‘I’ve no specific style’
‘How I unwind’
BY CHRISTY ANYANWU
Chief (Mrs) Shade Okoya, the youngest wife of the Chairman and CEO of Eleganza Group of Companies, Alhaji Rasaq Akanni Okoya, the Aare of Lagos, is not only a paragon of beauty and a fashionable woman, she is highly sociable. In addition to that, is her top rate business acumen. Currently, Shade is the Managing Director of Eleganza Fashion Products Limited, Eleganza Cruise & Travels Limited, as well as a member of Board of Eleganza Group and RAO Investment Property Company Limited. She is also the Deputy Managing Director of Eleganza Industrial City Ltd, and by virtue of that position, she is responsible for the day-to-day management of the company. However, her busy schedule does not in anyway detract from her as a responsible wife and mother of four children. The delectable lady clocked 40 years during the week, noting, with her new age comes maturity and change of perception about life.
Turning 40 is a major milestone. Reflecting on years gone by, are there things you would have loved to do before turning 40. Do you have any regret so far?
Age is just in the number. I have no regret so far as I intend to do much more in life, God willing.
I’m happy, blessed and fulfilled. I thank Allah for everything
You look radiant even at your age, what have you been doing to remain this beautiful?
I enjoy sleeping, if time permits and I don’t compromise on the food I eat as well. Being around my happy family enables everything to fall in place.
The kind of job I do also enables me to keep svelte figure because it involves a lot of going round.
I thank God for giving me a loving and wonderful husband who gave me lovely children. This, I believe is my secret.
You were in public eyes in the early years of your marriage. Your private life instantly came under media and public scrutiny, how were you able to handle that. Reflecting on everything, what would you have done differently?
Nothing – I think the press actually helped me to be where I’m currently.
Being married at a young age to someone much older, did you find it difficult to coping and how were you able to adjust to the new experience?
No – Not at all. I didn’t find it difficult, coping
My husband is a fun loving man to be with. He is very caring, loving and amiable.
I learnt a lot from his wealth of experience.
Being married to a prominent Nigerian, people must have said so much and you would have heard a lot about yourself. How have you been able to handle those speculations about your person?
People are entitled to their opinions, I’m too busy to be bothered by this.
What do you think is people’s misconception about Shade Okoya?
Honestly, there are misconceptions because people that are close to me know who I am, I’m too busy to notice this. People are entitled to their opinions.
What key traits have helped to sustain your marriage?
To be submissive, honest, loyal and trust in God. If one can give all this, one will have a beautiful and happy marriage.
Are you still in touch with any of the friends you kept before your marriage?
Yes – We cherish good friendship.
Any fond memories of your youth that you still treasure till now?
My childhood memories are still fresh, I could remember several instances when I would return from school and my granny would go through my books to ensure they were complete. Although she was not educated, she embraced education and watched me grow educationally. She taught me how to tidy up the house,wash clothes clean and dress neatly to be the lady I’ve become today.
What has life taught you?
I’ve learnt to be patient, tolerant and more loving. Age, in general, comes with maturity, and changes ones perception about life
What achievements are you proud of till date being the boss at Eleganza group of companies?
I thank Allah for my husband who gave me the opportunity to reposition Eleganza Group. As you can see, the company has turned around positively and repositioned itself as one of the leading manufacturing companies in Nigeria. We’re pushing into the market, new household products like baby diapers, ladies sanitary pads, hair threads, bathing and washing soaps, rubber shoes etc. I’m proud to be involved in the manufacturing of new items.
Name three persons that have influenced you.
I can say Allah first, my amiable and never-tiring husband and my children.
As a fashionista, which are five fashion items you can’t do without.
I love good things, I can use different items daily, and sometimes I can do without them. So, I cannot be specific.
How do you unwind?
I love being with my family and I enjoy attending parties, social functions.
Where is your favourite holiday spot and why?
New York City, because the city is always alive.
As a woman entrepreneur, what are your schedule of work and how do you cope?
The Eleganza Industrial City Ltd has just re-positioned itself in the manufacturing business. The company produces various sizes and designs of:Plastic Chairs. Tables of different sizes.Luggages, Cooling Boxes/Food Warmers, Baby Diaper/Sanitary Pad.Hair Thread, Stainless Water Tank.Shoes and Slippers, Plastic bottles Preform and Cap.Beauty/Laundry and Multi Purpose Soaps.
The Company has over 2,000 workers thereby providing employment to the citizens of Lagos State and its environs, the Company has the vision of being the foremost producer of various household items in Nigeria within the next two years. It also intends to commence the exportation of household items to all African Countries. I enjoy what I do under the able chairmanship of my husband, he has been a very supportive spouse in all ramifications.
As a wife,I have a wonderful and loving home and as a mother- I’m excited seeing my children grow in positive ways and with the fear of God. The joy of being a mother is priceless.
Your husband is one of the core philanthropists in the country, what makes him special and unique?
My Husband, Chief Dr. Rasaki Akanni Okoya (The Aare of Lagos) and the Chairman, Eleganza Group / RAO Investment Property Co Ltd, is an industrialist whose life has always revolved around manufacturing. In fact, manufacturing is his hobby. He loves to create employment and help people a lot. He’s passionate about seeing Nigeria grow to become one of the biggest manufacturing nations in Africa just as China is to the Asian continent. His philanthropic to a fault.