How Household Enemies ruined my life—Billionaire, Godwin Anabor + How I met and interviewed Godwin Anabor

Chief Godwin Anabor and the last woman who married him, Dawn Amber Ballenberger from Germany

On Tuesday, January 20th, 2009,  I had a privileged encounter with Chief Godwin Anabor inside his massive
mansion at Moshood Abiola Cresent, Ikeja, Lagos—South West Nigeria. The Chief who just got married
to a German lady, Dawn Amber
Ballenberger
, 39, that morning,  gave me his first interview out of the
registry. However, my first encounter with Chief
Godwin Olusegun Anabor
was sometime in year 2005 after the flirt scandal of
his wife, Anthonia broke out. At the
time, some of us, young society writers, had done stories that seems to put the
billionaire publisher in bad light than his embattled wife. So a senior
colleague (Mr. Kayode Fayemi now late) facilitated my encounter with Chief Anabor that fateful evening inside
his Ikeja–Lagos mansion. I was a bit
nervous and perplexed. I saw a lot of hefty looking guys lurking around Chief Anabor. It was a funny evening. I didn’t
want to enter his living room because of those weird faces but the late Kayode Fayemi encouraged me to be
courageous and do my job “Se okunrin ko ni e ni? Wole joor” he charged at me
in his characteristic Omo Onile style.
Yes, I was nervous because my page “Celebrity
Gist”
inside Hallmark Newspaper
had published series of gist considered as ‘Negative PR’ for the chief. One of
such stories was that the Chief had
relapsed into the usage of hard drugs since he sent his wife packing after
allegedly catching her with a younger lover at Omole Phase II estate one
morning. And that the drug was fast eating into his vast wealth.

So my august journey to Chief Anabor’s house was to, as they say, in journalism parlance, ‘seek his own side of the story’. And
the late Kayode Fayemi who was more
of Chief Anabor’s PR man said Chief asked for me to clear the drug
issue around his image.

The GDA with Chief Godwin Anabor


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 On
getting to his living room, Chief stretched
his right hand to me for a handshake and called my first name, ‘Gbenga’ as if he already knew me for
ages. We finished the pleasantries and I ran over him with series of questions
which he answered without hiding any fact or dodging a response. He was bitter
that I wrote that he was on drug (Cocaine) He cursed and blamed his estranged
wife, Anthonia and a young editor who
edited Heart Magazine (his
publication) before the publication died. As he spoke to me, two things were clear.
Chief Anabor is a stammerer. He
stammered as he poured out his anger to me. Secondly, he was equally using his
fingers to itch his body as the encounter lasted. It was a hot 30 minutes
interview and I really enjoyed the show because he was on the defensive while I
launched the arsenal.

Asaro meal by Chief Godwin Anabor

Chief Godwin Anabor…Now wise as a poor man


However, the big problem came when Chief Anabor invited me to the dinning
side of his mansion (After the interview)  and served me porridge (Asaro) cooked by him.
He boasted to me “Gbenga, e mi ni mo se,
wa gbadun e”
(Gbenga, I personally cooked this. You will enjoy the meal).
Of course, the Chief, I suspect was
only trying to impress me with his cooking skills and equally letting me know
that ‘even though my wife abandoned me, I
can always handle my meals’
. But that got my mind busy in some other
directions. I quickly told him that I was fasting and couldn’t eat his Asaro elepo rede-rede. Sensing the
danger of my rejection and the perceptional implication, Kayode Fayemi jumped at the meal and started eating it as if to show
me that ‘nothing dey inside am o’. He
echoed as he mouthed a spoonful “Ha,
Gbenga, Chief funrara won lon se. Ounje na dun”
(Gbenga, it is Chief who
cooked the meal and you will find it tasteful). He began to eat as if to
convince me to join him. But I was adamant as I was more interested in leaving
the apartment after the interview than having a ‘toast time’ with the landlord.

The GDA with Godwin Anabor and wife on January 20th, 2009 inside Anabor’s Lagos mansion now sold off


 However,
not known to be frugal with hospitality, Anabor
dashed into the kitchen and brought out a chilled blue colored fruit wine
unopened, and handed it over to me with a cup. Since he wanted me to ‘take something in his house even if I am
fasting’, and seeing that I will be
the one to pop the drink, I obliged to pop and drink. That I did and throughout
the 30 minutes or thereabout on his dining table, I found a man who though,
could be irritated with bad news on his person, but equally jovial and
charismatic to his guests. I ran his interview the following week and Kayode Fayemi became more livid with me
for the headline I used which has something like “I am not addicted to Cocaine”. I
wouldn’t know if late Mr. Fayemi was angry on behalf of his client
or it was his own genuine anger. However, that was the last time I saw Chief Godwin Anabor in 2005.

The GDA spoke with Godwin Anabor’s new wife, Amber


The next time I set my eyes on him was after
he left a rehabilitation center under Bishop
Kayode Peller
in January 2009. He was 47 then and just got married to an Oyinbo woman. He invited me to the
wedding at Ikeja registry and equally
invited me over home to meet his new woman. I interviewed him and the woman (I
think Laura or something is her name) and the title of that interview was “I am still a Billionaire” even though
things were already turning down for the chief at the time as he was just
emerging from a rehabilitation center. However, I gave him all the needed
attention.

In the
name of Godwin Anabor

The newly wedded Mr. & Mrs. Anabor hours after their Tuesday, January 20th, 2009  Court Wedding


The third and last time I ran into him was
somewhere around Ajao Road off Awolowo Way, Ikeja, just a distance to the famous Jolly Friend Hotel. By that time, he had emaciated and he will
always drive in a yellow colored Toyota pick-up car with a police spy number.
That day, a funny drama was on. Chief,
who
was still at the steering of the car with the engine on, was trying to
convince a light complexioned, fatty lady about his personality. I think his
German wife had left him by them. He was trying to woo this fatty lady (maybe I
should say ‘toast’) but the lady was proving stubborn. I never knew my presence
would become very handy for him.

Mrs. Amber Anabor

Immediately I greeted him, he quickly beckoned
me to come nearer, stammering in his characteristic way of talking, he said “Joor, ki-ki-ki l’oruko mi?” (Please, what is my name) to which I quickly retorted “Chief Godwin Anabor” and he quickly turned to the lady and said “Shoo-sho-sho gbo bayi?” (Can you
believe me now?) Instantly, the lady wore a look of guilt by showing a renewed
interest and quickly took chief’s phone contacts, promising to show up at his
place later in the day. For being so ‘smart’, he offered to give me a free
drive to the nearest bus stop and I obliged. He was having a terrible running
nose around that time. That was the last time I saw billionaire Chief Godwin Anabor.
The New
Godwin Anabor…

Chief Godwin Anabor


However,
I will like to share this latest interview I grabbed from the facebook page of Ashipa Ayodeji Adarabierin. It is
something that will move you and let you see the vanity of life, family and
household enemies including brothers, sisters and even your mother and father
(Mathew 10:36). This interview granted by Chief Anabor on his grace-to-grass
misfortune is highly philosophical. Don’t just enjoy the read. Please, learn a
lesson for living.

How
would you explain your fall from grace to grass?

Chief Godwin Anabor….Once a Billionaire Publisher


In fact, in Lagos Sheraton Hotel, I spent 86million
Naira
in hosting people from London for one year and three months. I have
the receipts, and you can go and ask them there. Today, things are very rough
for me and my family; in fact, I don’t even know what to say anymore. I see my
name in all the newspapers, and I don’t know why. I trained people like Chris Sogunro, Tokunbo Sodunke, Dare Babayemi, Wale Awesu, and many of them like that. I made them what they are,
and today, they are Billionaires. I’m
surprised that they see me in this condition; some of them say I’m pushing
drugs, but they can’t help me out. I don’t know why they are such ingrates. It
is only one man called Mike Biggy who lives somewhere in Akowonjo that has helped me. He rented a
house for me and really takes care of me. I wonder why this people decided to
treat me this way considering the amount of money I spent on them. There was a
time I had N3bn in Equity Bank
at Allen Avenue, Ikeja, which I spent on people. Anyway, I thank God for my
life. I started color printing in Nigeria,
and I was printing for Thisday Newspaper,
Punch, and many others. I also
registered a security company which was approved and I had a license. They gave
three of us the license. We had Vanni,
Gordon and another one. I was even
guarding the airport.


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You
were quite big then; didn’t you invest your money wisely?

Anabor and the last woman who graced his life, Dawn Amber Ballenberger


I invested a lot of my money, but because of
corruption, mismanagement of the people handling the businesses, they ran them
down. When you have a business, it’s very good to employ people who are
reliable and give them some percentage of the investment or profits to get
their commitments. That lesson I learnt greatly. I was putting my wife and my
family, they ran the business down. My wife, Anthonia was even sharing money with people on purchases and
supplies. My workers were building houses from the money they were making from
the companies without letting me know.

How
did you meet Anthonia?

Anabor & his love, Ballenberger in 2009


I met her at a Police Station when I was
having a problem then. She was a Sergeant then, very beautiful woman. She was
working with Dan Baba then and she
was trying to assist me.

Was
she your first wife?

No, my first wife is an Ijebu woman called Toyin, and she is still alive. I used to
call her Toyin Tomato; she was always
with Kolington, Tayelolu and the likes.

Why
did you part with her?

Mrs. Dawn Amber Anabor (Nee Ballenberger)


I parted with her because she likes parties a
lot.

But
you were also going to parties then?

I went to parties, but I could not leave my
family and go to parties. She used to leave our little son and go to parties.
She had three children for me. My first daughter, Bose, is a Phd holder in London. I have another one who is a
doctor, and Tunde who is in America.

Are
they aware of your situation?

Chief Godwin Olusegun Anabor


Yes. They’ve tried.
I knew
you had properties on Isaac John and Alabi Crescent in Ikeja, what happened to
them?

They took advantage of me because they knew I
needed money. I was offered N80m by a man called Basorun A.K for a house of about N300m. He has been in jail for
about 10 years now because he was a drug dealer.

What
about your Guest House on Joel Ogunnaike, GRA, Ikeja?

Anabor receiving a call on his wedding day to Ballenberger


I rented it, and I gave it to Shina Eddo, who also rented it from the
family that owns it. Shina is a very
good person to me.

What
happened to your fleet of cars because you had a penchant for them?

I had more than 50 cars like Bentley, Rolls Royce and others. I usually bought cars that were newly
manufactured. Household enemies are the problems of my life. God has made me to
see that the people I trusted don’t even care about me.

Why do
you think everyone neglected you?

It’s corruption, distrust. I gave at least 60
percent of all I had to people. I’m so happy on the street because people like Ade Balogun take care of me.

What
about Dare Babs; who was he to you?

The Newly wed, Godwin and Amber Anabor holding their wedding certificate (The wedding has since crashed)


He was my driver. I brought him from Abeokuta to Lagos when I was working at the Breweries. We had a problem because of some little money of $5m, which was stolen by one Kenny, though we’ve settled it. He’s a
very good person, but I haven’t heard from him for some years now.

What’s
your relationship with Chief Oghadiome?

Pretty Dawn Amber Ballenbeger, Godwin Anabor’s Wife


He is my village brother; in fact, my
compound brother from Fuga in Edo State. The late Admiral (Mike Okhai) Akhigbe
was the governor of Lagos State then;
I think he was the one that made Oghadiome
to become a deputy to Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State then. When he became the Chief of Staff to (President
Goodluck) Jonathan, I went to Abuja to look for him. I was thinking he
would call me for something important because when his mother died, I was
there. Even when they were building the secretariat in Fugar, I was the one that contributed the most and they named a
hall there after me: Godwin Anabor Hall.
Today, none of them recognizes me, and it’s very funny.

Do you
think what is happening to you is Karma because you used to ‘obtain’ people
then?

The GDA in a one-to-one with Chief Godwin Anabor


In the Bible, God says”if you believe Him, he will give you joy. And for those that don’t
believe him, he will give them power to acquire, but those who believe in Him
will take it from you.”
God gave me money; I did not obtain, it just came.
If I obtained, they would have arrested me. I’ve never been on trial; or jailed
for any offence. I don’t have such a record. For your information, I know I
will come back again; that’s why I’m speaking like this. I will come back again
because you’re bound to go up and down seven times and still have the grace. I
believe in God.

What
is your greatest joy in life?

‘I am still a Billionaire’ Chief Anabor boasts to GDA in 2009


My joy is that I did not die and give people
opportunity to say good things about me when I’m gone. I’m alive to see how
people are treating me when I don’t have. In fact, people that I taught how to
make money then and who are now rich don’t want to touch me.

Ambassadors
of foreign countries used to attend your parties, what was your connection with
them?

It’s because I’m honest. If you’re honest,
people will come to you.

Tell
me about your background, where are you from?

I’m from Fugar, Auchi in Edo state, but I was born in Kano,
and grew up in Osogbo.

What
about Ade Bendel, I learnt he is your friend?

Chief Godwin Anabor’s friend, Chief Adedeji Alumile aka Ade Bendel (R)


He is like my brother because he is from Owan in Edo State; I met him in Lagos.
I heard that he had some problems and he’s in prison; that’s all I know about
him so far.

If you
bounce back again, what lessons have you learnt in life?

I want people to know that the friend you
have now is not your best friend; in fact, your household enemy is your family.
It’s just you and God, believe me. Always watch your back.

Who is
left with you now?

The Chief with his last wife, Amber the German Lady


It’s God, and He is working because I’m
living and enjoying. I still believe in Philippians 4:13. “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength”.

There
was a report that you are now driving cab, is that true?

People are just writing whatever they like. A
lot of people want to give me cars and other things. When God has blessed you,
he has blessed you. Did you not see my driver, yes, he drives me in a Toyota called Pencil Light, but I’m not the one driving or doing kabukabu with it. I’ve learnt to live
with my condition after all; I’m alive to see it all.

What
is your greatest prayer to God now?

Amber Anabor gives a cheering smile to the GDA during our encounter with her


My prayer can be found in Psalm 1 which says, ‘Blessed is the man who does not walk in the midst of the wicked’.
He says he will bless them and make them like trees planted by the riverside.
That’s what I prayed that I became a rich man. Forget about gossips.

How
old are you chief?

‘Life has taught me new lessons as a poor man’–Godwin Anabor


I’m 55, and I was born on February 19.
Where are
Anthonia and your children now?

They’re in London.
Tell
me your last word?

My last word is that everybody should watch
their back, because there are household enemies.



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