Sunday, 10 August 2014

Late Lagos socialite Toto-Abuga’s in-law Odunola Oredein tells asabeafrika the secret of her run away success + “Why herself and elder sister, Biola are into property business”

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Mrs Odunola Quadri with husband Alhaji Adebayo Quadri
Odunola Oredein Quadri is a top Ibadan, Oyo state based business woman and socialite. Despite the fact that this amiable lady who has spent so much years in the United Kingdom with her family before she relocated home couple of years back is a known name in the Ibadan social circle, you will hardly find her talk on any issue or make press appearance.
Odunola who is prim and beautiful with a charming eye lash is the immediate younger sister of famous business woman and wife of late Socialite and international business man Alhaji Lookmon Alade Olatunji aka Toto Abuga, Biola. The two grew up together in the city of Ibadan before they relocated to London in the early 90s where they went to work; study and make fortunes. Although Odunola unlike her elder sister is on the quite side but those who know the two Oredein Sisters say they are rich, connected and very comfortable. While Biola plays big in real estate, textile and hospitality business, Odunola on the other side is also into heavy textile and wine business until recently when she decided to go into real estate with the building of an ultra modern event center called WANIQ Event Center which was opened to the public penultimate Saturday August 2nd  at Akinola Maja street inside Jericho GRA, Ibadan Oyo state, South West Nigeria. The event which had the presence of big boys and girls from Lagos, London and Ibadan was a big opportunity for Odunola and her Husband, Alhaji Adebayo Quadri to unveil their business innovation for the people of Ibadan the capital city of Oyo state in South West Nigeria. Few days before the opening on her event center in Oyo state your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity encounter blog asabeafrika caught up with this beautiful lady inside one of her Magodo GRA apartments as she reveals for the first time the secret of her success and intimate relationship with elder sister Biola Olatunji.  Enjoy the excerpts.
Odunola & Biola
Why I don’t talk to Press
On why Odunola keeps a very low profile and press shy, she threw our formal request back to us in an informal way “Did I hear you say press shy? Maybe yes maybe no but I like being who I am”. She spoke further by introducing her self formally to asabeafrika “My names are Odunola Oredein Quadri. I am a very low key person and that has been my nature right from time, I like to keep my head cool so that when others are losing theirs I can always keep mine (laughter). For me, originality comes first. I believe in being very original. I love my peace, I love my family and I will never trade my passion for anything else.  An African proverb says “Send a child where he wants to go and you will see his best pace”, to me, passion comes first, passion is king and without passion which can be liken to faith, you can never get anything done”.
Two beautiful sisters
Why I opened an event center
Odunola spoke about her new event center WANIQ with a unique passion “I really thank God for helping me to achieve the project, it didn’t come so easy but with God and with faith, everything and anything is possible. My decision to build an event center in Ibadan is predicated on three reasons. First is to generate employment for our Youths; secondly to give a unique service that is very distinct and different from the old order and lastly, to add value to the business of entertainment and hospitality in Ibadan. In my over one decade of living in Europe I have been opportune to travel to some major capitals of countries in Europe where hospitality business is done with finesse. 
In a very old picture
For me, there was a need for replication and that is what we did with WANIQ Event Center at Jericho GRA, Ibadan.  Our people need to have something like that; you don’t need to be in London or Paris to enjoy such a posh place like WANIQ.  When I conceptualize the idea with my husband Alhaji Adebayo Quadri, it was something we started in a very little way but today we have that structure with best of state-of-the-art equipments that will make any event memorable. You know we were in the UK for like twenty years and we said to ourselves, let us import the hospitality ambience in the UK down to Nigeria. And if you visit our event center, you will see that we sectionalized it into three categories where you can achieve any class of event you desire. We have our Gold hall which is suitable for a thousand sitting; we have the Diamond hall which can accommodate a thousand and five hundred sitting and our Platinum hall will take 500 sittings.  Elegance is our hallmark” Odun concluded like a marketer desirous to sell a service.
Odun Oredein
WANIQ & Niche
 Ibadan as a cosmopolitan city in West africa is known for hospitality and event management business from various stakeholders; so, what will make Odun’s WANIQ unique? We asked “I don’t really believe in talking about Unique Selling Point or business strategy but I can assure you that a trial will always convince. If you endeavor to come for us then you will be for us. The place is a statement of fact and because of our background we can’t afford to give you less. We have what it takes to please a first timer. We are opening for business on August 2nd and because Ibadan as a city boasts of highly enlightened people, you can not give them below standard.  WANIQ is about standards” she enthused.
Odunola with elder sister Biola aka Mrs Toto Abuga
What it Cost to have WANIQ
Odunola told this blog that she hates putting a price to a valuable venture like her new project and this is how she said it “The Yorubas will say “Olorun ma je ka mo iyi ara wa ati owo tia na lori nkan” (We can never quantify what it takes to succeed in life). This project is a multi-million naira project and I will just live it like that. I and my husband invested our best penny into the project and we thank God for giving us the honor and privilege to conclude the project. Because of the time factor and the creativity driven into the place, we are unable to quantify how much we have spent. All we care for is the level of service we want to offer, we are not concerned about the fortune that has gone into it. One, we are happy to be part of the new set of entrepreneurs that is turning Ibadan around under the new Governor Abiola Ajimobi”s dispensation. We are equally happy that we are adding value to service and lastly, we are creating job for un-engaged minds. Ours is a service oriented sacrifice”.
Odunola Oredein
Affordability of rentage
On what it costs to have her new place for event, Odun educated us “Our place is cheap and cheerful; what I mean by being cheap and cheerful is that WANIQ is good for everybody, both the upper, middle and even the lower class.  You won’t say ‘oh, because I am an average earner I can’t rent this place for my daughter’s wedding or son’s graduation’, no. We have your category of hall and you will be surprised at the kind of amount we will offer you to rent our halls. Yes, we have class for elegant people who cherish premium space but we are also considering the conformability of the Ibadan people. We Ibadan people love good life without stress and that is why Ibadan has been home to many great people in Africa. It is a peaceful West African Town and that is the standard we want to maintain with WANIQ”.
About me & my sister Biola
We asked Odunola to describe herself and her relationship with Biola Olatunji Abuga (Nee Oredein) and she dropped a casual smile before speaking further “Yes, I am Odunola Oredein Quadri, I am married to my husband Alhaji Adebayo Quadri. Yes, you are right I am the immediate younger sister to Abiola Oredein, late Alhaji Lookmon Olatunji Abuga’s wife.  We are twins’ sisters, we are blood sisters we are friends. She is my friend; she is my mentor and my role model. She is my besto (laughter) she is my best sister”. 
Odunola Oredein Quadri
Why we do things in common
A week earlier before she opened her event center, Odunola’s senior sister, Biola had opened a business plaza in the Magodo area of Lagos. We asked why the two sisters chose to do things around the same time? “Thank you, the gene for success is gotten from our parent; they are epitome of dedication and hard work. Our late father Chief S.K. Oredein was a very successful business man in his lifetime likewise our mother Mrs. Oredein is equally a very successful business woman. So, it is in the blood. That is the legacy they left behind, a legacy of love, dedication to work and determination for success. You know I just told you that Biola is my role model and mentor. She is my Besto, if you see Biola you will think we were born on the same day; of course we grew up together in Ibadan before we moved to London, we are sisters but we share lots in common in terms of humility, sincerity of purpose and service to humanity. She is the extrovert while I am the introvert.  When Biola opens a new house, God permits me to do same. In this Magodo GRA, Biola invested good in real estate business and my humble self did as well. So, our parent thought us to complement each other and not to compete with each other. Love was the only legacy they gave to us and till date that has kept us going, we are very close and I can tell you that she is a giver and I am also a giver. The difference is that you don’t know much about me because I am an introvert.  We got that from our dad. Our success is not a competition but a compliment. So, don’t be surprised that I am opening an event center just a month after she opened her plaza in Lagos. That is the legacy of our parent at work” (Laughs)
Odun with a friend at a social engagement
What London did to me
Odunola reacted to our question on what her living in the UK had done for her “London is a city that teaches you to survive in a decent way. It is one city in the world where you can succeed with equal celebrity and as well fail with equal celebrity. I and Biola and our family have spent over a decade in London and what that experience does to you is that it changes you and makes you a thinker and a doer. You will be able to imagine and build. A lot of people choose to make their success in London, stay and die there but in our own case we decided to come back home and invest. We want Nigeria to be greater than any country we have ever visited and that is why whenever you see any of our structures be it private property, public structure or anything, you will see the mark of renaissance, a sense of regeneration. That is what London has done to me and Biola”.
Secret of my young look
 When we asked Odunola to tell us what make her to keep her youthful shape at this age, she gave a polite smile and pointed to the picture of her husband that was somewhere around the corner “That question is not for me, I will give you Alhaji Adebayo Quadri’s phone number and he can tell you why I look like this (Laughter). My husband is a man of peace, a great philosopher, a counselor and a father and mother rolled into one. Such men are very rare and I am happy to have him as husband. We met many years ago in Ibadan, he was my first boy friend and today he is the last man standing, my father is gone so my husband is my father. He supports me in everything I do and I feel much fulfilled marrying him. The name WANIQ is derived from our last baby’s name, Ti Oluwani Quadri. So, we took “Wani” and marched it with the first letter of Quadri---Q because he is the only boy child we got after several years of marriage. We are so happy with what God has done for us.  Then for my clean looks, I eat lots of fruits. I don’t joke with my fruits”.
Odunola Oredein
Why I didn’t invest in Lagos
 Why this blog asked Odunola to tell us why she decided to invest in Ibadan of all places despite her exposure and education, her mood wore a new look and she replies “That is really a good question;  you see I am a Mesiogo girl by attitude and everything. I grew up in Ibadan and I must confess, I love Ibadan, I love the peace of Ibadan, I love the tranquility of the city of Ibadan. I love the sight of the old city structure I love the aura of intellectuality. Ibadan is my city of youthful exuberance, a city that molded our first attitude to life. And funny enough, till date, you still find that aura in Ibadan. Despite the fact that I lived in London, I hate the noise of Lagos. I hate the traffic, I hate the madcap life style of Lagos but Ibadan is one place you will find tranquility, you will find peace and you will equally find creativity if you are a roaring mind. You know I told you initially that I love to keep my head, I am on a quite side of life and if not for your consistent pressure on me in the last couple of days, I may not be talking to you. Because I just love my peace and tranquility. And for me, Ibadan is the best place to invest my fortune and equally have the peace of life with it”.
Ibadan gave me my husband
We asked if her husband was from Ibadan where she presently site her business“No, he is from Ogun state precisely Ijebu-Mushin while we hail from Ijebu-Ogere, our parent gave birth to us in Ibadan and we drank our first birth water in Ibadan, we were bread and buttered in Ibadan and I also met my husband in Ibadan. Ibadan has given me so much so I tell everybody that we are from Ibadan. Ibadan is our home while Ijebu-Ogere is our ancestral home.  My husband and I have been married for twenty seven years and the marriage has been blessed with lovely children all doing well in their academics”.
Word of advice for female entrepreneurs
Rounding up the encounter with asabeafrika;  Odunola who has spent over 15 years in the United Kingdom before her relocation seven years ago to Ibadan advised Youths to invest much in “Endurance” “Without endurance there is no growth. And when you come alive with success, you must learn how to blow your trumpet by yourself because no one is going to blow your trumpet for you because no one is ready to borrow you his or her lips to blow the trumpet. Success is what you can make of yourself within the given period of your entire life. For young female entrepreneurs, be focused; don’t snatch people’s husband because you are looking for success instead, work hard, follow your instinct and one day you will be a blessing to a man that will become your husband”.

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog


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