Like all mortals, Nigerian-born international gemstone magnate Ambassador Chief Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez bade bye to mother earth five years ago, precisely on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. The Ambassador Plenipotentiary died at exactly 6:05 pm, in a private hospital in Brussels, Belgium at the age of 86. He was said to have battled with an undisclosed ailment for some months before he lost in the battle to remain alive. Fernandez was later buried on Friday, 18 September, 2015, at the Cimetiere d’Ixelles, Chaussee de Boendael, 478, in Brussels. In reference to the Biblical saying that blessed is the memory of the righteous, the family of the late billionaire, particularly his first daughter, Chief Mrs. Olateju Phillips, has continued to keep the memories of their father alive yearly. Last week, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, continued the tradition as she hosted a select family members and friends on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of her late father’s demise. Spotlight gathered that there was a private Mass with prayers offered for the repose of the soul of the wealthy tycoon.
If there is a word for affluence, lavish lifestyle, success and being highly connected it has to be Deinde Fernandez. Worthy of veneration and a role model, Fernandez, the Baron of Dudley, was born in Lagos on August 12, 1929, into the famous Olumegbon Royal Family of Isale-Eko, Lagos State. During his lifetime, the late billionaire —who was appointed the representative of the Central African Republic to the United Nations in 1997— lived big and had a larger-than-life image. Described as reclusive, yet he lived big wherever he landed in any part of the world. He had an almost incomparable taste for the good things of life. The globally-acclaimed billionaire created his own world and literally lived in it alone. He became wealthy very early in life and remained so till he breathed his last. He had imposing mansions all over the world and owned a number of private jets and yachts too. The multi-lingual and exceptional businessman owned a French castle in France, which was once used by Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of France.
Fernandez left behind over £8.7 billion estate and millions still flowing in daily from oil, gold and diamond interests in Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, encompassing 3 Islands in the Western Caribbean Sea, among other places around the world. He is survived by nine children —Olateju Phillips, Olugbemisola Fernandez, Tony Fernandez, Akintokunbo Fernandez, Titilayo Unzicker, Adekoyejo Fernandez, Oyinkansola Fernandez, Atinuke Fernadez and Abimbola Fernandez.