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

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.


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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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