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Eleganza On Fire Over Razak Okoya’s Controversial Interview



“We Built The Empire Before You Married Shade”

– Family Fires Back

Otun Aare of Lagos and the CEO of Eleganza Industries, Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya may have stirred the hornet’s nest with his recent interview with Modele Yusuf on Arise TV.

Okoya is a notable personality in Nigeria and he is an elderly industrialist, who started making money over 50 years ago.

As a muslim and a man of means, the celebrated billionaire married many women and he has produced children most of whom are now married and having their own children.

But, just about 20 years ago, Okoya, an indigene of Lagos met a young graduate of the University of Lagos, Shade and the chemistry of the two personalities bonded, which resulted in a marriage that has since produced four children.

It is not a news that as soon as Shade got into the life of the billionaire, his other wives went into oblivion and it was as if Shade is his only wife, leaving many to wonder how possible it was for Okoya, who was already 59 years old, when he met Shade not to have been married before they met.

Of course, it is a common knowledge that Shade is not Okoya’s first wife and that he was already a successful industrialist and a billionaire before he met the woman.

However, many discerning members of the public could not believe that Okoya could claim that Shade brought luck to him and that her children are better than his other children.

Okoya claimed in the interview with Arise TV that Shade was the one who consolidated his empire, saying that she walked in and solidified everything one could see in his business empire today.

“I am holding these younger ones (Shade’s children) close so they don’t go astray like the older ones.

“Shade goes to the factory by 7am and comes back by 7pm. She is in charge of everything you see in Eleganza.

“Shade decorates my home and maintains it. I don’t know how she does it. I just walk in and see my home like this.

“I will never make my company public. I will keep it in the family. My eldest daughter, (by Shade) she’s schooling in Europe, but Shade and I bring her to Nigeria to come and know how the business works so that she could take over. I hope she will not make a mistake like other children,” he said.

He added that he was teaching his children (by Shade) experience and skill.

According to him, “Handwork, engineering, carpentry are valuable skills. I need them more in my company even more than accountants.

“Technology can do that, but man needs to still man machines. I am teaching my children that. They will take over from me and Shade. ‘

“I have properties all over Nigeria but the market is getting saturated now.

“Many people are in it. The young salary earners cannot afford homes now. I sell some of them to put in the factory. I hope my children will manage them better when they are done with school.”

Okoya revealed in the interview that he was learning technology now but that he had left most of them to his children.

He stressed that he liked them around him, and that they taught him a lot of things, adding that the children he had with Shade were smart.

“‘I have been married to Shade for 20 years. She gave me four beautiful children. They are good children. They are not like the rest,” he said.

Okoya’s wives and elder children were reported to have fired back and warned their patriarch to stop making sensitive statements that could cause serious divisions in the family.

Sources close to the family informed us that his household was surprised by the statements he made at the interview and that they have warned the billionaire not to divide his family before his death.

A source quoted one of this wives to have vowed to deal with him over the statements and that they were all planning to call a meeting of the household “so that we can tell ourselves the truth once and for all. We laboured to build the great dynasty together as a family before he married Shade and this can never be contested.”

Razak Akanni Okoya is a billionaire industrialist and Aare of Lagos, a Yoruba man from the south-western part of Nigeria born on the 12th of January 1940 to Tiamiyu Ayinde and Alhajha Idiatu Okoya.

He had his only formal education at Ansar-un-deen primary School, Oke popo, Lagos.

He worked with his father’s tailoring business, which also included the sales of tailoring accessories. The experience he got gave him the confidence to start mini tailoring activities on his own. He saved every penny he made until he had 20 pounds. His mother gave him the extra 50 pounds, with the blessings of his father, he needed to start importing and trading goods from Japan.

Razak Okoya’s business expanded swiftly, he traveled far and wide and learnt how things were manufactured having the strong feeling that Nigeria could match that quality if not better.

His first wife, Kuburat Okoya, was obsessed with costly jewelry and he was always baffled at how much she said they cost.

He strongly felt the prices were outrageous since the metals could be designed at a cheaper price and the metals were readily available in Nigeria. Challenged his perceived healthy demand, he traveled abroad, bought the machines. That marked the birth of Eleganza Jewelry.

The success was phenomenal. They could not keep up with the demand because, the products were beautiful, durable and cheap. They were instant best sellers. He also started manufacturing buttons and jewelry.

He began the importation of shoes in large quantities, subsequently. On one of these occasions, the shoes were not delivered despite his payment.

He traveled to Italy to see the manufacturer only to discover that they had used his money to settle their bills. He was so angry that he decided there and then to start manufacturing his own shoes. He imported all the machines and brought in some experts who trained his workers.

The Eleganza Industries produces a wide range of household goods and utensils including cutlery, collieries, food warmers, ice chest, electric fan, cosmetics and ballpoint pen.

His factory locations include, Oregun-Ikeja, Isolo, Alaba and Iganmu, the Company now directly employs over five thousand Nigerians and non-Nigerians including those working in his RAO Property Investment Company.

Okoya’s Eleganza Group is one of the biggest homegrown conglomerates in Nigeria today, with over six factories, and its products are household names in Nigeria and the neighboring African markets.

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