils ont toujours été reconnaissants de ce que j'ai fait, avant qu'ils ne deviennent une institution 5 étoiles, parce qu'ils ont une réputation mondiale. " Si vous avez un diplôme d’Ibadan, vous êtes considéré comme primus inter pares. Et je suis fier

d’être un des premiers à recevoir un doctorat Honoris Causa à Ibadan, j'étais en compagnie de Chinua Achebe. Et l'histoire rapporte que de tous les Ijebus, après le légendaire Baba Odutola, j'ai été le deuxième à être ainsi honoré par Ibadan. Quelques autres universités m'ont donné des diplômes mais j'ai jeté mon dévolu sur l'Université d’Ibadan, J'étais le président de leurs entreprises, donc lorsque je leur faisais un don, c'était comme donner à moi-même. " Mais connaissant la situation financière du pays, je ne pensais pas pouvoir le faire au niveau d'excellence que je voulais donc j’ai promis que de temps en temps je leur donnerai quelque chose de ma fondation, mais j’aimerais dite à tous les hommes et à toutes les femmes que si vous sauvez la vie d'un enfant, vous avez sauvé la vie d'un peuple. l'enfant n'est pas seulement le noyau d'un groupe de personnes, c'est l'essence même du début de création. "Comme je l'ai dit dans ma lettre, Dieu m'a assez donné, et je suis abasourdi et submergé par la protection impressionnante, l'abondance de la bénédiction due Dieu. Ne me donnez aucun cadeau d’anniversaire ; donnez-le plutôt à l'hôpital des enfants. «J'ai été très béni par Dieu. J'ai quatre fils, nous les appelons les quatre mousquetaires, j'ai eu 16 petitsenfants tout d'un coup. Peut-être que Dieu appréciait ce que je faisais. Chaque fois que je me retourne et que je vois mes enfants, ma fille et mes petits10 -fils de et 6 petites filles, je suis comblé. Je vous recommande d’avoir une pensée pour les enfants de l'hôpital, faites-leur don de quelque chose même si c’est petit afin qu'ils ne meurent pas d'une maladie curable. Si vous faites cela pour moi, vous avez fait ma journée. Je vous remercie beaucoup, s'il vous plaît soutenez OTNPC et le Seigneur Dieu vous bénira en conséquence>>. Oladipupo Balogun, le troisième fils du célébrant et directeur général du groupe de FCMB, a donné le vote de remerciements. Son discours a été court, poignant et très touchant. Selon lui, « je tiens à vous remercier tous pour l'amour que vous avez témoigné à notre père pour ses 80 ans, et spécialement, je tiens à remercier chacun d'entre vous pour avoir soutenu le Centre de pédiatrie nationale Otounba Tunwase. Merci beaucoup pour votre générosité. Je vous souhaite un bon voyage et que Dieu vous bénisse tous. Ce qui a commencé par une danse joyeuse a été suivi d’autres séances de danse et beaucoup d’acclamations et l’évangéliste Ebenezer s’est mis sur la scène pour divertir les invités jusqu'à tard dans la nuit.


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Olori Abimbola Balogun with her friend & husband, Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun

The ever gorgeous, Olori Abimbola Balogun

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...HAPPY FAMILY

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, Olori Abimbola Adetutu, the “boys” & their lovely wives

THE AWUJALE’S TRIBUTE “Let me however use this opportunity to felicitate with you, your amiable wife, and other members of your family on this auspicious occasion of your birthday… Otunba, let me recall that both you and I have had the privilege and opportunity of long friendship and association, both as young lads, and from a time when none of us knew what God, in His gracious mercy, had in stock for either of us. It therefore becomes imperative today to reflect and look back into the past and count our blessings. Thus we shall be able to appreciate God’s wonders and how gracious He has been to us in many ways, and in our respective positions.

TRIBUTES

TRIBUTE TO MY HUSBAND…

My heart leaps with joy…my soul rejoices in the Lord…I am so full of gratitude and ever so thankful for this day; a day the Lord has made to mark my husband’s 80th birthday! For his enduring grace…his many mercies…his uncommon favour…I say thank you to the incomparable King of kings and the Lord of lords, our Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, our cornerstone. He alone deserves all the glory, honour and adoration for the precious gift of life that he has so kindly bestowed on my beloved. Today, I celebrate my best friend, my husband, my lover, my confidant, my prayer partner; and the father of my children…my inspiration…a man of unwavering

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faith…a man I greatly admire and respect…and love so very dearly…a remarkable human being…an unrepentant lover of God…my source of joy and happiness! It’s been 45 glorious years; and still counting by the grace of Almighty God! I feel so humbled and emotional as I recall the years we have been together. We have been so blessed by God who has graciously bestowed on us a beautiful family, both nuclear and extended; and also made His abundant provision for us. Many wonderful memories come to mind! Every day, I gratefully relish the happiness we shared from the moment we met, having our children and growing up with them; establishing the First City Monument Bank – a legacy to which your commitment and dedication is unrivalled; our sons’ marriages through whom God has blessed us with four beautiful daughters; and welcoming our delightful grandchildren. I cannot but mention the many trials and battles that crossed our path and the pain we endured. We were each other’s strength; and I pray, we will continue to be by God’s grace! I say that I am yet to see a man with your kind of unshakeable faith…all you would say in those times was “through the love of Christ our Saviour, all is well.” And in his faithfulness, God always honoured your words. You will continue to serve the Lord in Jesus name. Amen! I commend your energy and applaud your commitment to work; and your unrelenting devotion to me, our children, grandchildren and the family at large. I salute you my husband…well done…may the Lord continually be your strength! My darling, my dearest, I wish you many more years of happiness and superb health in Jesus name…Happy Birthday. I love you…E ku orire… Your loving wife and inseparable companion, Olori Abimbola Adetutu Balogun

A BIRTHDAY TRIBUTE TO MY DAD This tribute has taken me forever to write simply because as much as I have tried, I do not understand how I can reduce to a few words, a fitting tribute to a great dad on his 80th birthday. I must start by thanking God for your life and the continued good health that you are blessed with. I am proud to be your son and as you often say, ‘a chip off the old block.’ My life has been blessed beyond measure because of you Dad. Some of you know Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun as a friend, some know him as the great banker and entrepreneur, others as a philanthropist but, I know him as a father and grandfather. It is his birthday today

and I want you to know the man behind the sparkling white agbada and pinstripe suit is a great family man. He has worked tirelessly but still has time for his dear family. he is someone I pray that someday I will be half the man he is. I could praise him for his business acumen, his charitable works or his love of all things white, but I want to focus on things that few people know. I want to focus on the things that happened after he comes home from work, the things that are done at home, those things make men who they are. There are many stories I could tell but I have not been asked to write the entire book of tributes on my own. By the grace of God my dad is a remarkable man. I am grateful to God that just by being his son, some of him has rubbed off on me. When I reflect on his influence in my life, there are a few specific characteristics that stand out; traits that are directly responsible for my progress in life and my happiness as a husband and father. Values and Principles: My dad would always remind us about ‘our family’s heritage and culture of excellence,’ later extended into slogans for FCMB but really emanating from our family and home. We were always reminded of the importance of personal discipline and integrity in all things and all the time. Many times I recall being told ‘I will not call a cow daddy, because I want to drink milk,’ which has formed my character, contentment and robust ethical base. I recall my dad once writing me a more than 10-page personal letter when I had just started working in Nigeria, using the ‘Book of Proverbs’ from Chapter 1 to 31, sharing with me knowledge and wisdom. Family Devotion: All dads must be devoted to their families but few if any can match my dad’s devotion to his wife and children. I will never be able to fully appreciate how much my life has been empowered from my father’s love. I see in my personal life as well as with my brothers’ evidence of this trait and for us all, this is a fundamental priority. Unwavering faith in God: In good times and in the midst of challenges, his faith remains a tower of strength and he has an ability to stand even stronger when faced with difficulty, completely certain of God’s unflinching support. My personal and professional experiences through winning the Econet Wireless GSM license, being fired years later by my co-investors, all of whom I invited to join the initiative and taking a new career direction, have further emboldened my own faith and character. Several people have tried to re-write the history of that business but what can never be re-written


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is a number of pivotal points, SSS clearance of our bid and team, a critical meeting I had with Ernest Ndukwe, the then Executive Vice Chairman of NCC, and Chief Afe Babalola , SAN, Counsel to NCC and the last 3 decisions for our team in the auction room, where God’s hand in my life was evident for me and others to see. Dad’s unwavering faith in God is something we his children, our wives and children share. A Strict Work Ethic and Perseverance: My dad always taught me there was nothing hard work, perseverance and prayer could not solve and this is a daily constant in my professional life. Ultimately, my father was working very hard till he was nearly 75 and having seen the benchmark he has defined, and internalized his perseverance, how can I sleep or give up, easily? There are others more gifted or talented than myself but fewer will plan and work harder than I can. A love of beautiful things and travel: I am not sure where my dad got his love of beautiful homes, beautiful things and travel but while we have imbibed some of that, I have also learnt that if you try to copy Otunba in all things, you may become broke and tired, but we do try. From my dad I have inherited countless traits, quirks, and perspectives. I occasionally display an intense quality of striving for perfection. Dad, thank you for your life choices. Firstly, thank you for being you – for being a lifelong educator, for teaching and role modeling solid values, strong work ethics, honesty, integrity. And thank you for your infinite love and support. Thank you for your example of hard work, of excellence and of dignity in what you do that has profoundly impacted my life – because your example has shown me what God is like: always creating with love, with painstaking care, with excellence, and with beauty. So, my dearest father, I hope that as you enter into your eightieth year, you fully realize the depth of the love, respect, and joy that you give to and are given by your family. Happy birthday! I wish you continued good health, God’s grace and favour. All my love and happy returns, Mobolaji

WE ARE GRATEFUL

How does one begin to articulate and describe a relationship of 23 years, half of one’s lifetime into a tribute on paper? Happy Birthday Daddy. God bless you. I thank God for your life and His mighty hand that has sustained you till today. He has truly been faithful to you.

From the first day Bolaji introduced me to you at the house on Sanusi Fafunwa Street in 1991, you took me as your own daughter and made me feel like a member of the family without any thought. You are an integral part of my life and I can say you will be counted in my life’s story as one of the people who have shaped me into the person I have become today. Daddy I thank God for the privilege of knowing you and being a part of your life’s sojourn here on earth. I have learnt so much about life from you, whether through our discussions or just watching you and seeing how you have handled different situations and circumstances in life. I thank God for your love of family. From the time Bolaji introduced me to the family, you always insisted I participated in family events, whether it was a birthday, or going to celebrate Sallah in Ijebu with mama. You taught us the importance of praying together as a couple, attending functions together and being each other’s keeper. Today, I see so much of you in Mobolaji. It is truly uncanny. His mannerisms, his character, the things he does and says…Daddy you have moulded and brought him up to be a lover of God and family, to fear God, to be honest, kind, loving, very generous, focused, hardworking, tough, tenacious and to display a high level of integrity…these are all qualities that he shares with you. I thank God for your love for children. On your 60th birthday, while the commissioning of the Iye Subomi Children’s ward at the Ijebu Ode General Hospital was in progress, an Ijebu woman was in labour and gave birth before the end of the ceremony. You then made a commitment to the new mother that you would provide and cater to the needs of the child, later called Subomi. He has been a member of the family since. We have seen Subomi grow into a fine young man. He has spent many holidays with us in Ijebu and is seen by my children, most especially the twins, as an older brother. You have indeed kept your word and Subomi is currently undergoing a degree course at the university. May God continue to bless your philanthropic works. You have further gone to display that same love for your grandchildren. You are truly doting, very loving, warm, affectionate, generous and caring grandpa, whether in lagos, Ijebu or London, Sayo, Dayo, Timi, konyin and Funmilade are constantly in and out of your homes. A week does not pass before Funmilade asks to go and visit grandpa.

Although you may not know this, but I often watch you while you are in the company of your grandchildren and have noticed how you look at them, and I can almost feel the joy and pride that you must be feeling that God has indeed been so good to you. As I have grown older, I have begun to understand you more, appreciate you more…it is funny how our relationships transform with age. Daddy, I truly cherish our conversations, and the time when we are able to sit and we ‘gist’ absolutely anything and everything. I thank God for this time as I see it as a period of learning. I pray that God grants us many, many more years together, and in good health. Daddy, may your sunset be brighter than your sunrise, in Jesus mighty name. Happy Birthday! Oluwakemi ALWAYS APPRECIATIVE Dearest Daddy, As I sat thinking of what to write and how to pay you a befitting tribute, my overwhelming thoughts and emotion are one of appreciation and how fortunate I am to have such a unique father. The most appropriate tribute I can convey is to tell you how proud, thankful and blessed I feel about having you as my father. Proud to be your son: You have left an indelible mark in our society through your professional accomplishments, your philanthropic endeavours and even your sense of style and taste. Your recognition traverses generations and even at your grand age, you continue to be a source of reference and inspiration not just to your children but to many others. Thankful for your life and continued good health: Thankful for your nurturing care, your unwavering support and your wise counsel through the years. In many instances through my professional career and my personal life, through growing up as a child to becoming an adult and having my own family, I am thankful that you have always been available to offer invaluable encouragement, support and to share your experience. Blessed to have a unique role model as my father: your values and principles, your devotion to your family, your focus and determination and your unwavering faith in the Lord… Many of your qualities, I have imbibed in my own life and instances where I feel I am falling short or encounter life’s challenges, I find myself using your examples as a source of motivation and inspiration. 29


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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun ,Olori Abimbola Adetutu Balogun & the four musketeers (his sons)

OTUNBA & OLORI WITH THE FOUR MUSKETEERS

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The phrase, “there is no difficulty or challenge which industry, perseverance and prayers cannot overcome” which you often repeated to us as we grew up but also provided many examples of it in practice through your life are words I still recall at appropriate moments when searching for motivation. Dear Daddy, I thank you for the life you’ve lived. As you mark your 80th birthday I wish you many more years in good health, happiness, peace of mind and continued spiritual growth. -Jide

TRIBUTE TO DADDY ON HIS 80TH BIRTHDAY

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, Olori Abimbola Adetutu & the adorable daughters

I have been very blessed by God. I have four sons, we call them the four musketeers, I have 16 grandchildren all at a blow. Maybe the good Lord is appreciating what I have been doing. Whenever I look round and I see my children, my daughters and the 10 grandsons and 6 grand daughters we have, I feel fulfilled I am so overwhelmed by the awesome power of God who has sustained me through all the tribulations and trials of this life to the extent that I can push my chest forward, and say He has been wonderful.

Dear Daddy, As I had earlier expressed in the video interview, I don’t regard myself as a “daughter-in-law” but as a “daughter”. That is because you have genuinely treated each and every one of us wives as your daughters. Over the years, you have shown much love, generosity, support and fairness. Daddy, I thank you for that. Also, I have valued the few quiet moments we have spent, where you have spoken about your interesting and colourful experiences. You had opened up about your struggles, trials, and triumphs -which, I must say, have truly inspired and encouraged me in different ways. Moreover, my discussions with you further confirmed the importance of having God as the cornerstone in one’s life. Furthermore, thank you for making our jobs as wives easier! Even though you do not necessarily tell the “men” how to live their lives, you live and you let them watch you do it. What a high bar you have set! What an exceptional role-model you are! Daddy, I thank God for your life and for seeing you through to your 80th year anniversary, I pray he grants you many more years of good health, peace of mind and serenity. May he relieve you of any worries and anxieties and may he continue to meet you at every point of your need in Jesus mighty name I pray, amen. God bless and I love you! -Love from your daughter, Uche

TO AN EXCEPTIONAL FATHER Dearest Daddy, We praise the Lord for your incredible life and innumerable legacies. Thank you so much for the unconditional love you have showered on us, the foundation you have given us for generations to come, the example of hard work, discipline and vision in every aspect of your life. We love you more than words can describe. We pray for you that you live in fine health and greater joy for many more years. Thank you Daddy, Thank you Grandpa, Thank you Lord. With all our love Ladi, Banke, Folake, Ladimeji, Damilola & Damola

DEAREST DADDY I am not sure that mere words can capture my thoughts and wishes for you on this your 80th birthday anniversary and far beyond. I have grown to know you as God-fearing, fatherly, caring, and very passionate and I feel blessed to call you daddy. You are distinguished, dashing and stately even at 80! As the scion of the banking industry, your life embodies those pillars that have become the sign by which your admirable legacy is identified and I am extremely proud of you. Daddy, I also salute you for instilling peace, love and togetherness in our family. Your life is a testimony of greatness; a very rare gift indeed. On this day I wish you a glorious year as well as many more wonderful, happy ones to come. Unto God’s gracious mercy and protection I commit you. May the lord bless you, keep you, and may the light of his countenance always shine upon you. May God give you his peace, long life and good health, now and forever. Amen. Thank you so much for all the love daddy!! Lots of love from your dear daughter, Bankus Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, Olori Abimbola Adetutu & the grandchildren

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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, Olori Abimbola Adetutu, and the Grandchildren

DADDY, Where do I start when describing your role in my life? Whatever I write here barely scratches the surfaces of the emotion and pride I feel to be your son. You have been an example to me in every aspect of my life. You are disciplined and passionate when it comes to business, your ability to stand steadfast in the face of opposition when you are certain God’s calling is infectious. Your unwavering faith and spirituality even in times of disappointment and devotion to my wife and children are values we admire. I quietly laugh to myself when I insist that Seun or Kayode must wear a suit when they board a plane or go to church or when I tell Emma that she is spoiling the kids. Proverbs 13:24 comes to mind, ‘whoever spoils the rod…’ which I always remember you quoting in your formative years. I have come to the realization that despite all the protestation of my youth, I am a carbon-copy of you and how proud I am to be. I wish you continue in good health, peace, God’s grace and blessings and of course a very happy birthday. Your loving son, Gboyega

PRICELESS DADDY

I met you for the first time in Lagos at Baron’s Court in 1998. You and mummy were staying in the penthouse after a small fire at Sanusi Fafunwa. You were very kind and extremely welcoming. You encouraged me to go to the National Museum and to ijebu. I didn’t see you again until I came to Ovington Gardens in 2002, I was pregnant with Seun and once again, you were kind and loving and welcomed us into your family. We haven’t looked back. You have shown me so much love and support. I have never felt like an outsider or a foreigner in your home. Your love for your grandchildren is overwhelming. Seun, kayode and Abimbola are lucky to have such a caring and attentive Grandfather who really enjoys spending time with them. I can remember staying with them as newborns at Ovington Gardens and how upset you 32

would be if any of them cried or was ill. Although we are from two different places in life, we share in common, a fondness for your youngest son, Gboyega which made a bond between us easy to form. I see your traits in him. You both share a passion for business and an ability to network with ease, you both love the finer things in life and family is paramount to you both. I have come to really cherish the qualities in you that I see being naturally reproduced in your sons and grandchildren. Your hardworking nature, your strength, your honesty, your love for family and for children, your close relationship with God and your constant involvement in the church, your community and those less fortunate than yourself. Always smiling, with your precious wife at your side, you are at your happiest when at home, with your grandchildren running around and causing chaos. I wonder how I might feel at the age of 80, after living through a depression, a world war, a cold war, independence, a space race, and an internet boom. My first thought is that I’d probably be exhausted and ready for a rest! But look at you, 80years old, and still going strong. The older you get, the more precious you get. At 80, you’ve become more precious than all the gold in the world to everyone who knows and loves you. Happy 80th birthday! -Much love, Emma

TRIBUTE TO MY DARLING BROTHER AT 80!

There is no way I can pay this tribute without some deep emotion. My only direct brother, my mentor, my role model, my inimitable sustainer, and my amazing caretaker only after my God and of course our mother and father, who gave me the foundation in life. Otunba Michael Olasubomi Oladimeji Olayiwola Olanbiwoninu Balogun, CON, The Otunba Tunwase of Ijebu, The Olori Omo-Oba Akile Ijebu, The Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians and the Olori Ebi of Fusengbuwa Ruling House, which comprises of many Royal Houses, including Tunwase and Jadiara, has been my guide and emotional protector. My egbon,

Otunba and I are the two surviving children of our mother, Omoba Adebukonla Ashiru-Balogun enlightened products of two notable royal and noble families in Ijebu. We lost our other siblings while they were infants and for my almost 74years of life, Otunba has been someone who dotes on me like one of his children and there was such a unique bond of the three of us, namely, our late mother, Omoba Adebukonla, my brother, Otunba, and myself, their common pet. All my life, his personality, love and affection had been my refuge. He shared this attribute with our late mother and our father while they were alive. Before he left for further studies either in Lagos, Ibadan or the United Kingdom, he was the greatest protector, apart from God and our mother, which I ever had; and his roaming eyes were always on me wherever I might be. While in the United Kingdom, his love for his only young sister, Olaronke was not only unabated but voluble. When he arrived on the M. V. Auerol at Apapa and I was at the port beside our mum, my brother, from the deck of the boat, as soon as he sighted me, was shouting, “Olaronke!”, and immediately he arrived in Nigeria, he told our parents that he would immediately take full responsibility for me. I was in my final year in the Secondary School, and as soon as I finished, I moved to Ibadan to stay with him and of course he arranged for me to be trained in Secretarial practices at the Secretariat Training School at Ibadan Government Secretariat. When he moved to Lagos and had a beautiful bungalow at 48 Glover Road, Ikoyi, I followed him and stayed with him. He immediately also arranged for me to work, first at LEDB and subsequently at the Royal Exchange Assurance. Barely a year of my working life, he arranged for me to travel to the United Kingdom for further studies, fully taking responsibility like a parent. Of course, when I arrived from my further studies in the United Kingdom, I moved into his first personally owned home at No. 4 Bombay Crescent, Apapa. It was there I brought my future husband, Tayo, to meet him and our mother, before we went to see our father who was in IjebuOde. He arranged my wedding and we had the reception at his expansive living room in his Apapa


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Otunba Balogun in his usual smile of satisfaction with life generally

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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun with Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale & paramount Ruler of Ijebuland

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun with Emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero at the opening of one of the FCMB branches in Kano

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun with his bosom friend, Chief Kola Daisi, The Awujale of Ijebuland & Chief Bayo Kuku

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun with Oba Sikiru Adetona, the Awujale & paramount Ruler of Ijebuland

Business Person of the Decade Award being received by Otunba Olasubomi Balogun, from Late Chief M.K.O Abiola

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun receiving the honourary Doctorate Degree at the Univesity of Ibadan

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun receiving one of the highest Itallian honour â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cavalieri Almerito Dela Republicaâ&#x20AC;?

Otunba & Olori with the doyen of accounting, Mr. Akintola williams at the retirement/send forth reception of Otunba from FCMB

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I want to do is that wherever I have the privilege of passing through余 I want to leave a remarkable footstep. I have done it, as you said, in finance. I also did it in law. I was the first Nigerian to be trained as a Parliamentary Counsel-the first black face to be seen in the British Parliament. When the Nigerian Independence Act was being passed, I was receiving training. I was the first to be named an Assistant Parliamentary Counsel of the Federation.

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Otunba Olasubomi Balogun & his first son, Bolaji

Otunba Olasubomi Balogun & his inseparable companion, Olori Abimbola Adetutu Balogun discussing with Ladipupo Balogun, GMD of FCMB Plc

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D-DAY: TO GOD BE THE GLORY I have gone through the crucible and I have emerged a stronger person and victorious. I, like all Christians never lose hope, which is why I have adopted the church hymnal that says through the love of God our Saviour, everything will be well. I thank God for my life, most achievements of human beings are acknowledged posthumously but in my case, God gave me the grace to see the amazing grace that he has showered me with and Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m a particularly lucky son of God.

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SURPRISE RECEPTION AT HIS IKOYI HOME

Otunba Subomi Balogun with Tunde Sofowora

Otunba & Olori Balogun & audience enjoying the surprise spectacle

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...LIFE IS A DANCE

Otunba & Erelu savouring the beats from the drums

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The State-of-the-art Special Edition 80th Birthday Rolls Royce Phantom

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...HEADING TO CHURCH FOR THANKSGIVING

Royal departure: Otunba Balogun leaving his lovely Ikoyi home in regal style

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Otunba Subomi Balogun & wife, Erelu Abimbola with his close friend, Bashorun Kola Daisi

Awujale of Ijebuland, Oba Sikiru Adetona & wife, Olori Kemi Adetona

Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, Alake of Egbaland with Gov. & Mrs. Ibikunle Amosun

Chief Chris Ogunbanjo, General Yakubu & Mrs. Victoria Gowon

Former Vice President Dr. Alex Ekwueme & wife

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Gboyega & Babajide Balogun with their wives

Prof. & Mrs. Atere

Governor Ibikunle Amosun & The Awujale of Ijebuland

Olorogun (Dr.) Sunny Kuku & Chief Segun Oshunkeye

Mr. & Mrs. Pascal Dozie

Lady Maiden Ibru & Senator Daisy Danjuma

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Prince & Mrs. Julius Adelusi-Adeniyi

Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Akande


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Prof. & Mrs. Olu Akinkugbe

The Otunba Adekunle Ojora & The Erelu Ojuolape Ojora

Mr. & Mrs. Akinson

Babajide Balogun & son

Mr. & Mrs. Adefope Nedd

Mr. Akintola Williams (left)

Erelu Abiola Dosunmu (left)

Otunba Olabiyi Durojaiye (far left)

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Gen. Ike Nwanchukwu & wife, Gwen

Chief Ernest Shonekan & Chief (Mrs.) Magaret Shonekan

Kenny Odogwu

Comm. Ndubuisi Kanu & wife

Chief Rasak & Chief (Mrs.) Sade Okoya with Chief (Mrs.) Modupe & Justice Sola Oguntade (rtd)

Former VC, University of Ibadan, Prof. Ayo Bayo (middle)

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From 2nd left: Ladi & Gboyega Balogun with their cousin, Tope Atere

Alhaja Buki Ogun, Bola Ogun & Ebenezer Osoba


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Otunba Gbenga Daniel & Yeye Olufunke Daniel

Justice Sola Oguntade (rtd) & Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN

The Awujale, Oba Sikiru Adetona greets Otunba Gbenga Daniel

Olori Ladun Sijuwade (left)

Rear Admiral & Mrs. Sunday Olukoya

Prince Bola Ajibola & Rchak Weiss

Hajia Bola Shagaya (m) with Otunba & Yeye Gbenga Daniel

HRH Oba Sikiru Adetona & Dr. Oba Otudeko

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Former Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme & former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon exchanging pleasantries

Ms Arumna Oteh, Fola Adeola & Bismarck Rewane

Chief Tunde Oshin & Princess Oshin

Kola Ademulegun, Chief Opeyemi Badamosi & Engr. Siji Akinwale

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Mr. Sowemimo & wife, Mrs. Abimbola Sowemimo

Ms Kemi Adewunmi (right)


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Ladipupo Balogun

Gboyega Balogun

Archbishop Ephraim Adebola Ademowo

Bashorun Kola Daisi

Hajia Bola Shagaya

Chief Femi Pedro & Gen. Oladipo Diya

Mr. Tayo Ayeni & Mr. Kayode Odukoya

Erelu Abiola Dosunmu

Ayora Bola Kuforiji-Olubi

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Mr. & Mrs. Ladipupo Balogun

The Baloguns

Mrs. Joke Oni (left)

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ALL I WANT TO SAY... IS THANK YOU LORD

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My brother described his success as “the amazing grace of God”, which indeed it is, especially with his different continuous triumphs in spite of negative machinations of fellow human beings. For me, as an observer with our mother, watching my brother’s triumphs and achievements is just bewildering! I am continuously thankful to God about the triumphs and the achievements of my egbon -Mrs. Ronke Atere, sister home. Of course, he had earlier introduced me to his affectionate, dedicated, cool, compassionate and virtuous wife, Abimbola, who played important roles during my wedding. Let me digress by saying that Abimbola, my brother’s Olori, has been a key figure in his triumphs and I adopted her as my direct younger sister. With my husband, Professor Tayo Atere and I, my brother and his wife, Abimbola, we became a foursome that the good Lord created to be one and indivisible family, so much so that when our father died and we were having the funeral, both my brother’s wife, Abimbola and I were heavy with advanced pregnancies, so much so that within two or three months of the burial of our father, my brother and I gave our mother, two grandsons that looked like twin brothers – Babajide Balogun and Akin Atere, Babajide being one month older. The four of us with our children gave our mother unbounding joy. In the meantime, my brother was going through triumphs and achievements in spite of malevolent incursions from fellow human beings. However, his achievements and triumphs became more and more obvious when he decided to set up his own financial institutions. He first of all set up City Securities while I was in Ibadan with my husband and was Manager of Royal Exchange Assurance. When he decided to set up a bank, FCMB, he discussed with my husband and I that his success would not be complete without having me involved. So he agreed with my husband that he should allow me to come and join his Group of Financial Institutions and he made me an Executive Director of City Securities, while he moved to be Chairman and Chief Executive of the new bank. I moved to Lagos and this closeness of the residence of both of us necessitated our mum to be virtually resident in Lagos, so that we could both take care of Mama, our darling mother. Mama lived with me in Victoria Island and was always anxious to spend some time with my darling brother in his home, also in Victoria Island. I thank God who has been so kind to our mother and all her children. She lived to see both my brother and I give her grandchildren – four grandsons from my brother and three grandsons and a granddaughter from me. Mama’s joy was unbounded and her past losses of children in infancy were compensated with eight healthy, diligent, intelligent and loving grandchildren; and to cap it all, getting close to mama’s departure at the age of 87, Bolaji, my brother’s eldest son, gave mama a double dose of great grandchildren, twins, a boy and a girl, both of whom mama insisted even at a very old age to carry on her back when they were brought from the United States. My brother described his success as “the amazing grace of God”, which indeed it is, especially with his different continuous triumphs in spite of negative machinations of fellow human beings. For me, as an observer with our mother, watching my brother’s triumphs and achievements is just bewildering! I am continuously thankful to God about the triumphs and the achievements of my egbon, Otunba who is an astute, diligent and ingenious businessman. He is a visionary, creative and innovative entrepreneur. He is resilient, focused and disciplined and has a mettle to attain the commanding heights in all his endeavours. He ran an excellent race with stellar and glittering achievements in the financial sector of the Nigerian economy. He is courageous, articulate and irrepressible. He cannot be held back from achieving his goals. He is stable and wittiest under stress. There are many special attributes of my brother that I would want to emulate. For instance, he ascribes all his achievements to the grace of Almighty God. He humbles himself when he prays to His maker the Almighty God. He kneels in total surrender and awe to glorify the good Lord in spirit and truth. It is amazing and spine tingling to watch him sing with gusto and passion. He praises his God with his arms raised in total devotion and dedication. Such total submission to the Almighty God and ascribing everything that he has achieved to divine origin, is one attribute of his that I have always liked to emulate. I can go on and on, but as I said, I tend to be very emotional when I talk about my brother, not because he is my brother, but I see in him the picture of a rare breed that I start wondering how he built up himself to the imagery I have been trying to paint about him. Let me conclude by saying my dear egbon, you are definitely a favourite child of your God and you appreciate it. My husband, Tayo, my children and my grandchildren are one with you on the auspicious occasion of your 80th birthday anniversary. We pray that you will continue to grow gracefully, happily and in good health. Many happy returns of the landmark birthday! Your own aburo Olaronke, on behalf of herself, her husband, children and grandchildren 52

Otunba & Olori during the thanksgiving


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Dr. Ademowo & other men of God showering the celebrant with prayers

The Awujale & Olori Kemi Adetona

Dr. & Mrs. Alex Ekwueme

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Chief Wole Olanipekun,SAN (right)

Babajide & Ladi Balogun

Kayode Odukoya & Tayo Ayeni

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Mrs. Funsho Amosu (left) & Olori Kemi Adetona

Prince Jide Adeniyi (left)

Oba Yinusa Adekoya & Oba Kayode Alakija


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" He is a strong believer in the power of prayer. From time to time, he says prayers for me his elder brother. He is a prayer warrior. He is a philanthropist par excellence. Otunba Subomi has a special place in my heart -Chief Chris Ogunbanjo discrimination. Your tireless efforts in the establishment of the aforementioned children clinics, and lately the investment of hundreds of millions of maira National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu-Ode, now under the construction; your numerous educational endowments, alms to the needy, support for local development projects, and many more, too many to detail here, are just some of the ways, I believe, you devised to demonstrate your thanks and show due appreciation to the Most High for his blessings. My prayer however is that as you continue to develop in soul and in spirit, so may you continue to prosper by leaps and bounds. Your responsibilities as Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians are undoubtedly enormous; but I like a good Christian, always lift up your eyes to the mountains from whence cometh your help. Consequently, I enjoin you never to relent in your efforts, bearing in mind always that to whom much is given, much is also expected. May our Almighty Father be your Alpha and Omega. May He give you and your family everlasting joy, peace, happiness, and endow you with abundant good health and enduring prosperity. Like a Christian Soldier, be of good spirit always and never be discouraged; for God will help in shouldering the enormous burdens and responsibilities of this your new high office. So that at the end of the day, you may be able to say loud and clear: ‘Thus far, Lord God has helped me.” May I in conclusion commend you and all yours to God’s good care and also once more, congratulate you warmly on your birthday and indeed for your welldeserved investiture and installation as Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Akile-Ijebu. God bless. Yours truly, Oba Alaiyeluwa S.K. Adetona, CFR THE AWUJALE OF IJEBULAND

WHAT POWERFUL NIGERIANS SAY ABOUT

OTUNBA OLASUBOMI BALOGUN THROUGH THE YEARS

From the Royal Court of the AWUJALE OF IJEBULAND

My dear ‘Subomi, Today is your birthday and happily too the occasion of your investiture and installation as Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians in succession to Chief T. Adeola Odutola of blessed memory. Let me however use this opportunity to felicitate with you, our Mama Iya Suna of Ijebuland, Bimbola, your amiable wife, and other members of your family on this auspicious occasion of your birthday, and more so on your investiture and installation as Asiwaju Onigbagbo Akile-Ijebu. While congratulating you on your birthday, I cannot but acknowledge that your swearing-in ceremony as Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Akile-Ijebu at a special Church service at Our Saviour of Christ Church Cathedral, Italowajoda this afternoon of Sunday, March 9, 1997, must have been through divine guidance, as no one could have believed you are the person our Almighty Father has destined to

step into the shoes of that great and illustrious Ijebu personified, late Chief T.A. Odutola. Otunba, let me recall that both you and I have had the privilege and opportunity of long friendship and association, both as young lads, and from a time when none of us knew what God, in His gracious mercy, had in stock for either of us. It therefore becomes imperative today to reflect and look back into the past and count our blessings. Thus we shall be able to appreciate God’s wonders and how gracious He has been to us in many ways, and in our respective positions. On an occasion like this, I consider it particularly necessary in my position, as the Awujale of Ijebuland, to acknowledge you, first, as a beloved son: and also recognise and acknowledge your immense contributions and achievements locally and nationally. Your generous kindness to all and sundry, your humanitarian services, your love for children which prompted the establishment of Otunba Tunwase Children Emergency Ward at UCH, Ibadan: Iye Subomi Child Care Centre at Ijebu-Ode General Hospital: and lately, the establishment of Otunba Tunwase National Pediatric Centre, Express Road, Ijebu-Ode are but a few of such contributions and achievements. Your other assets that cannot pass unnoticed are your loyalty and support for constituted authority, respect for culture and tradition and of course your warm disposition to all without

“Enterprise champions come in various shapes, sizes and value frames. Almost always, they are people of tenacity, in addition to being visionaries. I met one of them in 1978. He was sitting behind a clean desk in a fairly small office in the Mandilas Building. It was clear to me that his greatest asset was his belief in himself. Those not so surefooted confuse such passion of conviction as arrogance; those who know realize it is the ingredient of making things happen. The man who had the ‘audacity’ to want a banking license at the time institutional sensitivity to the banking failures of the 1950s made such almost the exclusive preserve of multinational banks had already affected stockbroking in a fundamental manner through City Securities Limited. He would begin to introduce structural change in the banking industry with the advent of what was then First City Merchant Bank. But it all came through sweat, pain, strategic passion and sheer commitment to hard work.” -Pat Utomi Lagos Business School, Lagos. 2004 “First, he had a vision. Secondly, he sets goals, and was tenacious in attaining these goals. He is also a very passionate man. Passionate about his goals, passionate about the people working for him and everything he sets out to do. One thing I immediately observed with him was that he likes anyone that calls himself a professional to be very good at what he does. He could also spot talent. If you looked at the people he employed at FCMB, there was no one you could call castaway or misfit. He usually went for the best and would pay whatever was required to get them. Otunba, to me, is much more than an entrepreneur. I would describe him more appropriately as the guinea 55


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Ms Benedicter Molokwu (right)

Sir Dipo Onabanjo & Lady Onabajo

Otunba & Chief (Mrs.) Adeleke Adeshina

Chief Ajibola Ogunsola greets celebrant & wife

(L-r): Oba Abdul Rasaq Adenugba

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(Middle): Otunba Bimbo Ashiru

Otunba Bimbo Ashiru with Michael Effiong, Editor, Ovation International Magazine


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Prince Adegoke Ademiluyi & Mrs. Ademiluyi

Chief John Edozien & Chief (Mrs.) Edozien

Mr. & Mrs. Olaleye Adebiyi

Chief Opeyemi Badamosi & Oba (Dr.) Victor Adesimbo Adenrele

HRM Oba (Dr.) Olusanya Dosunmu, Olori Bosun Dosunmu & Oba (Dr.) Victor Adesimbo Adenrele

Justice Christopher Segun & Justice Tajudeen Odunowo

Oba Adesina Adetoye, Oba Adebisi Onafuwa & Oba Abi Awobajo

Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, Oba Dr. Adesinbo Adenrele Adesunoye & Otunba Subomi Balogun

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Rafiu Ladipo, Hon. (Mrs) Yewande Amusan & Dr. Dara Odubogun

L-r: Kunle Ogunmefun (m) & Dr. Diran Fawibe

Olori Oladunni (right)

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Asiwaju Olajide Awosedo & Olori Sola Awosedo

Kemi Adewunmi (right)


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Chief Opeyemi Badamosi (right)

HRM Oba Adewale Odukoya & Olori Adetutu

Mr. Erastus Akingbola & Mr. Fola Adeola

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Oba Gbadebo, The Alake of Egbaland

pig for indigenous banking in Nigeria, being the first Nigerian entrepreneur to set up such a financial services institution entirely on his own.” -Erastus Akingbola , 2004 “Otunba Subomi Balogun is no doubt a man of history, who by dint of hard work and astute commitment to excellence, became the icon of contemporary banking in Nigeria when he established the First City Merchant Bank. As the founder, he bestrode the banking and financial world like a colossus, leaving in his tracks legendary legacies of enterprise, integrity, diligence and excellence. During my tutelage under him as his Executive Assistant, he 60

Babajide Balogun & son

proved not only a worthy role model but a compassionate leader who was always committed to the growth of the banking industry and its personnel.” -Olufemi Pedro Former Lagos State Deputy Governor, 2004 “I know him to be an astute entrepreneur. He has tremendous and prodigious initiative and I believe that he is endowed with ideas about entrepreneurship. He is highly intelligent, very deep thinking and a hard worker. I also believe that he has a lot of integrity, personal self-respect and pride. Thank God for the insight with which he is endowed, and I commend the contributions he has made to the growth and

Chief Bode Oshinusi

development of Nigeria, particularly the economy and the financial sector. I believe when the history of the country gets to be written, his name will be engraved in gold. He is what you might call the first indigenous “modern” entrepreneur in the financial sector.” -Kola Daisi, Ibadan 2004 “You have demonstrated your devotion to duty and your striving after excellence, not only in the legal and business professions, but particularly since you became the founder and Chief Executive of the First City Merchant Bank, a bank that is dedicated to excellence.” -Chief Bola Ige, SAN November 27, 1989


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THE GRAND RECEPTION AT TAFAWA BALEWA SQUARE

...THE SPECTACULAR DECOR BY PK LAMOUR CREATION

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Celebrant arriving the reception venue

Jumoke Bakare & Yemisi Edun receiving Otunba at the reception venue

A parade of Rolls Royce at the ceremony

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...WARM WELCOME

Saxophonist & Gospel singer Arugbo Ojo

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun & Bashorun Dele Momdu

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Yeye Olufunke Daniel

Otunba Gbenga Daniel

The Otunba Adekunle Ojora & The Erelu Ojuolape Ojora

Mr. Pascal Dozie & Dr. Hassan


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Chief & Mrs. John Edozien

Mrs Anumah Oteh

Mrs. Chioma Madubuko (right)

Chief Opeyemi Badamosi

Chief (Mrs.) Sena Anthony

Chief Bode Oshinusi

Mrs. Remi Abiola

Mr. & Mrs. Sanusi

Yemi & Seun

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Chief & Chief (Mrs.) Ajibola Ogunsola

Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede

Chief Olabiyi Durojaiye

Mr. Mamemo Ibru, Helen Ibru & Miss. Tabia Princewill

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Sade Doherty

Mr. & Mrs. Oshifi

Mr. & Mrs. Olatunbosun

Folukemi Abodurin


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Funmi Ajila-Ladipo

Mr. & Mrs. Dosumu

Rear Ademola & Mrs. Sunday Olukoya

Olumide Alegbeleye & Adeyemi Olayiwola

Biodun Adetomobi

Guy Czartoxyski

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Chief Yemi Adesoga with Chief Adebisi Adegbenro

Mr. & Mrs. Rotimi Pedro

Mr. & Mrs. Adejare Adegbenro

Hon. & Mrs. Femi Gbajbiamila

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Bimbo Olufore & Banke Balogun

Oba Yomi Awoyemi & his wife, Olori Awoyemi


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Hajia Abah Folawiyo, Oba of Lagos, HRH Rilwan Akiolu & Alhaji H.A.B. Fasinro

Chief (Mrs.) Modupe Oguntade, Justice Sola Oguntade (Rtd), Chief (Mrs.) Folashade Okoya & Alhaji Rasak Okoya

Chief & Mrs. Olu Okeowo

Senator Daisy Danjuma & Chie Mike Ajeigbo

Aremo Segun Osoba & wife, Beere Derin Osoba

Chief (Mrs.) Lanre Ojora with Mrs. Danmole

Otunba Bush Alebiosu & Otunba (Mrs.) Alebiosu

Mr. & Mrs. George Thorpe

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Prof. & Mrs. Elebute

Hon. (Mrs.) Bolaji Dada with Mrs. Yetunde Austin-Peters

Chief (Mrs.) Esther Benson with Mrs. Joko Olunloyo

Mrs. Remi Diagbare & Mrs. Lamide Ojeshina

Adeola, Joan with Funke

Toritse, Adeola with Chinwe

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Mr. & Mrs. Sanni

Folukemi Aboderin & Otunba (Mrs.) Debola Osibogun


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Alhaja Gbaja with Dr. Femi Ogunyemi & wife, Mrs. Ogunyemi

Olola Aboderin & Chief (Mrs.) Aboderin

Mr. & Mrs. Seun Peters

Kemi Odunowo with Yetunde Senbanjo

Otunba (Prof.) Olu Osoba & Prof. (Mrs.) Osoba

Mrs. Ronke Olowu, Bunmi Aiyedebini, Remi Oshinaike, Mrs. Bewaji Kuku & Alhaja Adeyemi

Dr. Chichi & Dr. Uche

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Yinka Alakija with Aleruchi Wabali

Kayode Odukoya, Kemi Odukoya with Tayo Ayeni

Otolagbe Martins, Mr. Segun with Mrs. Boma Doherty

Alaere Ikiere, Mr. Tunde Shofowora with Oloruntosin Adewale

Adetoyese Adekola with Gbolahan Oridota

Otunba Dipo Onabanjo & wife, Mrs. Onabanjo with Bashorun Tanwa

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Mrs. Joko Oni

Funmi Ayinde, Ikechukwu Kalu with Lola Johnson


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Africaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote with Wale Tinubu, GMD/CEO Oando Plc

Dr. Bolu Akin-Olugbade & Femi Otedola

Chief Jubril Martins-Kuye & wife

Chief S.O.B. Babalola & wife

Aigboye Aig-Imonkhuede & Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO, Access Bank

Olorogun Sunny Kuku & wife, Susan

Femi Otedola & Ladi Balogun

Former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Musiliu Smith (left)

Mr. & Mrs. Emeka Onwuka

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2nd left: Abdulsamad Rabiu

Prof. Wale Omole & Senator Olorunimbe Mamora

Chief Tokunbo Kayode (middle)

Ms Teni Aofiyebi & Dr. Doyin Abiola

Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker of House of Reps with Governor Babatunde & Mrs. Abimbola Fashola

Olori Labisi Tejuoso, Olori Yetunde Tejuoso & Prince Femi Tejuoso

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Prince Bisi Olatilo & Mrs. Folasade Olatilo, Alh. Aliko Dangote, Mr. Femi Otedola & Bolu Akin-Olugbade

Chief Michael Ade-Ojo & Bashorun Dele Momodu


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Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, Fmr. CEO, Fidelity Bank (r)

Gboyega Balogun & Femi Durojaiye

Chief Chris Ogunbanjo & son, Bimbo Ogunbanjo

Bolaji Balogun & Remi Adetayo

Olori Omolara Tejuoso, Olori Yetunde Tejuoso & Olori Labisi Tejuoso

Dr. Bisi Olatilo & wife, Mrs. Shade Olatilo

Gboyega Balogun, Kemi Adewunmi & Tayo Ayeni

Lanre Gbajabiamila & wife, Ife with Hon. & Mrs. Femi Gbajabiamila (m)

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Rev. Olu Odejimi

Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi

Bolaji Balogun

General (Rtd.) Yakubu Gowon & Governor Babatunde Fashola with Olori Abimbola Balogun

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Ayo & Gbenga Olunloyo with daughter


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HOW WE CREATED THE EXTRAORDINARY BIRTHDAY CAKE -Dr. Tayo Adeniji of Burttercups You made that wonderful cake for Otunba Subomi Balogun’s 80th birthday, how did his family contact you

They had a meeting where they were trying to determine the various vendors and they thought they would ask different bakers and get their ideas on what kind of cake would be suitable. Well, I have made cakes for different people within the First City Monument Bank, (FCMB) Group. I had made cakes for different departments, individuals and I had made cakes for FCMB as a brand. So, I was asked to come in to meet with the committee and we discussed it at length and they gave it to me. So, I am glad I got the brief. What was the client’s brief

They wanted a replica of the house at Milverton. I had identified different ways in which I thought we could achieve that but the committee members wanted a replica of about two and a half to three foot high and that was what I did. So, I went over to the house, had an opportunity to take pictures of the house but I did not think the pictures were sufficient. So, I did my homework and found out who the architects were and I got elevations of the house to make my job easy. After all, beauty is in proportions – if you are able to get the lines and proportions right, then you will have a good cake when you are done. Quite remarkable that you had to go to that length just to make a cake, was that how you were trained

Yes, it is from my training. You know, education is education.it is meant to affect your mind, no matter what you do. As a Dentist, I have to be careful. It is all in the details. You need to try and understand how things work. Did you make the Rolls Royce replica cake

No, I did not make that. So, how demanding was it baking that cake

I have a team of gentlemen that work with me. I obviously could never have done that on my own. It took days of planning. I sat down and studied the drawing of the structure. When I was in Secondary school, I loved Technical Drawing (TD). I did Technical Drawing for my senior Secondary examination. In my set, we were just two ladies in my TD class. If I did not do Dentistry, I would have done

Architecture. I had an idea what the elevations meant, so, I sat down and I studied it. You have to plan the designing, then you have to think of support, how you are going to layer and you have to think of how you are going to get the height and other specifications. These were the things we needed to determine before the Baking proper commenced. It took us a whole week from baking to delivery and it was the week in which we had fuel trouble. People got to work late that week. I have my store on Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, and we have loads of petrol stations around. We had to walk the length of Awolowo Road many times because it was impossible to drive around with all the queues all over the place. When we had side meetings, we would walk to the meetings at Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS). All in all, my team and I did a good job. They were all hands on. Did you encounter hiccups on the way

Oh yes, we did. They had to bear with me at home, because I was getting home late. On the day of the event, I had to leave home for 6a.m. to be there, because we had to deliver the cake at 10a.m. and we still had a lot of work to do. I had left the office about 9.30p.m. the night before. The committee members asked me what the weight of the cake was, so they could plan the stand, but I told them I had not done anything that big, in one piece, before. Usually, we would do cakes in pieces and mount them on one another at the venue. But the replica cake had to be done in one piece. I remember, we had done about 90 slabs of cake and each weighed approximately 3kg; together, they weighed 270kg and this was without the icing. At that point, I started to think, I was going to need some men to carry this (laughs). When we were done making the cake, we had to leave it on the table on which we had built it, so as to keep it stable. It took a lot of us to carry it from the floor into the pick-up van. The journey from here to TBS is not such a long stretch, but by the time we got to TBS, the cake had shifted. Getting the cake into the hall was another challenge. We had some 16 men to carry that cake into the venue and even at that, it was a start-stop journey to the place where it was positioned in the hall. By the time we got there, the cake was not as pristine as it was when we first set out with it from the office. That was

disappointing. I was thinking next time we would just use a crane. (general laughter) Was that the most challenging cake you have had to bake

It was challenging, quite alright, since it was the heaviest cake in one piece that I had ever baked but not really the most challenging. I made the wedding cake for Chief Leo Stan Ekeh’s daughter, Gozy Ekeh’s wedding and that was a ten foot (10ft) cake. That was a challenge for me. The only difference between this and that was that, we had to make this in one piece while we placed one of the Ekeh's own on top of the other at the venue. So, what was the feedback you got from the celebrant’s family, friends and perhaps, guests at the event

I have not met with anyone from the family since that time but I explained what had happened to members of the committee and I think they were very understanding. I have a Facebook page where I posted a picture of the cake and I got loads of comments from people who said they were amazed. Some people asked if it was all cake and I told them, ‘Yes, it was all cake – no dummies, no Styrofoam and all that.’ It was all cake – all edible. The pillars were not all cake though, because of their depth. And so, we used conduit pipes and covered them in fondant because we needed the structure to be strong enough. The structure started out as a 26 by 34inch wide rectangle and was about two and a half feet high before we even added the roof. We cut out the windows and doors from the rectangle, made the roof, put the balconies on and all that. There was also the crest which we created and we were sure to add detail on and attach it to the cake and it was all sugar. I am sure that, it must have taken quite a number of men to move that cake at the end of the event as well. I think they understood what we went through to get the cake down to the venue. Apart from the aesthetics and the display of adroitness, what else was special about the cake

Oh, my cakes taste nice. Apart from looking nice, I make sure that my cakes taste equally nice. We make use of the freshest of ingredients and those of the best quality. We get whatever it will take to make a nice cake.

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General Yakubu Gowon officiating the cutting of the cake

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Otunba Subomi Balogun & wife, Olori Abimbola Balogun with their grandchildren

The celebrant’s grandchildren

"I AM OVERWHELMED BY THE

AWESOME POWER OF GOD"

We appreciate the opportunity to have you share your thoughts with us on your birthday. How do you feel sir

I am overwhelmed by the awesome power of God in protecting me, in sparing my life, in giving me good health to enjoy my 80th birthday, still bouncing, agile and alert and having all my senses completely active. When you talk of coming to an age, it’s a question of numbers. It’s what attributes that the good Lord will add to it that is important. If you want to pray for me these days, the only thing I ask for is good health and a continuous focus in giving praise and thanks to my God for what I believe is a bounteous provision for spiritual grace, guidance and protection. I am extremely overwhelmed by the considerable goodwill

I have experienced during this celebration. At times, I look back and ask, do I deserve all this? But as I keep on saying, it is only God that gives grace to mankind. I believe it is the Almighty God, for one reason or the other, that has inured all of you to see whatever attributes or virtues in me, that have galvanized all of you to come and hear something from me. I am just overwhelmed by the unquantifiable measure of grace. If I had talked of endowment, you’re talking of material things. I am no longer interested in material things. I think I had that some 10 to 20 years ago. But for you to be advancing in age and to feel as healthy as I feel now; I mean I walked from the beginning of the house to the Royal Pavilion. I saw some of my peers

around me and they were wondering where I got the energy from. These are some of the things that amaze me and inure me to continue to give thanks and also to be closer to my God than I have done hitherto. What else could one desire than what the Yorubas call ore ofe Olorun-the favour of God. I am just overwhelmed. I am humbled. Flabbergasted is a cheap word to use. Overwhelmed is correct; the awesome power of God, the amazing power of God has actually helped me to keep my head straight.

Sir, the commissioning of the hall and the museum we witnessed today, what does it really signify for Nigeria’s traditional institution as a whole

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Dayo Benjamin-Laniyi, Bolaji Balogun & Francis Ogboro

Kemi Balogun & friends

(R-l): Chief Lanre Ojora & Mrs. Rose Danmola

Mr. Ayo Durodola & wife, Mrs. Durodola

Mr. Oscar Oyinsan & wife, Mrs. Titi Oyinsan

Mrs. Amina Ahmadu, Mrs. Titi Annan & Mrs. Tunde Coker

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Dame Dorothy Mbanefo, Omoba Adepoju Adeniyi & Mrs. Jumoke Lawuyi

Mr. & Mrs. Olajide Aleshinloye-Williams


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Mrs. Ronke Williams, Alhaja Lateefat Gbajabiamila & Mrs. Kemi Ogunyemi

Dr. Femi Ogunyemi & Dr. Jimi Coker

R-l: Lara Kuku Balogun & son, Babayele

Dr. (Mrs.) Funmi Ajose, Mrs. Folashade Ekisola & Mr. Gokeola Ekisola

Seyi Adewale & Bimbo Sawyerr

Dr. Sanni Olugbenga, Mr. Abimbola Arigbabu & Laolu Fadairo

HRM Oba R. A. Ogunsanya (Olupese of Ipeseland, Ikorodu), Alhaji Monzor Dawodu Olowosago & Mrs. Abiodun Dawodu Olowosago

Temilola Akinkunmi & Bukky Odunusi

Mrs. Kunbi Ogunmekan, Mrs. Didi Johnson & Mrs. Cecilia Okeke

Mrs. Yinka Taiga, Dr. Kemi Ibru & Mrs. Esosa Anenih

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Mrs. Lape Adetayo, Eno Udoh & Mrs. Titi Ogunbanjo

Femi Otedola & Ovations Editor, Michael Effiong exchanging pleasantries

Kemi Agoro & Lydia Agoro

Mrs. Wunmi Odia & Mrs. Bisola Nwokodo

Mr. Olamide Shonekan, Mr. Adedolapo Akinrele (SAN) & Mr. Kayode Akinkugbe

Arinola Kola-Daisi & Tayo Kola-Daisi

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Nina Borleigh & Miss Ngozi Omambala Ladnpran

Mr. & Mrs. Lanre Gbajabiamila


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Mr. Kunle Ogunmefun & Chief Opeyemi Bademosi

Ladi Balogun, Abdulsamad Rabiu & Segun Sebanjo

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Rear-Admiral Abiodun Olukoya (Rtd.) & wife, Chief (Mrs.) Oluremi Olukoya

Alhaji Monzor Dawodu Olowosago & wife, Mrs. Abiodun Olowosago

Mr. & Mrs. Oladipupo Olubajo

Laitan Olubi with Olayinka Adeyemi

Prince Iweka & wife

Prince D. K. Olumofin & Joro Olumofin

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Bolaji Balogun with friends

The Laredo Team


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Niyi Williams & Anouh Brewaeys

Mrs. Ronke Odusanya, Mr. Bolaji Balogun & Mrs. Lanre Gbajabiamila

Rufai Ladipo, Funmi Ajila-Ladipo, Segun Erewa & Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa

Seun & Bimbo Somolu

Femi Atilade, Bukola Akinlagun & Danielle Allen

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R-l: Olori Ladun Sijuwade, Ngozi & Gboyega Balogun with family & friends

R-l: Ikechukwu Kalu, Funmi Ayinde & Lola Johnson

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Dapo Oshinusi, Fred Coker & Ayo Assaf

Olayiwola Adeyemi & Olumide Alegbeleye

Remi Ali, Lizzy Omosiji


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Mr. & Mrs. Adegbenro Adejare, Francis Ogoro, Dapo Abiodun & Terry Waya

Mrs. Dupe Ogunwole, Chief (Mrs.) Tessa Ikimi & Dr. (Mrs.) Molly Adadevoh

Mr. & Mrs. Rotimi Adegbemile

Augusta Chibututu, Chief (Mrs.) Sena Anthony & Biodun Laja

Yinka Alakija & Aleruchi Wabali

Mrs. Tola Morakinyo & Mrs. Lolade Bakare

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Bashorun J.K. Randle & Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, Speaker, Federal House of Representatives

Celebrant with CEO of Laredo

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Mallam & Hajiya Bello Maccido

Guy Czartorski & Mallam Bello Maccido

Chief (Mrs.)Sena Anthony (right)


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(R-l): Dr. Doyin Abiola, Chief Aluko & Ms Teni Aofiyebi

Dr. Aviel Sheyin-Stevens, Arch. Ayo Edun & Ayodiwura Edun

Mr.Tunde Fowler & wife , Mrs. Fowler with Chief Rasaq Okoya & wife, Chief (Mrs.) Sade Okoya & Olorogun (Dr.) Sunny Kuku

Arrival of Ayangburen of Ikorodu, Oba Salaudeen Oyefusi

Mr. & Mrs. Akinwande Ademosu

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Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun & Chief Chris Ogunbanjo

Uche Balogun & Folake Coker

Sen. Olorunimbe Mamora & wife

Otunba Gbenga Daniel & wife with others on the top table

Ladi Balogun & Kunle Ogunmefun, Executive Vice Chairman, Bluebird

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Francis Ogoro & Collins Chikeluba

Top Fashion designer, Ade Bakare


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Chief (Mrs.) Ronke Atere (m)

Sola Ojora & Uche Balogun

Evangelist Ebenezer Obey thrilling guests

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most countries, succession to royalty is usually orderly. When the British were leaving us, they had an order of four ruling houses. People started tampering with them, making what we call ficticious claims. I have always been a man of excellence, and in addition to whatever things I am doing to leave a legacy about my life, I decided that I would create a museum of history; not just a museum having archives and keeping relics but a museum of history-an institution in which we will be studying all the materials available to arrive at the truth. I wanted to institutionalize the purifying of our royalty. You all listened to the Awujale, that particularly, in my own Ruling House, which we call the Fusengbuwa, there a lot of brigands who are making claims that cannot be substantiated. What we’re first looking for was just a meeting place for the royal family. I wouldn’t want them to have it here. My wife and I live a private life. If we were to allow large crowds to come into the Oba Tunwase Court, then we could as well give up our private lives. So, I then said, let us look for a good place within the royal lands, and we’ll build a meeting place. But while we were looking for land, we saw this place and people were saying, “This is ile osi-the ancestral shrine where they worship the spirit of those who are dead in the royal house.” I said, “Look, forget that. We are either Christians or Muslims. Let us use that place to give praise to God for their lives.” Secondly, and emotionally, I found that this place was the resting places of many which included that of my own progenitor, Omo Oba Adeyimika, the eldest daughter of Oba Tunwase. And a few other people connected with me. And I said … why don’t we get some historians to read more? In Ijebu history, the first time we knew of people able to read and write was when the British came in. if some other people had hagiography or they had Muslim alphabets, we didn’t know of it. But it was when the British came, that we started reading ABC and the local people turned it to A, B, D. that is the first authentic time, that any record produced can be relied upon. But for someone to tell me that my grandfather’s mother’s daughter gave me the story that I was born into this royal house, to me, is ficticious. So I said, look, why don’t we put heads together, let us look for the origin. I was able to get this young man, Professor Okuwa, not too young because he is over 70 now, but much younger than I am, and I asked if he could go to the British Museum and the American Museum of African History and look up these famous documents which Oba Adesimbo Tunwase, signed with the British Queen and he went. It was a treaty for trade and exchange, and also for the Ijebus to open up, so that they could go into the Yoruba hinterland. That was what the treaty said. But they found an accommodating and far-seeing Oba in 1892 who said, “Okay, you’ve defeated me on the warfront, what do you have to say?” The people said they wanted peace and they signed an agreement. Encouraged by the way he received them, they asked whether they could preach the word of God-Christianity-to his people. He said, “Yes, come to my corridor and preach it.” Before then, anybody who attempted to preach Christianity was scared away with oro.” He allowed them. They then asked if he could allow some of his family members to receive Christ and he agreed. So, some of his children, according to the Bishop and according to the records, were Christians. Then he said, “Look, you need a place of worship, there’s a land there. Go and build your church there.” I think this is significant enough for us to preserve in our history and from that history, find out other things that would be endearing to the ethos of the Ijebus. That is one. Two, the Yorubas have all sorts of stories about how we came. But some people said the Ijebus are actually the Jebusites that you hear of in the Bible, that we come from somewhere in Ethiopia. I am not saying it is sacrosanct. We need historians to go and find out and give us authentic stories that we should preserve. Some people said Obanta came from the Middle East, probably including North Africa and Ethiopia. Let them produce something for us to believe in. truth exalts a nation. There are a lot of charlatans. I am not going to refer to anything subjudicial because I am a Lawyer of nearly 55years: but I like to find the truth. So, I said, create a group of scholars who will devote their own time to finding the truth. Then, from an emotional part of it, this is my ancestor who they claimed allowed the British to come in and who said you can’t make Ijebu a colony like you made Lagos. We can only be a protectorate; that we would be running our government and you will be protecting us. With somebody with a proud lineage as I have, as God gave me the means, I told my Royal Father, that my birthday was only three and a half months to come. That if God wants me to build it, I want to build a museum. And we started working day and night and we produced that magnificent edifice you saw in three months and ten days. That’s when I knew that God has a hand in it. Except the Lord builds a house, they labour in vain that build it. I was made Otunba Tunwase in 1982, why me? I am directly descended from that lineage: my great grandmother was this man’s daughter. Why me? Even though I come from two nobilities, there is so much in my royal bearing that is reflected in the way I carry myself. It is not artificial. I came out from the event; I went and put on this. One elderly man said “Omo afi aron pojo.” It’s part of my oriki: Omo ayi ninu aron batabutu, 92

Chief Chris Ogunbanjo

Gov. Babatunde Fashola

Gov. Ibikunle Amosun


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Chief Kola Daisi praying tribute to help his great friend

Chief (Mrs.) Abimbola Balogun with friends in felicitation mood

Omo afi aron pojo, Omo joye koye wunije. I believe all these things are in my makeup. The awujale described me in one of his congratulatory messages as a special breed, a dependable ally, the pride of the Ijebus: there must be something in all that. You know the Awujale is frank. So, like I have done in other fields, I am trying to leave an indelible print. In this instance, we want to leave a correct legacy – truth about our origin – truth about who and who are related to us – truth that will beget respectability. So, those are the reasons behind the spending of quite a fortune to build that museum. Sir, today, history has given you a special seat, to the extent that you are recognised as the grandmaster of the Nigerian Financial Sector. We know about the plethora of financial technocrats that you have raised who are making waves at various levels. We’ve seen your strength in the area of education, philanthropy, child care and so forth. We want you to recap your culture of excellence for the legacy you’re trying to leave and who will come after you. What is it that separates you from the understanding

of the concept of cultural essence

Let me take these words from an Indian philosopher who said, “I shall pass through this world only but once. Any good that I can do, let me do it now for I may not pass this way again.” That summarises me, not only in philanthropy. Awujale also said, you have come, you have seen and you have conquered. Honestly, when I read that thing later in the morning, I said to myself that this man has studied me in and out. All I want to do is that wherever I have the privilege of passing through, I want to leave a remarkable footstep. I have done it, as you said, in finance. I also did it in law. I was the first Nigerian to be trained as a Parliamentary Counsel-the first black face to be seen in the British Parliament. When the Nigerian Independence Act was being passed, I was receiving training. I was the first to be named an Assistant Parliamentary Counsel of the Federation. I was the first to be Secretary and Legal Adviser of a World Bank established bank. When I felt they did not give me what I deserved, I was the first single-handedly, with my God, to dare to set up a financial institution.

In those days, if you want to set up a bank, they will tell you to go and bring your partners from one bank or the other. I did try but when I tried and didn’t get one, I made God my partner. I told some people cock and bull story. I named the company City Securities Limited, Primrose Investment Limited. And when people asked, I told them some friends in Dagenham asked me to run it for them and they are paying me whereas it was only my God and myself that owned the place. Then, I had battles, I had challenges. I didn’t put up my chest to say that I am strong enough. I put everything in the hands of God and said, “Through the love of God our Saviour, all will be well.” And I converted it into an anthem for the bank. Then when I prayed several times, one of the tunes that used to come to mind was, “I cannot fail, I cannot fail, because of Jesus, I cannot fail.” When I built this house (in Ijebu) 26years ago, so many people were wondering, “What is this?” a number of top people in the country, in Ijebu and other places, made this place a tourist attraction. There was a day I invited all the Ambassadors in Nigeria and I gave them a luncheon. 93


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...THANK YOU ALL

Otunba Subomi Balogun

The then American Ambassador came in and was wowed; he said he thought he was seeing the white house. Then my wife was telling me that as much as she liked this place, she would have loved something like that in Lagos and I laughed. When God permitted me, I did something better than this in Lagos, so much so that my people were saying I won’t come to Ijebu again. Then, I proved them wrong by renovating this place and having things permanent. To answer your question, it is not just any facet of life, I am saying that I can only pass through this world but once. Any good that I can do, let me do it now. So, every facet of my life, I have always tried, with God’s help, to leave indelible footprints but with one caveat – you don’t succeed in life without having challenges or detractors. My late father used to tell me that the moment you start succeeding in life, you should be humble and prayerful. My mother’s father used to say that if he has a child who is not envied, that child has not succeeded yet. So, all these things are lessons of life that I have taken in my stride. I have fought battles but I did not fight them alone; I carried my cross whatever the weapons. Even in this celebration you’re enjoying with me, I spent more time in praying to my God, I’m a man of details, that everything should go round. Look at the service in Lagos, the church was bursting at the seams. We went to TBS, we had over 4,000 guests. People were still coming in when I was leaving. We had this one; that hall only takes about 300 or 400 people; we had people outside and in the garden. What that tells me is that I am a special child of God; that God has a need for me; that God wants to use me. So, my prayer is that the good Lord should enable me to see his favour and be used for his works. These are not platitudes. People close to me will tell you – I live it. And I don’t bear grudges because I believe them to be part of the growing pains – the things that make a man. At the end of it all, I want to thank my God, I want to thank everybody, including my enemies for what is happening to me in life. Yes, my friends are wishing me well; my friends who are not wishing me well are giving God the opportunity to show his love for me. This is the incredulous thing about God. I always like to quote my friend, Rasak Okoya. He says Oluwa ni’n sola – it is God who makes wealth.

excellence

You always emphasize excellence in all your statements and activities; what brought about this culture of

Still talking about excellence sir, I know you usually don’t want to talk about your house in Lagos while we are still dreaming about the house that has not been built, but

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The culture of excellence is that only the best is good enough and that there is no limit to the best. There is a Yoruba proverb which I will translate to you, that is the best house in the world is the house that has not built. When I built apartments called Royal Atlantic Garden near the Federal Palace Hotel, I saw it as the best in the world. The American Embassy took everything. But when I did something else after that, I was amazed myself. And I did it after the age of 75. Now, when you talk of excellence, it is what you call the greatest height of achievement. Achievement is not material things. Even if you’re thinking of being a man of God, until you’ve been able to feel God and experience God, you’ve not defined yourself. Excellence is the utmost; it is not something that can end. So, what you call excellence today, may be substandard tomorrow. So, what I am saying is that you should always strive to be the utmost. It’s like somebody telling you “White.” What is white? Let me tell you a joke. I rode the car to the church. My bosom friend, Chief Kola Daisi said this white is different from the others. I said to him this one it is called Antique White. I was trying to get the purest white. When you talk of culture of excellence, you’re not complacent, you’re not just accepting things, you’re looking beyond the mundane, and you’re looking beyond the ordinary. You’re trying to be exceptional. You’re trying to be what other people are not. That is the culture of excellence. You must always aim for something higher. And I tend to be so much consumed in this desire to be excellent that I am too detailed. I want to know what arrangement my people are doing for me about my party. I want to know what arrangements they have made about the media. If Caleb brings something for me and it is probably not clear enough, I will call him to tell him his equipment was not good enough. If you’re wearing a tie and it is not straight, I will correct it. I was a teacher but I found that the thing is very much in me. It is going beyond the ordinary. It is going beyond the norm and doing something exceptional; always aspiring to get the best. That is culture of excellence. It is something you can cultivate but you must be consistent. It is not difficult. My late father used to say there is no difficulty which industry, perseverance and prayers cannot solve. That is culture of excellence.

that door, I don’t think I have seen anything like it before

(Laughs) You won’t. What were you thinking about sir; what was the whole vision behind that door

I did this 26 years ago and I have travelled a lot. I wanted a building two or three storeys but that would have high ceilings that would make it really gothic – classical. If you want to enjoy high ceiling, you can’t have a short door. Then, if you have a tall door, it can’t be effective if you want to open it by hand. So it is remote-controlled. The door is nine and a half metres thick. You won’t find that anywhere in this country. It’s part of my culture of excellence. It’s like wearing white. Let me give you a joke about these shoes. I have some people in London who do it for me. Then somebody went to Italy and said they could also make it for me and so they made something. And I said good. I took the one from England-the artistic combination of the Italians and the English achieved what I wanted. I am very personal but I am very exacting; and I drive myself more and hard. People who work with me know that I am tough but I am also very kind. I so get involved their personal lives that you would see people who have been with me for ages. My secretary has been with me for 35years; she’s still around. My driver has spent 25years and he is still around. The man who drives my boat has been with me for 37years and he’s still around. So many people! Why? I would have grilled them, after some time they would be so fond of me. When I am going out, we are meticulous about picking the dress I will wear. You will have to go to the laundry, press it and get it ready. If I am going to swim, there’s a level of temperature I want in my swimming pool. That is what you call culture of excellence. Sir, you’re retired from active service, do you miss going to the office

No, but I can’t be idle. I don’t miss it. But if I stop being as active, I will start falling ill. I have been extremely lucky that I have a son who is a prototype of me and has even improved on me but I can’t keep my eyes or my ears off. I am like a mother hen that has her chicks. I am so protective. I don’t miss it but for my own good, if I am not current, if I don’t read your


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Like I said in my letter, God had given me enough, and I am bewildered and overwhelmed by the awesome protection, the abundance of blessing the Good Lord has given me, don't give me a personal birthday present, give everything you have for me to the Children's Hospital. papers, if I don’t know what is going on, I will feel sick and unhappy. I still watch television and I still dance – classical dance. I still swim and I still jog. On top of my house in Lagos, three rounds is one kilometer. It’s a sort of discipline. When we come every weekend to Ijebu, my wife and I will just get down from the car and walk about a mile to my farm. We will collect all the food that we want to eat. We will pick whatever livestock – either rabbit or antelope or chicken. My wife will pick the vegetables. They’ll get me the oranges. I have an orchard here. All these are Godgiven. Let me also give a Yoruba proverb: kila kila o mole, ka se ise bi eru o da nkan. There are people who have worked harder – who have done more than I have – but it is only God who blesses. Otunba, you are indeed an influential member of the Fusengbuwa Royal Family and I am told your ruling house is going to produce the next Awujale, what is your take on who the cap will fit

No, no.It is not time to discuss the next Awujale. The current Awujale is my personal friend. We are almost twins. I am just about two months older. So, I will pray that the two of us should still be strong enough to celebrate our 100th birthdays. What else do I want? You know I said something, that I am flying in a plane, for me to be blowing horn would be atrocious. I am riding on a horse, for me to be watching what the ants are doing down there would be rubbish. I am only interested in orderliness and excellence – that’s all. And the orderliness is going on right now

That’s why the museum was built. I am trying to remove charlatans. I am trying to remove people of dubious origin. I am trying to bring sanity. I am trying to do something that is pure and acceptable in the sight of God. I am trying to seek for divine guidance. That’s all. Otunba sir, pride of Ijebuland, pride of the black man

Thank you But first of all, you are an Ijebu man, what’s your wish for Ijebuland on your 80th birthday sir

My wish is that the good Lord should give us more of the Otunbas just as the good Lord has given you an Otunba after the Odutolas and the rest. You see, there is what we call regeneration. If all these achievements just die with my generation, it wouldn’t have been good for Ijebu. I am praying that we should produce more Ijebus that will do better than I have done just as I have done better than my own predecessor. That is my prayer for Ijebu. Did you in any way influence your children concerning their career paths

I wouldn’t say I did at the beginning; all I did was give them the best education that money could afford. The Good Lord in all his gracefulness, gave me four sons, I know my wife will have liked to have had a girl but I keep on saying that everything is according to the design of our maker. As soon as they were up to school age, particularly as they were going out of Nigeria, I decided that the four of them should be sent to Britain. Bolaji, my eldest son was 11, Jide was 9, Ladipupo was 7 and Gboyega was about 5. They went to one of the best Prep Schools in Britain, Papplewick School in Berkshire and from there to Charterhouse, and they were all proud to have been in the same house known as Gownboys. I’m told that if you get to Gownboys in Charterhouse, somewhere there, the name Balogun is cracked on the wall, it’s a Balogun tradition. I also believe that my environment may have influenced them in choosing courses. I trained as a Lawyer then later on went into Finance. I was already doing well and I had established my own company, City Securities Limited when Bolaji was going to college so he automatically went to my alma mater, London School of Economics and studied Economics. Jide probably was keenly interested in becoming a Lawyer

but he appreciated the fact that at the end of the day, his father ended up a businessman and in finance. So he read law and later on went for an MBA in another university. Ladipupo was exceptional, people call him my favourite, but all my children are my favourite. He really gave us joy in a big way; he led his class in Economics. His results were so outstanding that by the time he finished, without my influence, one of the oldest British investment banks, Morgan Grenfell, recruited him as one of their graduate trainees and that was how he started his career in banking. Gboyega, the youngest, went to one of the colleges of London University and read Economics and before I could say Jack Robinson, he had gone for an MSc in City University London. So if you want, call it an osmotic effect of the environment they were brought up within. They were propelled. I think they all like what daddy was doing. Let me also say they were very much involved because at the point I decided to set up my own financial institution, part of the encouragement was a divine message that came through Babajide when he was 9years old, who after a chapel service went to his mum and said, “Mummy, why is daddy trying to be the MD of somebody else’s bank, why can’t he set up his own bank?” I was amazed that a boy of that age could say something like that. I put it all in my book. After I heard that, I tried to prod him and he confirmed what his mother had told me; from there I walked straight back into the chapel to pray. While I was praying, something happened to me that was unique. Instead of being emotional, I started singing, “You cannot fail, you cannot fail, because of Jesus, you cannot fail.” From the chapel, I went straight into my study and prepared the memorandum and articles of association of City Securities. Being a lawyer, I took up the M&A of Icons Securities where I was working, deleted the Icon and substituted it with City. You are known as someone who is very expressive; have you always been like that or is it a family trait

I think it’s something I was born with. Although, it is natural as one grows older, to mellow. I do not like to engage in controversy but I have a very strong character. I’m honest. I have integrity and I also believe in calling a spade a spade; more so, because I accept in such an emotional way, the ultimacy of the Almighty God, I am not going to be influenced by any human imagination. I have a strong character and with all due sense of modesty, I will say that by nature I’m a very deep fellow. Your character to some might be, a bit imposing, are you a firm believer in not sparing the rod so as not to spoil the child

People probably feel because of my frank way of speaking, I am hard. Some people even unintelligently say I’m arrogant, but after meeting me, have come to appreciate the real me. Because I like white, ride in beautiful white cars, people say I’m flamboyant. Do you know the reply I give them - that they don’t understand English. I don’t mince words. Integrity to me is like something to worship. When I started my institutions, I talked of the culture of excellence. I cannot hurt a fly but my modest achievement, my courage and my frankness seem to frighten some people. When I was building up FCMB, I had a style of my own; I had a code of dressing and I had a code of conduct. We all felt like one family; I picked out the best staff available in the industry and paid them what they wanted. Initially, people said you better have the taste of the pudding to know the real thing but it is not unique to me. Any icon, any star, anybody that has made what is perceived as success will definitely find envious, jealous people whose traits may have eaten like a worm into their very fabric. I’m not odd, one of the greatest things the good Lord has given me is courage, courage of conviction, courage to say what I mean. I’m not a pretender; I’m down to earth but I’m very godly in my approach to my fellow human beings. 95


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Otunba with his Personal Assistant of 35 years, Mrs. Busola Adekusibe

I have decided to give the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre to the doyen university, the University of Ibadan as a gift, lock, stock and barrel, everything. The only thing I want is that they should kindly retain the name. But the 50 Acre land, all the developments there, the extra-ordinary furniture, the state-of-the-art equipment, the facilities. Your new house has been labeled the White House. It is extremely imposing and majestic to say the least. Is this building an extension of your personality

It is of course; 26 years ago, I built in Ijebu what we call the Oba Tunwase Court and 26 years later, it still looks as majestic and as imposing. My typical columns adorn the whole place and it is out of the ribs of the columns that I created the symbolic FCMB offices. In Ijebu Ode, I had 25acres of land to play with so there were grounds; but everything there is classical Victorian Greco-Roman. It portrays my exposure to all these different cultures. I did that 26 years ago and a number of FCMB buildings, I did some 10/20 years ago and a few other structures of mine. So, at the age of 75, I wanted to do something that will give a full expression of me, especially with the endowment of the good Lord. So, I sat down with my architect and told him I wanted to improve on what I did in Ijebu Ode which till today still remains a monument for people in homes. My architects asked me what else I wanted to do and I put him in the plane and went to some of the places I know in Italy. Incidentally, because of my closeness with Italian builders, I was given the highest national honour - Cavaliere Al Merito Della Repubblica Italiana. So, I showed my architect the sort of columns I liked either Corinthian or Gothic; showed him the size, the sort of windows I would like. All these are improvements on Ijebu Ode, which is all fine-tuned with nearly about 80 columns. I then took

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him to some majestic buildings in Rome, Florence, Milano and more. We talked about the heights then came back to London. I actually live in Knightsbridge and we went round to Belgravia, which is just a stone throw from my home in London, just a few blocks away from Harrods. I have a Greco-Roman home there. I then explained to him how I wanted to improve on my existing building. It is only by the grace of God’s will that I can still be expressive about what I want. At 80, one would have thought that you had achieved everything you wanted

I was a bit worried about the sly comments people will make when we were building this house in Ikoyi so I made it very secretive. I fenced it with a 15 feet wall and had a strong security staff to make sure that nobody could see what we were doing, but many people were curious. Some people thought I was building a block of flats, which I normally do, and I encouraged them to think that. Some even went into some high rise buildings to take pictures to see what Otunba was doing but my wife and I kept sealed-lips. I was trying to do something exceptional, reflecting my exceptional personality, my wife, while we made these journeys. How long did take you to build

It took us three years of round the clock traveling and working How tall is this building

The building is almost as tall as a block of four or five flats. The ceilings are at least five metres high but when you think of the recess of the French ornaments, it may be about six. The door, my main door is 9.8metres. I think it’s a dream house and it gives full expression of the real me but because of the malevolent comments of envious contemporaries, I decided to shroud the whole thing in secrecy. Even up till now, I restrict those who come into my house and forbid cameras. So, how do you spend your festive holidays

I have an expansive place called Otunba Tunwase Court and my boys all have their family flats there. We built on 25acres; 15acres of it is a farm where we grow all the food we eat - 10 of it, we live in. We are always all there for Christmas. So it’s a custom to be in Ijebu every Christmas

I have to be; apart from having a beautiful home there, I am the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians. You talk about your wife in the most endearing terms, how long have you been married

I have been married for 47 years.

What was the attraction when you met her

This is a question people ask me because I call my wife my inseparable companion. I think God chose her for me and whatever God has chosen is the most beautiful, not just physically but in mind and heart. God chose me a complement; somebody who would complement all the attributes he had for me. My wife is a first class homemaker. All the beautiful flowers that adorn my house are her handiwork. All the small dainty things that add to the beauty of this living room is my wife’s doing. Anything that has to be with a home whether in Ijebu, London or here, she is the kingpin or should I call her the “queenpin” of handling things like that. She is a very beautiful woman, close to 70 and still very beautiful. People still think I am about 60 when I am 80. If you see my wife, you will think she is 50. In addition to that, she blends; what is deficient in me, she supplies. By nature, she is a very private person, but someone gregarious as myself, needs somebody behind him and we are a good match. I have come to the conclusion that my God loved me so much. He gave me a suitable companion like he did to Adam. I have said in some other places that I met her as if God arranged it. Where was that

In Lagos, I was standing with a late friend of mine and I saw two beautiful girls walking towards us. Without even knowing who she was, I told my friend I was fed up of these girls with short skirts around. I then told him to look at that young innocent girl coming. She is the sort of person I will like to meet and mould into what I want. My friend laughed and said I will be called a cradle-snatcher. In those days, for you to marry someone ten years younger was a sacrilege but I said I will do it and I had role models who had done it and succeeded. From that very day, I set my eyes on her. I told all my friends and told them this is my Queen, my Olori. I said because I’m a Prince, I’m going to make her a Queen, and I asked all my friends to either accept her or leave me. It was as blunt as that and she too grew up quickly. Within two to three years of our marriage, she became a Grand Matron of an opulent environment. We have had occasions where we have hosted virtually all the ambassadors in Nigeria when they were still resident in Lagos. In our Ijebu home, we have hosted some of the greatest and noblest Nigerians and in those days, these commercial caterers were not yet in business. My wife all alone, with some of the locals, helped arrange it flawlessly. People who have attended events in my house will testify to that. Even as far back as forty years ago, she has always been like that.


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What key things did you enjoy in your youth that you feel is lacking today

If you say that, I have many. I was an avid dexterous ballroom dancer, I could do the waltz, I could do the quick step and I could do the tango and there are pictures of me doing so and I even won prices back then here in Lagos. This doesn’t happen anymore. Also, in those days, parental control was very good and conducive, there lies a fair attitude of leaving your children to learn by making mistakes. Our parents were strict. You got things by merit. For instance, what gave me the head start in my profession wasn’t because my father was a politician. I was selected while I was in university to be specially trained by the Government of Western Region which made me one of the first black faces ever to be seen in the British Parliament. Merit at that time, was the in thing; lessons about honesty were the in thing. People believed in those days that there were no short cuts to success and our worship of God was much more solemn. Achievers were eulogized. Then the communities were close. In Lagos, I lived with an uncle of mine and among the tenants were people from the east, the north and we didn’t discriminate. You see, all these destructive divisions, we never had, within my own family in Ijebu, we had Muslims, Christians and we never disagreed. So these are things that are missing but I thank God that through the love of God our Saviour, it is still all well with many of us. Now that you have turned 80, I assume that work wise, you are taking things a bit more slowly. What kind of things do you now have more time to enjoy that you could not do when you were building your empire

I swim; if you look at the back of my house you will see my swimming pool. I enjoy listening to music particularly hymns. If you look at my environment here, I have some of the best organs. If you go down now, there is a piano for my grandchildren. If you go to my home in Ijebu - the same thing. I enjoy listening to music. I enjoy Yoruba lyrics or African lyrics but I’m at my best if I just lounge and listen to beautiful hymns. I also enjoy reviewing my past life, past existence on the television. I do thank my God I still have relatively good eyes and I can sit down for an hour or two and watch TV. I also have historic stories around my life, my people, with everything in my study, so I go into my archives and pull them out to read. Then, I have many

friends, although people have told me all the people I call my friends are not really my friends. The young ones admire me but I’m a very private person. You will always see me with my wife. In fact, when you leave here now, I’m crawling back to wherever my wife is to watch a movie or talk about old times or our grandchildren or where we are going to travel to next and about God. I think one of my main preoccupations is my wife and I praying and talking about God. We do that a lot and we have very good reasons to do so. We have contemporaries who have worked as hard as we have, who have also been blessed but I keep on saying “Good Lord, I don’t know how I can thank you, you have been so gracious to me,” and believe me, I’m not just mouthing it, people who are close to me know that I’m close to God. In my social living room, you have a crucifix there and they are all over my house. Then I love the beautiful things of this world and whatever God has enabled me to have, I enjoy passionately. Until probably a year or two ago, I still used to go out on my boat but when I was getting close to 80, I said to myself, wearing shorts and going on a boat I think I should leave to the children. For achieving so much in your life, you must have also had your fair share of betrayals and the day is too short to begin to ask you to name them, but how have you been able to deal with the greatest betrayal you have ever had

Nobody gets to my height without going through the crucible, but with faith in your God, you will overcome. Has this made you lest trusting of people in general

I don’t know if you are familiar with this cliché in the scriptures “Vengeance is mine says the Lord and I will recompense.” I have forgiven anybody who has betrayed me and they’re quite many. When I was taking my first step by wanting to be an officer of the NIDB, some people swore heaven and earth that I won’t get there except over their dead bodies and I got there. When I wanted a banking license, some people said, “Don’t mind that fellow, he will be this, he will be that.” With some near brigandage action by my wife holding to the garment of Alex Ekwueme, I achieved it with the grace of God. Then, in the course of my career, people felt that the height I got to, made me cocky. They accuse my staff of arrogance simply because they

never tried to scratch us to know the truth. So strange darts, strange arrows, were aimed at us but the good Lord made us swim through the turbulence. In one of my books, I said I have rediscovered my God, the only wise God. I have gone through the crucible and I have emerged a stronger person and victorious. I, like all Christians never lose hope, which is why I have adopted the church hymnal that says through the love of God our Saviour, everything will be well. I thank God for my life, most achievements of human beings are acknowledged posthumously but in my case, God gave me the grace to see the amazing grace that he has showered me with and I’m a particularly lucky son of God. People who know me know that I’m not just a practicing Christian; I’m profoundly godly in my approach to life. I didn’t get up and start kicking downstairs that here I am bearing my chest. People acknowledge it. My greatest burden now is to tell people that I have had enough accolades. So I will only ask you to join me in thanking God and praising him for being here to acknowledge his magnificence, to acknowledge his unwavering hand of protection, to acknowledge all the superlative things he has done for me. The awesomeness of God’s power in protecting me, the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent, the Alpha and Omega, the El Shaddai and I can tell you, these things are not just verbiage with me. I’m not just saying them. They are obvious in my life; even in my environment you can see the radiance of God. I said something; I said, “Oh worship the Lord in the beauty of his Holiness.” When I look around, it is not just physical beauty that I’m seeing; it is the beauty of the awesome power of God. Not many people at my age will have this articulacy to give expression and there is no arrogance in my tone, there is no flamboyance. Do you only wear white and how long have you adopted this practice

I think I have been doing that since 1982, except when I wear suits. In my urge to be close to my God, I decided to wear white which stands for purity. Who did you inherit your sense of style from

I inherited it from my father. My father was debonair. He ordered all his suits from Saville Row in London.

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...HERE IS OBA ADESIMBO TUNWASE MUSEUM AND HALL Story: Michael Effiong Photo: Adekoya Adegbite & Abraham Falodun

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Otunba Subomi very happy to see his good friend, Bashorun Kola Daisi

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Front View of Otunba Balogun’s Ijebu Mansion

sometimes spiced with the unique Ijebu dialect, His Majesty had very strong words for some indigenes, who according to him, have no respect for constituted authority and who are keen on causing trouble. He stated that Ijebuland has been peaceful with Christians and Muslims co-existing happily, and it was necessary to warn evil-minded trouble makers to steer clear of the area. He urged all members of the Fusengbuwa Ruling House to unite behind Otunba Subomi Balogun who has shown love to all. He asked all the members of the family to be grateful for having such a wonderful philanthropist and selfless individual like Otunba Subomi in their Family. “On behalf of all Ijebus, I thank You for this great initiative, we are proud of you”The first-class monarch stated. An emotional Otunba Balogun was next to speak and in his characteristic manner, he opened his heart on some touchy issues. His words “It is with the greatest joy and profound pleasure that I am welcoming all of you on behalf of the Fusengbuwa Ruling House to this unprecedented epoch-making event. “ Let me first of all, have the pleasure of congratulating our royal father, the Awujale and Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland, on the fact that during his reign, such epoch-making and unique event is taking place. The launch of a Museum of History and an archive of history, royal relics and artefacts, the first of its type, I am reliably told, in the history of Yorubaland, is such a significant watershed in the annals of Ijebu history. That the Ijebus are the first to achieve this feat of having a Museum of 100

History with the encouragement and enthusiastic support of our royal father is also something that should be well recorded in the annals of the history of the Yoruba race. The Fusengbuwa Ruling House of Ijebu has produced several Obas; I am told about 21 or 22; but we are seeking to establish an authentic and incontrovertible history of this Ruling House which can only be achieved by distinguished tested Historians and Researchers who have produced uncontroversial evidence to prove their story. “We all agreed that the first time the Ijebus were exposed to written and reliable record or history was after the Imagbon War of 1982. This occurred during the legendary reign of one of the most revered Obas that emanated from the Fusengbuwa Ruling House. I am referring to Oba Adesimbo Tunwase, the Awujale of Ijebu, who reigned between 1886 and 1895. “Oba Adesimbo was the Awujale who had the unique honour after the debacle of the Imagbon war, to receive the English colonialists at his palace and also signed a treaty between himself and the English Queen Victoria. It was a treaty to allow trading between the British and the Jebu Nation as well as to gain access to the hinterland of the Yoruba race. “That was how the treaty was described. It was a treaty between the Queen of England, represented by one of her servants, Captain Bower and the Oba of the Ijebus, that is, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase. The Oba also allowed the English missionaries to preach Christianity in his palace, the first time this was done in Ijebu and allowed some of his children to be baptized.

ne s’arrêtera pas dans son service pour Dieu et pour l'humanité. La cérémonie s'est terminée par une séance de prières par l’Evang. Sup Akanji, l’évêque E.O. Bankole et Mgr A. Odufuwa. C'est après ce service que toute la salle s’est enflammée lorsque les batteurs les sonneurs et les danseurs ont annoncé l'arrivée des Awujale et des autres invités de premier ordre. Des prières ont de nouveau été dites avant que l’Awujale ne donne son discours en tant que président de l'occasion. Il s’est exprimé en langue yoruba avec parfois l’accent unique d’Ijebu. Sa Majesté a eu des mots très forts pour certains autochtones, qui, selon lui, n'ont aucun respect pour les autorités et qui aiment causer des ennuis. Il a déclaré qu’Ijebuland est pacifique avec les chrétiens et les musulmans qui coexistent avec bonheur, et qu'il était nécessaire de mettre les fauteurs de troubles mal intentionnés à l'écart de la region. Il a exhorté tous les membres de la Chqmbre Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa à s'unir derrière Otounba Subomi Balogun qui a montré l'amour à tous. Il a demandé à tous les membres de la famille à être reconnaissants d'avoir un philanthrope merveilleux, une personne altruiste comme Otounba Subomi dans leur famille. " Au nom de tous les Ijebus, je vous remercie pour cette belle initiative, nous sommes fiers de vous " déclara le monarque de première classe. Ce fut un Otunba très ému qui prit ensuite la parole et dans sa manière propre à lui, il s’est penché sur certaines questions délicates. Selon ses propres mots " C'est avec la plus grande joie et le plaisir profond que je vous accueille tous au nom de la Maison Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa à cet événement qui marquera à jamais l’histoire.

" Permettez-moi tout d'abord de féliciter notre auguste père, l'Awujale et chef suprême d'Ijebuland, sur le fait que, pendant son règne, un tel événement historique se déroule. Le lancement d'un musée d'histoire et d'archives, des reliques et objets royaux, la première de ce genre, comme je l’ai appris de source sûre, dans l'histoire du peuple yoruba, est un bassin important dans les annales de l'histoire d’Ijebu. Que les Ijebus soient les premiers à réaliser cet exploit d'avoir un musée de l'histoire avec l'encouragement et le soutien enthousiaste de notre père royal est aussi quelque chose qui devrait être bien enregistré dans les annales de l'histoire du peuple Yoruba. La Maison Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa d’Ijebu a produit plusieurs Obas, environ 21 ou 22 selon ce qu’on m’a dit, mais nous cherchons à établir une histoire authentique et incontestable de la Chambre Dirrigeante et cet objectif ne peut être atteint que par des historiens et des chercheurs distingués qui ont produit des preuves irréfutables de prouver leur recherches. Nous avons tous convenu que la première fois que les Ijebus ont été exposés à l’écriture et à un archivage fiable de notre histoire était après la guerre d'Imagbon de 1882. Cela s'est produit pendant le règne légendaire de l'un des Obas les plus vénérés qui émanait de la Maison Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa. Je veux parler d’Oba Adesimbo Tunwase, l'Awujale d’Ijebu, qui a régné entre 1886 et 1895. " Oba Adesimbo était l'Awujale qui a eu l'honneur unique, après la débâcle de la guerre d'Imagbon, de recevoir les colonialistes anglais dans son palais et qui a également signé un traité entre lui-même et la Reine Victoria


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t is majestic, it is astounding and in deed upscale! Yes, all three words aptly describe the Oba Adesimbo Tunwase Museum and Hall which was built in the heart of Ijebuland by Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun to commemorate his 80th birthday. Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the united States od America said “I like to see a man proud of the place which he lives and like to see him live so that his place will be proud of him” The whole Ijebulandis proud of Otunba Balogun that is why it was agog that Saturday March 15, 2014 as the influential Otunba Balogun invited none other than His Royal Majesty, Oba S.K. Adetona, The Awujale & Paramount Ruler of Ijebuland to officially open the edifice. Just like he did on his birthday, he rode to the venue in a white Rolls Royce Phantom, this was a completely different version of the wonder of wheels. He was accompanied in the car by his ever-dependable wife, Olori Abimbola Balogun and on the convoy by his close friend, Bashorun Kola Daisi. Because Otunba Balogun is the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, it would have been surprising if the ceremony did not begin with a session of praise and prayers. Indeed, before the formal opening, members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ijebu Branch, made up of faithfuls from different denominations gathered inside the hall for a short yet spiritually-stimulating service. This was a special service in memory of Late Oba Adesimbo Tunwase I, a member of the Fusengbuwa Ruling House, who is not only the great grandfather of Otunba Balogun, but played a significant role in Ijebu history as the first Awujale to allow Christianity to be practiced in Ijebuland.

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The ceremony which had Pastor Richard Olawale as compere, began with an opening prayer delivered by Rev. Fr. Martin Ajayi, the CAN Chairman, Ijebu-Ode Area. Thereafter, there was a reading of the word by Biodun Shobayo. He read from Psalm 145 1-21. There was another reading by Snr. Supt. Apostle S. O. Adeolu, his focus was Mark 16: 15-20 where Jesus commanded his disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel. Rt. Rev. Awosoga delivered a short sermon where he enjoined Christians to seek first the Kingdom of God, and shun worldly pleasures. He used the opportunity to thank the celebrant for his consistent support of Christendom and described Otunba Balogun as a great son of the soil. He noted that it was not a surprise that the celebrant was honoured with the title of Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians because “God has prepared him for that position by blessing him and giving him a heart that is willing to give ceaselessly” Praying that God will continue to bless Otunba Balogun, Rev. Awosoga urged the celebrant to do more in the vineyard of the Lord. In his remarks, Otunba Balogun thanked all present and promised that his service to God and humanity will not wane. The ceremony was rounded off with a session of prayers by Sup. Evang. Akanji, Bishop E.O. Bankole and Bishop A. Odufuwa. It was after this service that the whole area erupted when drummers, pipers and dancers announced the arrival of the Awujale and other firstrate guests. he wasted no time. He cut the tape to officially ope the building for public. As everyone stepped in, prayers again were said before the Awujale gave his address as the Chairman of the occasion, speaking in Yoruba

OBA SIKIRU ADETONA INAUGURE LE MUSEE ET LE OBA ADESIMBO TUNWASE HALL CONSTRUITS PAR

MICHAEL OTUNBA OLASUBOMI BALOGUN POUR MARQUER SON 80E ANNIVERSAIRE

’est majestueux, c’est stupéfiant et d’une grandeur inouie ! Oui , tous les trois mots décrivent bien le musée et lE Oba Adesimbo Tunwase Hall, construits par Otounba Michael Subomi Balogun pour commémorer son 80e anniversaire. Toute la ville était en émoi le samedi 15 Mars, 2014 lorsque l'influent Otounba Balogun a invité nulle autre que Sa Majesté Royale, Oba SK Adetona, Le Awujale et chef suprême de Ijebuland pour ouvrir officiellement l'édifice. Tout comme il l’a fait pendant son anniversaire, il s’est rendu au musée à bord d’une Rolls Royce Phantom qui fut une merveille. A côté de lui dans la voiture il y avait sa tendre épouse, et son ami fidèle Bashorun Kola Daisi faisiat également partie du convoi. Comme Otounba Balogun est le Asiwaju des chrétiens d’Ijebu, il aurait été surprenant que la cérémonie ne commence pas avec une séance de louange et de prière. En effet, avant l'ouverture officielle, les membres de l'Association chrétienne du Nigeria, la Direction d’Ijebu, constitués de fidèles de différentes confessions se sont réunis dans le hall pour un service court mais très spirituellement édifiant. Il s'agissait d'un service spécial à la mémoire de feu Oba Adesimbo Tunwase I, membre de la Ruling House of Fusengbuwa, qui n'est pas seulement le grand-père de Otounba Balogun, mais qui a aussi joué un rôle important dans l'histoire comme le premier Ijebu

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Awujale à permettre la pratique du christianisme à Ijebuland . La cérémonie qui a eu le pasteur Richard Olawale comme animateur, a commencé par une prière d'ouverture prononcée par le Rév. Martin Ajayi, président de la CAN de la Région d’Ijebu -Ode. Par la suite, il y a eu une lecture de la Parole par Biodun Shobayo. Il a lu le Psaume 145 1-21. Il y avait une autre lecture par Le Surintendant Supérieur l’Apôtre S. O. Adeolu qui a choisi Marc 16 : 15-20 où Jésus a commandé à ses disciples d'aller dans le monde, et de prêcher l'évangile. Le retraité Rev Awosoga a livré un court sermon où il a exhorté les chrétiens à chercher d'abord le royaume de Dieu, et de fuir les plaisirs mondains. Il a utilisé l'occasion pour remercier le célébrant pour son soutien constant du christianisme et a décrit Otounba Balogun comme un grand fils du terroire. Il a noté que ce n'était pas une surprise que le célébrant ait été honoré du titre d’Asiwaju des chrétiens d’Ijebu parce que « Dieu l’a préparé pour ce poste pour le bénir et lui donner un cœur qui est prêt à donner sans cesse ". En priant pour que Dieu continue de bénir Otounba Balogun, le Rev Awosoga a exhorté le célébrant à œuvrer encore plus dans la vigne du Seigneur. Dans ses remarques, Otounba Balogun a remercié toutes les personnes présentes et a promis qu’il 101


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“He was the Oba who gave the Christians the land at Italupe on which the first Christian Church was built. In the same breath, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase gave the Muslims the land Etitale, to build their first Central Mosque, and also the land for their Eid prayers. It was in appreciation of this gesture that the Muslims under the leadership of Balogun Kuku went to pay homage in 1892 and the Ojude Oba annual festival was inaugurated. The significance of these landmark events should not be lost in the annals of Ijebu history, but should be adequately preserved. “He was the Oba who gave the Christians the land at Italupe on which the first Christian Church was built. In the same breath, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase gave the Muslims the land Etitale, to build their first Central Mosque, and also the land for their Eid prayers. It was in appreciation of this gesture that the Muslims under the leadership of Balogun Kuku went to pay homage in 1892 and the Ojude Oba annual festival was inaugurated. The significance of these landmark events should not be lost in the annals of Ijebu history, but should be adequately preserved. “In our search for a meeting place for the Fusengbuwa Ruling House, we were shown many places among the royal lands at Agunsenbi, and the area that fascinated us included what we used to describe as Ile Osi, Ancestral Shrine, the final resting place of our ancestor, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase and adjacent to this, we also found the final resting places of a number of royalties from our Ruling House. “With all due sense of humility, I personally considered that this significant discovery should not be lost on our quest to establish the authentic history of our Ruling House. Hence, in consultation with other members of the Ruling House, we decided that rather than just building a hall of meetings, we should create an institution, a Museum of Royal History, where in addition to having an archive of royal relics and artefacts of past Obas in the Ruling House, we should also have verified history books with which the authentic history and tested particulars of our Ruling House and membership can be established. With that, we can keep off charlatans and those who make false claims about their relationship with our section of Ijebu royalties, thereby foisting on accommodating an innocent genuine royalty, miscreants and people of dubious origin. “It is on good authority that I assert that, there is only one Awujale, who is the Head of all our Ruling Houses in Ijebu. The divisions and units only arose according to maternal lines, that is, we only have one father, starting with Obanta, the progenitor of all Awujales, but because of our ancestral maternal lines, the Fidipote and the Fusengbuwa Ruling Houses are from the same maternal source, whilst the Ogbagbas or Anikilayas and the Gbelegbuwas are from another maternal source. “To conduct this monumental task of unearthing the truth and the genuineness of the membership of our own section of Ijebu royalty, we are enlisting the services of some distinguished professors of history and archaeology, all of whom are your children from Ijebu, Alaiyeluwa, and they are led by Professor Kole Okuwa to take over this assignment. Professor Okuwa, who for now is resident in the United States, is present with us this morning. Professor Okuwa, please stand up to be recognised. Professor Okuwa on his final return will be formally appointed the Chief Curator of the Museum, and he will lead the team of distinguished scholars who are all Ijebus to whom we will hand over this Museum of Royal History. It is expected that the Museum will be a centre for regular researches, lectures and seminars which will eliminate any falsehood and will better inform the public of the history of Ijebu royalty, starting from the Fusengbuwa Ruling House. I daresay it will also be a tourist attraction for all, more about the authentic history of the Ijebus. Alaiyewula, Oba S. K. Adetona, I am once again congratulating you that the good Lord has allowed this epoch making event to occur during your reign. Kabiyesi o, k’ade pe l’ori, ki bat ape l’ese” With that, Oba Adetona, his host and guests went round the hall to formally unveil the new tomb stone of Oba Tunwase, and other marble plaques in honour of respected members of the Fusengbuwa Ruling House. Later that afternoon, Otunba Subomi Balogun hosted many to a special reception inside a lovely hall within his palatial country home. As expected, guests were served excellent food, good drinks and qualitative music. They all had fun-and would forever remember the 80th birthday celebrations of Otunba Michael Subomi Balogun. 102


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Another white Rolls Royce ready to take him to the ceremony

Otunba Balogun.. A man of tradition

The celebrant in joyful arrival

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THE SERVICE

Chief Kola Daisi, Otunba Subomi Balogun & Olori Abimbola Balogun

Olori Abimbola Balogun

Left: Papa Odunsi, the oldest member of the family

The Balogun showing a moment of joy

d'Angleterre. C'était un traité permettant les échanges entre la Colombie et la Nation Jebu et l’accès à l'arrière-pays du territoire Yoruba. C'est ainsi que le traité a été décrit. C’était un traité entre la reine d'Angleterre, représentée par un de ses serviteurs, le capitaine Bower et l’ Oba des Ijebus, c'est-à-dire Oba Adesimbo Tunwase. L’Oba a également permis aux missionnaires anglais de prêcher le christianisme dans son palais ; ce fut la toute première fois que cela se faisait à Ijebu et certains de ses enfants furent baptisés. "C’était l’Oba qui a donné aux chrétiens la terre d’Italupe sur laquelle la première église chrétienne a été construite. Dans la même maniere, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase a donné aux musulmans la terre d’Etitale pour construire leur première mosquée centrale, ainsi que la terre pour leurs prières de l'Aïd. C’était dans 104

Otunba Michael Balogun & sister, Mrs. Ronke Atere

l'appréciation de ce geste que les musulmans sous la direction de Balogun Kuku sont allés rendre hommage en 1892 et le festival annuel Ojude Oba a été inauguré. La signification de ces événements marquants ne doit pas être perdue dans les annales de l'histoire d’Ijebu, mais doit être préservée de manière adéquate. " Dans notre recherche d' un lieu de rencontre pour la Maison Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa, on nous a montrés de nombreux endroits entre les terres royales d’Agunsenbi, et la zone qui nous a fascinés comprenant ce que nous avions l’habitude d’appeler Ile Osi, le sanctuaire ancestral, le dernier lieu de repos de notre ancêtre, Oba Adesimbo Tunwase et à côté de cela, nous avons également trouvé les derniers lieux de repos d'un certain nombre de personnalités royales de notre maison régnante.


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Officiating Ministers

Prof. & Mrs. Dapo Ashiru

Happy Birthday song for the celebrant

(middle) Mrs. Oyeronke Atere & friends

(Middle) Mrs. Adekusibe

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Chief Kola Daisi greeting guest

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...THE AWUJALE, OBA SIKIRU ADETONA OPENS THE MUSEUM

The official opening by HRM Oba Sikiru Adetona

Chief Bode Osinusi, Olorogun Sunny Kuku & Mrs. Ronke Atere

Gboyega Balogun & Olorogun Sunny Kuku

Gboyega Balogun & Lami Balogun

Omooba (Arch.) Muyiwa Adeyemi & Omooba (Engr.) Shote

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Oba Sikiru Adetona & Otunba Subomi Balogun

Oba Sikiru Adetona , Otunba Subomi Balogun & Chief Kola Daisi

Engr. Adebisi Ojaleye & Rtd. (Air Vice Marshal) Tunde Ajayi

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Mr. Tai Alli, Alhaji M. Alli & Omooba Lincoln Tola Adetunji

Alhaji (Chief) Muri Ashiru Balogun, Alh. M. Odutayo Giwa Olugbadebo, Alh. Rasak Otukoya & Alh. M. I. Okuwobi

Bobayo Femi Ogunnusi, Bobayo S. A. Onajinrin, Bobayo Remi Fagade & Bobayo Sina Okuleye


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Otunba (Mrs.) Akinloye & Chief (Mrs.) Abiola

Alhaji Olatunji Agoro Odunsi, Dr. Oladisu Odunsi & Mrs. Bisi Olorode

Rtd. (Air Vice Marshal) Tunde Ajayi , Professor Bankole Oke & Otunba Dele Osinibi

"Avec humilité et de facon personnelle, je considére que cette découverte importante ne doit pas être perdue dans notre quête d’établir l'histoire authentique de notre maison dirrigeante. Ainsi, en consultation avec les autres membres de la maison royale, nous avons décidé que, plutôt que la simple construction d'une salle de réunions, nous devrions créer une institution, un musée d'histoire royale, où en plus d'avoir une archive de reliques royales et d'objets du passé des Obas à la Chambre Décision, nous devrions également avoir des livres d'histoire fiables avec lesquels les documents et l'histoire authentique de notre maison royale ainsi que notre adhésion peuvent être établis. Avec cela, nous pouvons éloigner les charlatans et ceux qui font de fausses déclarations au sujet de leur relation avec notre section des royautés d’Ijebu, de même que les mécréants et les personnes d'origine douteuse . " C’est sous une bonne autorité que je declare qu’il n’y a qu’un seul Awujale, qui est le chef de toutes nos maisons dirrigeantes à Ijebu. Les divisions et les unités se sont cosntituées selon les lignées

maternelles, ceci dit, nous n’avons qu’ un seul père, à commencer par Obanta, l'ancêtre de tous les Awujales, mais à cause de nos lignées maternelles ancestrales, la maison dirrigeante des Fidipote et des Fusengbuwa sont de la même source maternelle, tandis que les Ogbagbas ou les Anikilayas et les Gbelegbuwas sont d’une autre source maternelle. " Pour mener à bien cette tâche monumentale de connaitre la vérité et l'authenticité de l' adhésion de notre propre section de la royauté Ijebu, nous avons eu recours aux services de certains éminents professeurs d'histoire et d'archéologie, qui sont vos enfants d’Ijebu, Alaiyeluwa, et ils sont dirrigés par le professeur Kole Okuwa dans cette mission. Le Professeur Okuwa, qui pour l'instant réside aux États-Unis, est parmi nous ce matin. Professeur Okuwa, s'il vous plaît veuillez vous lever pour qu’on vous salue. Le Professeur Okuwa, à son retour définitif, sera officiellement nommé conservateur en chef du Musée, et il dirigera l'équipe d'éminents universitaires qui sont tous d’Ijebu, et à qui nous allons remettre ce musée d'histoire royale. Il est prévu que le

Dr. Olu Ige, Omooba Femi Adeniji & Bro. Olumide Olubayo

Alhaja Kunmi Adeyemi, Mrs. Bukky Awoye & Yeye (Otunba) Gbemisola Oduntan

High Chief (Col) A. O. Awote & Otunba Bola Ogun

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The Awujale , Oba S.K. Adetona of Ijebuland

Celebrant, Otunba Subomi Balogun delivering his speech

The first rate Monarch & the first class philanthropist sharing a joke

musée sera un centre pour des recherches régulières, des conférences et des séminaires qui permettront d'éliminer tout mensonge et permettra de mieux informer le public sur l'histoire de la royauté d’Ijebu, à partir de la Maison Dirrigeante de Fusengbuwa. J'ose dire que ce sera aussi une attraction touristique pour tous, que sur l'histoire authentique des Ijebus. Alaiyewula, l’Oba S. K. Adetona, je suis encore une fois reconnaissant à Dieu de permettre que cet événement historique se produise pendant votre règne. Kabiyesi o, k'ade pe l' ri, batte de ki ape l' ese ". Apres cela, Oba Adetona, son hôte et des invités ont fait le tour de la salle 110

pour dévoiler officiellement la nouvelle pierre tombale d’Oba Tunwase ainsi que d’autres plaques de marbre en l'honneur des membres respectés de la Maison Dirrigeante Fusengbuwa. Plus tard cet après-midi, Otounba Subomi Balogun a convié un grand nombre à une réception spéciale à l'intérieur d'une belle salle dans sa grandiose maison de campagne. Comme prévu, les invites ont été servis d’une excellente nourriture, de bons cocktails et de la musique de qualité. Ils se sont tous bien amusés et se souviendront toujours des célébrations du 80ème anniversaire d’Otounba Michael Subomi Balogun.


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“On behalf of all Ijebus, I thank you for this great initiative, we are proud of you” -Oba S. K. Adetona

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THE OTUNBA FETES HIS GUESTS

Otunba Subomi Balogun & Otunba Wahab Osinusi

Mrs. Adekusibe, Mrs. Fejemisin & Mrs. Dupe Hunpnu-Wosu

Otunba Subomi Balogun

Omoba Femi Adeniji, Otunba Dele Oshinubi, Otunba Olumide Olubanjo, Prof. Bankole Oke & Tunde Ajayi

Celebrant with Mrs. Lami Balogun

L-r: Celebrant with Olorogun Sunny Kuku

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Alhaja (Mrs.) Yemi Ogunmokun & Chief (Mrs.) Abiola

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Prof. Oladapo Ashiru (OFR) & Mrs. Oladapo Ashiru


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Adebisi Shobanjo, Chief (Mrs.) Banke Orija & Otunba (Mrs.) Funke Kuku

Prof. Oladapo A. Ashiru (OFR) with Sir Tayo Ogunsanya & Lady Tayo Ogunsanya

L-r: Mrs. Funke A. Longe, Princess Moradeke Osidipe, Prince O. P. Okuboyejo & Hon. Justice I. O. Sonoiki

Olorogun Sunny Kuku & Otunba (Mrs.) Akinloye

Bukky Daâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Silva, Mrs. Aranmolaran, Chief (Mrs.) Biodun Olowosago, Mrs. Kuburat Arole & Alhaja Bolanle Olowosago

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The celebrant in total humility welcoming HRM Oba Sikiru Adetona

Celebrant, Otunba Subomi Balogun with bossom friend Chief Bode Osinusi

Louis Ibe, Rafiu Mohammed, Ikechukwu Kalu & Lekan Bakare

SHORT BIO-DATA OF OTUNBA SUBOMI BALOGUN Born March 9, 1934 Graduated from Igbobi College 1952 with Grade 1 Graduated with LLB Honours from the London School of Economics June 1959 Called to the English Bar December 1959 First Nigerian Assistant Parliamentary Counsel 1962 First Principal Counsel and Company Secretary to the Nigerian Industrial Development Bank 1966 – 1975 Prince Segun Aderibigbe & Olori Aderibigbe

Director of Operations for Icon Securities Limited 1973 Member of the Council of Stock Exchange representing City Securities Limited and Icon Securities 1973 – 1988 Resigned from Icon Limited (Merchant Bankers) December 1977 Set up his own company, City Securities Limited the first Nigerian institution to combine stock broking and issuing house December 1977 Set up the first solely Nigerian owned merchant bank known then as First City Merchant Bank 1979 20 April 1982 joined Commercial banking operations with the birth of First City Monument Bank Prof. & Mrs. Bola Deru with the celebrant, Otunba Subomi Balogun

Set up a Chair for Capital Market Studies in the Department of Economics, University of Ibadan 1987 Became a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Management August 1988 Donated the “Iye Subomi’s Child Care Centre to the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital 1989 Commenced the construction the “Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre” 1994 Established the “Otunba Tunwase Foundation” 2000 Published his memoirs “The Cross, The Triumph and The Crown” August 2000 Commissioned the “Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre” as a gift to the nation 2004

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Close aides to Otunba Balogun


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Ovation Magazine Issue 155  

Ovation Magazine Issue 155

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