Friday, 11 September 2015

How I met and fell in love with my husband — Lagos Big Girl, Omolara Adelekan + Husband is Macmillan Books MD


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The Owu-Abeokuta born Prince Iyiola Adelekan with wife, Princess Omolara Adelekan
Princess Omolara Adelekan
is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Larry Heights Fashion and Accessories at Oshophey Plaza, Allen Avenue, Ikeja Lagos. The Iwaraja, Ilesa, Osun State South West Nigeria born business woman is equally the proprietress of the multi-million Naira state-of-the-arts fitted Upper Spring Events Center at Iwaraja town by Oke-Ana junction in Osun state South West Nigeria.
She is the younger sister to Abuja based business woman and textile merchant Princess Bunmi Jegede, Founder and CEO Honey Bee Textiles Ltd.

Princess Omolara is married to Dr. Iyiola Adelekan, an Owu-Abeokuta born Prince and MD/CEO Macmillan Books PLC, Ilupeju Lagos.
This highly travelled business woman hardly talks to the media and you will never catch her doing that no matter the mood of the moment. Very beautiful, charming and intelligent, Princess Omolara Adelekan is beautiful inside and outside. Above all, she loves God with her time and money
She recently broke the rule for your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika in an exclusive encounter at a public event in Osun state where she spoke about her love life, faith life and business. Enjoy the excerpts.
The Ever Smiling Princess Omolara Adelekan, CEO, Larry Heights Fashion, Lagos & Upper Spring Events Center, Ilesa
You are one of the business leaders in the fashion and accessories business in Lagos, like your great sister, Princess Bunmi Jegede is dominating the scene in Abuja, you have done so well in Lagos. How will you describe the opportunity that comes with the new political change in Nigeria?
Yes, change is good change is fantastic because life itself is about change. If you don’t change, you will phase out. You must understand change, you must be prepared for change if not you are not living. Even God in His majestic splendor changed His environment when He said ‘let there be light’ and there was light. Without change, there will be no man who was created on the 6th day. Without change, we won’t have the planet earth and all the beautiful things that is deposited in it. Change is great, change is unique, and change is powerful. So, how does it affect me as a business woman? The power situation is changing fast and electricity is becoming stable to some extent. I am happy we are getting out of the old way of ineptitude and lack of zeal.
Mrs. Omolara Adelekan with her husband, Prince Iyiola Adelekan at a Church Event
You are successful in business but equally quite, you don’t talk, why?
I think it is my nature. I am not an extrovert; I am a little bit reserved. I am an introvert. My philosophy of life is that you do what you can do and let God help you perfect the rest. I don’t push myself I do only what I think my ability can withstand. It is just a way of life and I don’t have any regret being like that. I am conservative.
“High moments for me are times when my husband achieves his heart desires and high moments for me are times when our children score high in their academic and make success of their education. High moments for me are times when I find myself in the presence of God”.

So, how did business start for you?
I started business 19 years ago and since then I have been working. When you look at our society, you discover that we are a society that respects quality. We consume for a purpose and if you are smart around it, you can give them what they want and that will simply become your business. You check your environment and you know that this is what is lacking in your environment and all you do is to fill the gap. I filled the gap with my business and I have never regretted going into business. It is a decision that came with lots of fulfillment.
CEO, Upper Springs Events Center, Mrs. Omolara Adelekan
So, which of the business did you start with?
I have always sold shoes and bags; that has always been my business from time immemorial. We have our headquarters in Lagos and right now we have our annex in Akure, Ondo state. We sell quality and we get referrals based on that.
So, what is the secret of Larry Heights Fashion Ltd, what is your unique selling point?
Quality, I love quality things because no matter how, quality sells. Quality stands the taste of time. Check our brands and check our labels both in Lagos and Akure, you will see that we sell nothing but quality. We have franchise to some of the best fashion brands in the world and because Nigeria appreciates quality, we have a passion here and that passion has created a market for us in the elite’s class.
Two years ago, you went into real estate business with the establishment of Upper Springs Events Center here in  Iwaraja, which has suddenly become the toast of event organizers in Ilesa, far away from the hustle and bustle of town in a serene environment, why did you put your real estate in Ilesa?
It is because I love my father and this is my father’s land. When I discovered that we don’t have more of this event center in town and I asked what is it I can do to contribute to the urbanization of my environment, then I came up with this brand of event center. It is the first of its kind in this part of town. I return all glory to God.
Mrs. Omolara Adelekan's Upper Springs Events Center
This must have cost you lots of fortunes, are you making gains?
When you invest in a place like this and with a structure like this, it is not always about an immediate free fall gain. It is actually a long term investment plan and because we have a preference for development and we thought it well that we could turn around the fortune of this great town, we decided to invest; first, to help in the urbanization process of Ilesa and lastly, to create employment for the teeming youth of this town. Once in a while and more often than not, we do have people who come from far distances to do their events at Upper Spring. The business is majorly to honor the good memory of my father (S.O. Jegede) because I love him so much.
So, how do women handle success when they get to this level?
Actually I have not gotten there because I am still climbing but talking about coping with the realities of business life, as a house wife and mother, I will say it is quite easy when you design your program for the day, for the week, for the month and for the year and you leave the rest for God. Everything depends on how you plan it and how it goes.
Her Late Father, Rev. S.O. Jegede's Church
Your husband, Dr. Iyiola Adelekan is the MD/CEO of Macmillan Books, as an intellectual does he support your business adventure?
Of course he did, he supported me from the onset and I have no problem with that. He is a kind person and if you are kind you will be tolerant of ideas, my husband tolerates good ideas. He is my biggest pillar and I admire him for that.
What is it like to be married to a literary giant like Dr. Iyiola Adelekan?
Just like me, my husband is a conservative man but at the same time he is a man of the people, he has this aura around him that promotes progress and self development. He loves his people and he is a family man to the core. Yes, he is a genius at literary things but you will be shocked to see the kind of goodwill he enjoys from people within and outside his community. I think he is a complete gentle man.

“So, after his death, we checked out his Will and discovered he wrote it down, that we should accomplish his wish and build a church in his memory and within three months we the children gathered together to erect that structure in his honor”.

How old is the marriage?
We have been married for over twenty three years and love and compassion has kept the union going smoothly. I am blessed by God. Like I said earlier, wisdom is the secret of a successful marriage.
Can you share with us some of the high moments you will never forget in the marriage?
High moments for me are times when I see things work well in my marriage. I love my marriage from the onset, let me tell you this, God is the author of the marriage institution and any marriage that ever worked and stood the test of time, trust me, there is God in that marriage. My high moments are those moments when we plan our things and God blesses them. High moments for me are times when my husband achieves his heart desires and high moments for me are times when our children score high in their academic and make success of their education. High moments for me are times when I find myself in the presence of God.
The Prince, Omo-Oba Iyiola Adelekan of Owu Kingdom
What attracted you to Dr. Iyiola Adelekan?
Humility, my husband is a very humble man, a man of good character and very committed to family, he is a conscientious man, a man of intelligence and I will tell you that my husband is my role model.
Quite surprising you are one among many that is describing your husband as your role model?
No, he is my role model because he is a humble and understanding person, a man of many people, low class, middle class and even the elites, he blends well in their midst. My husband is very caring, his family comes first before anything and that is what any good woman will seek for in a man. I am happy to call him my husband, my friend, my father, my counselor and my partner.
As a fashion business woman what fashion accessories do you like most?
I love shoes; shoes are just too good for me.
A busy side of the interior of her Upper Spring Event Center at Oke-Ana, Ilesa
(Cuts in) I hope you are not an Imelda Marcus?
Not at all (Laughter) for me your shoe completes your fashion sense. Jokes apart I have always loved shoes since when I was very young, since my younger days, I don’t want to call it an obsession; I will rather call it my own kind of vanity. Everyone has his or her own vanity. We are all here for a vanity fair and for me, it is a good shoe. For others, it is wrist watch while others love jewelries and all sorts but for me, it is three things, shoes, shoes and shoes (Laughter)
What is your favorite color?
I like brown and peach color; those are my colors.
When do you think a woman is glamorous?
Glamour is relative. To me, when a woman put so many things on her body, bogus dress, wristwatches, jewelries and many things and she is not at rest at any point in time, she is always agitated and wanting to do something, not something that is very pleasant but just to say ‘I am there, I want people to know me, come and see me, I am around, notice me’, that is not the definition of glamorous by me and I don’t know how other people see it. But if I am to put myself in the gamut of glamour, I will say I like a moderate life, moderation is the hallmark of glamour. You can be glamorous yet moderate.
Her Husband and MD & CEO, Macmillan Books, Prince Iyiola Adelekan
Your father was a prominent clergy man when he was alive, the late Reverend Samuel Ojo Jegede, how would you describe your experience growing under such a church man?
Oh Dad! I love my father, my daddy, if there could be reincarnation, if I could come a second time to this world, you will still be my father by the special grace of God; my father is an easy going man, very simple; my father will not tell lies for any reason. My father loves God and when you say an obedient father, he will follow the will of God and that is one thing I learnt from him and I am an obedient daughter to the core. My father gave us the best training that has sustained us this far in all endeavors of our lives. My father is an epitome of great fatherhood because he ensured we all got the best of formal education and gave us much of strict upbringing which you can never buy with money.
I noticed you built a church in his honor here in Iwaraja, why did you do that?
Yes, we built a memorial church in his honor, Reverend S.O Jegede Memorial Anglican Church in honor of my father. Before he passed away, my father said he would have loved to have a church to his memory and to the glory of God. So, after his death, we checked out his Will and discovered he wrote it down, that we should accomplish his wish and build a church in his memory and within three months we the children gathered together to erect that structure in his honor. It was a joint effort from all the children.
Her Father Late Rev. S. O. Jegede's final resting place behind the Church @ Iwaraja
How many of you?
We are eight in the family, three men, and five women.
And I guess the women all loved their father?
Every one of us loved him because of his Christian values. He was a great man.
Your mum is alive and kicking what do you have to say about her?
My mum? Woman in Israel, very prayerful, she is an evangelist, a chorister. Her full name is Mrs. Juliana Jegede.
Did you learn anything from her as well?
Proverbs 31 and the verses there is for my mum, my mum is a virtuous woman. She is a woman of prayer and very hardworking. She is agile, very strong. She sings a lot, prays a lot and praise God. She had always been the pillar of the family, prayer wise. She protects her children like a mother hen will protect her chicks. She is our prophetess, our prayer warrior and with her we are in safe hands. I think we are really blessed to have such a mother. My mother complemented my father in his life time and together they build a great family. Discipline was the hallmark of our living. My mother will never spare you if you misbehave, she might not be able to cane you but she will be the first to report you to my dad and trust my old man, you will be caned no mater how little your offence is. So, we were brought up with a hand of love in an atmosphere of discipline.
Mrs. Omolara Adelekan with a relation
What does success mean to you?
Success to me is satisfaction, when you are contented with what you get then you can be aptly described as a successful person. Success is not about a fat bank account, fleet of cars and choice properties in major capitals of the world, no. Success in my own definition is when you are happy with what you are doing and when you are contented.
As the wife of a book publisher, which book did you read that has changed your life?
Yes, I read quite a number of books but Christian literatures are the best for me. A book written by Reverend Mike Bamidele the founder of Victory Life Ministry on a life changing destiny is one book that changed my orientation about life and living. He and his wife are my mentors; he taught us how to become a complete leader in the secular world and in the Christendom. He is a very unique man of God and one who has touched many lives and changed them for good. His books tell us to exploit the world but think much about heaven.
The Frontal of Upper Spring Events Center, Oke-Ana, Ilesa
How do you think it is easy for a woman to be successful and still leave a decent life?
Like I said earlier, when you are contented with what you have, you wont go wrong. It is when you are looking for more than enough that you run into problem and mysteries of life. The Bible make us know that humble stride with contentment is the hallmark of a great life. You must learn to live a life and don’t live a lie. Live according to the dictate of God. I think the greatest prayer we should all be offering to God when success is knocking is that God should direct the affairs of our lives. If God directs the affairs of your life you won’t run into ditches. You won’t run out of your lane. God’s lane is slow and steady with assured success while the devil’s own lane is fast and ruthless with assured destruction. You are free to choose for yourself.
How do you spend your leisure time?
Church is the best place to be, if I have programs to attend to lift my spiritual life that could be the best leisure for me because the end is just around the corner and your ability to meet Him is the best decision. If I am able to attend a beautiful church program and listen to the word of God and be lifted in a way that will pattern my life towards Christ, then, I have caught my fun.
The Interior of the 2500 guests sitting capacity Event Center
Tell me your favorite verse in the Bible?
It is actually Proverbs 31 which says a virtuous woman is a woman of power, a woman of excellence. A woman who is a pride to her children, her husband and her entire house hold, her children saw her far away and call her blessed. A woman who takes her responsibility to heart as a builder and career molder, that is the verse that spurs me to be a mother, a wife and a leader in my business.
How do you start your day as a woman CEO?
Well, my day starts between 4am and 5am when I study the word of God and do my quite time with God, from there I come down with my husband and we do the general family devotional service and from 6:30 am we are engaged with early morning chores at home. The next level is to see to the needs of every individual member of the family from my husband to my children. Then what next? The phone calls starts coming as I move to the office for the business of the day. Basically, my day starts and ends with God. .
A dinning side of the interior  part of  Upper Spring Event Center

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