|Chief (Mrs.) Alake Adejonwo Rotimi Oshun, CEO, Jonshland Royal Castle & Suites|
Lady Alake Adejonwo Rotimi Oshun is quite, nu-assuming and focused. She is equally rich and connected but you will hardly hear anything about this Lagos born socialite and business woman of repute in the mainstream media. Endeared with a rare grace that is peculiar to royalty, Alake is born of a wealthy parentage from the famous Bamgbose family of Lagos Island.
From an early age, Alake’s hard-work and sense of duty had unveiled her as someone who is going to excel in the textile business which is the business of her mother during her life time and real estate which is the sole business of her late father, Chief Akinwunmi Adejonwo. As Alake grew she began to show traits of a business conscious child even while she worked as a staff of the Federal Ministry of Works in Lagos in the early 1980s, she balanced her official duties with the importation of head tie clothings from Switzerland and before long, Alake resigned from civil service and inherited her mother’s textile business which she did for two decades before she delved into her father’s line of business which is real estate. In recent times this sexy ebony colored lady of substance has gone into hospitality business with her hospitality facility Jonshland Castle Hotel and Suites in Gbagada area of Lagos taking the lead in hospitality business in that cosmopolitan area of Lagos.
Designed in the garb of one of the edifices she relive in anytime she is away to New York, Alake’s hotel is in a class of its own.
|Lady and Chief Alake & Rotimi Oshun|
In a recent privileged encounter with your Africa’s number 1 Celebrity encounter blog Asabeafrika, the mother of 5 successful children told us the secret of her success in business and why she feels that every rich woman should submit herself to the command of her husband irrespective of her limitless success. You will find her interesting.Meet Alake Oshun….
|Lady Alake Adejonwo Oshun to Asabeafrika....'I started my career at the Federal Ministry of Works'|
The soft spoken lady started by intoducing herself to Asabeafrika “My name is Adejonwo Alake Rotimi Oshun. I hail from Lagos state. I am a very conscientious person when it comes to my work. I try to be as modest as possible and I don’t play with my business. I don’t want to say I am a workaholic but I like to concentrate on whatever I put my mind to. I am a very conscientious person when it comes to work and I am never afraid to give my best”
The business woman told this blog the story of her humble beginning in business “Firstly I was into the textile business before I diverted into the hospitality business. I am also into real estate, I am an estate developer. These are the businesses I do for living and like I said earlier, I am a conscientious person when it comes to what I do for a living. I did the textile business for so many years; I was in it for 20 years before the need to diversify came. I think God’s grace equally played a big role in my decision to take my business to the next level. I am happy I did. I return all glory to God”.
The Price of Success in a hostile environment…
|Lady Alake Adejonwo Oshun to Asabeafrika....'At times, you have to be flexible with your business philosophy'|
The esteemed business woman went further by telling this blog her own definition of how to succeed in a hostile environment, particularly women “To survive in any act of entrepreneurship you need focus. With focus comes hard work; hard work is the sacrifice you give for success to follow your business. You must be very; very hard working and you must also be flexible at some point in your business. What I mean by flexibility here is that you must not be stagnant; don’t be like the biblical servant with one talent who went and buried his talent as a result of his nonchalant attitude to issues of life; instead be like the servant with two talents or the one with five talents. That is my favorite verse in the Holy Bible because they illustrate better our attitude to issues of life and living”. “You must use what you have to get to other things that will give you maximum benefit in life. In business, I look out for new openings and I don’t just sit in one place ruminating over nothing. You must learn to turn things around for good. So, for me, you can always grow in business if you learn the act of diversification and multiplication of wealth” Alake submitted after drawing her breath.
Why I diversified from fabric to hospitality
|Alake Oshun to Asabeafrika...'I am not a stagnant person when it comes to business'|
Alake spoke matter of fact on why she changed business direction from playing big in the fabric business industry to playing lead in the real estate sector “I did the textile business for 20 solid years and decided to give a trial to other businesses. I am 7 years old now in the real estate and hospitality business to the glory of God. I had to take a second look at life and I asked myself ‘Alake, would you like to be doing the same thing at all times?’ and that gave me the indication of what next to do. I am thankful to God for giving me a better direction”
Story of my humble beginning….
|Alake Oshun to Asabeafrika....'I took my business acumen from my mother'|
Revealing to Asabeafrika where she got her business acumen Alake said “In terms of business, I can say I emulate my mum, she was a very, very hard working person in her life time. She hail from the popular Bamgbose family of Lagos Island; she was one woman who never joked with her job during her life time, very dynamic, hard working and focused. So I took her gene and that is what has reflected in my view and way of life. On what dad gave her, Alake revealed to Asabeafrika “For the property business, I emulated my dad in that regard; my dad was a very great property business developer in his life time, his name is Adewunmi and they all hail from Lagos. They were both relevant in their various businesses and I can say that has reflected a lot in me to a good extent”
On how she developed her business acumen, the Lagos born business woman gave the narrative of how her parent played a role “My parents were strict and sincere. Both of them didn’t take nonsense but I can tell you that they gave us a dose of good upbringing. For instance, you couldn’t grow in my mother’s ambiance without you being tidy and business conscious. Mum was a very strict person and she raised all of us with that stern discipline.
Of course I wouldn’t have been like this if my root didn’t
encourage such a level of business aggressiveness”. Alake spoke on humility
and level headedness “Above all, you must
be respectful and humble at all times. Then kindness was another virtue
that was instilled in us. I thank God for the kind of parent He gave me because
their sense of parenthood really defined my character”. “We are four children on my mother’s side
and I am the last born. I thank God for his grace; my other siblings are also
doing well in their respective endeavors”
|Alake Oshun in a tete-a-tete with a friend|
The stylish woman revealed to Asabeafrika how she started her business career “I started at a very younger age, it had to do with the kind of parents we had then. They were parents who instilled rigorous business custom in us; it goes side-by-side our home training. I started with the head tie aspect of fabric business; that is tying of gele. I was into the gele business for a very long time before I went into fashion business proper. I was importing gele from Switzerland and selling to selected customers because by that time, I was young and still working with a government establishment; I was working at Federal Ministry of Works, so by the time I leave the office during break time and rush down to Apapa where I got an office for my head-tie business, get some head-ties and cross back to my office in Lagos by boat to meet up with my break off time. Then after office hours, by 3:30Pm, I will rush to the popular place they call gutter in Lagos Island to sell my wares before returning home. That was my routine for so many years before I finally left government work to face my textile business”
|Alake Oshun to Asabeafrika....'Both Dad and Mum were very hardworking and i took their gene'|
Why I dumped government work for business
|Alake Oshun to Asabeafrika...'I was raised in a home where business was a second skin'|
Speaking further on why she dropped government work for private business, Oshun traced her decision to passion “It is in the blood, I told you earlier that I came from a home where business is like a second skin”. Alake reacted giving this blogger a charming smile while she hits her laps apart “My mum was a very wealthy business woman in her life time and she dotted us with that discipline to think out of the box and be extra-ordinary in our thoughts. The same thing with my dad, he was very busy with his property business. So, you can see that it is a family of business people. We were very good at doing it and that really helped us to a large extent. My mum was into Aso-Oke business and till her death, she never rest on her oars for a day. She was a rare gem; so if you find yourself in that kind of a family you can’t be anything less than a success”.
On why she chooses a simple life despite her wealth, Alake Oshun gave the secret out “Humility”. She echoed with a soft voice and continued “Humility is a gift from God; for some, it is difficult to be humble but I guess, it also has to do with the kind of training we got from our parent that no matter your level of achievement in life, you should never let it get into your head. Success is not a license for arrogance and that is what I imbibed. Yes, it could be pretty difficult for many to be humble but I think it is a great favor from God for one to be humble. For me, it is like a second nature because in life, you need both the have-nots and have-all to succeed in your endeavor. I thank God for the grace to be humble”.
As a living being who have dealt with men and circumstances, Alake Oshun must have her own sour pages of life. She told Asabeafrika one of such “As a Christian I am grateful to God for both the bad and good times because in every situation you find yourself in life, God is only trying to tell you something and the moment you get the message clear, you will learn a lesson and be a better person. The only time I can remember was when I lost my son; that is four year ago”.
|Alake Ashun with her military escort during her son's wedding|
She paused as if trying to recollect something, she raised her face to this blogger but with a strained emotion “I believe it was an act of God because He giveth, he taketh and for me I just gave Him more praises because He made me learn more about people. Initially I got so distraught and nearly broke down but one day like that, my husband was with me, consoling and I think my pastor came and seek for an audience with me. There were lots of people in my living room, wailing and saying all sorts of things in the name of paying condolence. But when the man of God was given the opportunity to see me, he said ‘You this woman, why are you not grateful to God for every other good things he has done for you since birth. He has protected you from all other calamities and is it this one that will now make you forsake and deny Him?’ He drew my consciousness to all the good things God did for me and scolded me for allowing my spirit to go down. Immediately he did that, it was like something jolted me into reality.
I cleaned my face and became strong and
that allowed me to see what God was trying to let me see. And because of the
rate at which people were coming to wail all in the name of consoling me, I had
to travel out to Accra to take a
month rest. I just left the whole environment and that action also gave me the
opportunity to reflect on so many other things that took place prior to that
incidence. I thank God I won at last”.
|A lovely and jolly Alake Adejonwo Oshun|
Lessons from my Worst experience
|Chief Rotimi Oshun blessing his Alake with new wads of Naira during Alake's son's wedding|
The very beautiful mother of 5 shared lessons from her sad experience with Asabeafrika “You know when things like that happens to you, at first you won’t get yourself but later with a benefit of hindsight, you discover that you have learnt something either from the way you normally do things in the past or from the way you handle spiritual issues and if you are a great reader of Ecclesiastes or Song of Solomon, you will draw wisdom from a lot of things God said about a contrite heart. Such experience will make your heart to heal to the realities of life and make you see through many other things about people and you will equally see God as the ultimate decider. My husband was beside me all through the crisis. He was one person who did much in the day, noon and mid-night, consoling me. He was there for me. I have taken it as destiny. I thank God for His goodness in my life; He gave a room for appreciation”
Rounding up the chat we asked the Lagos Celeb to tell us her favorite tourist destination in the world and she named it “The United States of America, New York precisely. I find that city interesting. It is equally a business city. I have equally traveled to London, Italy, Canada, Germany, Thailand, South Korea, China and India to mention a few but New York is my best tourist city” confessed Mrs. Alake Oshun who just returned from a trip to Rome weeks before the encounter.
Things that works in other countries but fail in Nigeria
|Alake Oshun with a royal father during her son's wedding recently|
When we ask her to tell us her experience about things that works in other countries but fail in Nigeria, Alake turned up with a frowned face “The roads; our road net-work is a nightmare. I don’t know how we can get out of the ignorance of good road network. Secondly, over there, you have light twenty-four seven and they will never make the mistake of insulting your sensibility by taking the light for just a second. Never; it is a natural thing to have good road, water and power. How we have not succeeded here remains a mystery”.
Alake Oshun got a view on how she thinks politicians should behave to the electorate “Our political class needs to be focused on delivery of purposeful governance and shun profligacy because people are crying; the leadership is too fastened to their closet without knowing what goes down below. They seem to forget the problems of the ordinary people immediately they get into power; they just don’t care and that is not the reason for leadership. Leadership is all about solving problems not compounding problems. We need to wake up to reality on issues of society like good road network, power, water, quality and affordable education, quality and affordable health service and every other necessities of life”.
Secret of my good looks at over 50
|Alake Oshun (R) with friends, Chief (Mrs.) Basirat Olayinka Ojugbele (M)|
Alake Oshun a grandmother has crossed the 50 years mark in age but she is still pretty, sexy, charming and trendy. Her secrets? “I go to gym every morning after my prayers. I have been doing that for the past three years. The second secret of my beauty is fruit; I eat lots of it”.
Why I don’t eat dinner…
The businesswoman added a new fun to the food talk “You must eat lots of sea foods and fruits. Then, you must take your breakfast, lunch and forfeit your dinner. Yes, I don’t eat night food. No night food for me, I don’t eat dinner. Honestly it has helped my health system a lot. I don’t take dinner; I only do breakfast and lunch. For my breakfast, I take little and I take my major meal in the afternoon”.
“My favorite meal is Rice and fish stew, I can eat it even while fasting” Alake added with a roaring but gentle laughter.
For a woman who sold classic gele for twenty years, fashion must come to her as a natural subject and for what fashion means to Alake, she retorted “Expression; fashion expresses you and in most cases you can equally express fashion but it is better to express yourself with your fashion instead of letting the fashion to express you. Fashion to me is expression”.
How I dress as a Lagos Woman….
Alake told Asabeafrika how she dresses for her various outings “I love English dress a lot but I do traditional for socials. You know we have parties every weekend and we try to reciprocate gestures from friends who patronizes us (laughter) So, that is why you always catch me in Iro and Buba, I am an English person. I love my Lady French suit, my Lady English suit and other apparels of the English fashion. But that does not say I don’t appreciate local fashion. As a former ministry person, you will not catch us in traditional dresses but much more in English dress. On the party scene I am a traditional dress person”.
Why I love Folorunsho Alakija
When Asabeafrika asked Alake Oshun to name her role model, she took a deep breath and came forth with a light smile on her face “That is the richest black woman Mrs. Folorunsho Alakija; she is very hard working and at the same time, you will see her all the time with her husband; it is very rare to see successful black women in business who have regards for their husbands but that is not the case with Folorunsho Alakija; you see her with her husband all the time, she is very respectful to the man and so humble. She is not carried away with her humongous wealth. She is a great lesson to all women of success that whenever success comes, you should not be carried away with success. You must respect your husband and I think that is why God jerked up Folorunsho’s profile from an ordinary business woman in Nigeria to Africa’s richest black woman. I am very proud of her just because she gives her husband his due respect. She is an epitome of great womanhood”.
Asabeafrika asked Alake Oshun to give reasons why a lot of rich women find it difficult to respect their husbands after money or wealth sets in. This is her candid response “Simple, if you kick your crown like a ball then, be ready to leave your head empty to the whims and caprices of rain, sun and bad weather”. She spoke further “We read their stories everyday in the paper, what happens to such women. I don’t think it is proper to turn your husband into an errand boy, tea boy or driver. The more you get richer, the more you should become humble to your husband and that is one single act I respect in Folorunsho Alakija. Every woman can be successful but the measure of real success is when you are able to tame your idiosyncrasies and value the Biblical fact that the husband is the head of the home. Because if something is driving you from somewhere when you get home, you must be at peace; your husband must be your father, your friend, your counselor and everything. That is what the Bible says. So, for those who divorced their husbands at the beck and call of wealth, they will ever remain empty because that is just the way God designed our fate”