If your money can’t bribe death, please be humble. Guess this must be the most popular quote in the last few days among the rich and famous since the most shocking news about the demise of uber-wealthy and foremost socialite Aare (Dr.) Bolu Akin-Olugbade hits the town. Sincerely, if death had demanded for money —be it in Dollars, Pounds, Euros or Naira— it wouldn’t have been any kind of problem for this super stylish man regarded as the unarguably Africa’s best collector of Rolls Royce. But sadly, the international businessman succumbed to the grip of grim reaper on Wednesday 13 January after a failed bout with the dreaded Coronavirus. Spotlight gathered that Aare Bolu had fallen ill after returning from a wedding ceremony on December 26, 2020, where he had served as Chairman of the reception. He was later rushed to Paelon Memorial Hospital, Ikeja but got discharged last week. With his family and close friends believing the worst was over already, only for him to relapse suddenly at the weekend. Family sources said the late billionaire was rushed and admitted at one of the isolation centers in Lagos where every effort was made to restore his health but sadly he gave up the ghost on Wednesday afternoon. His death sent shock waves across the Lagos social establishment as most were aware of his battle with cancer and how he beat the dreaded disease only to succumb to Covid.
Aare Bolu had a solid pedigree as the son of legendary old money, late Chief Babatunde Ohu Akin-Olugbade, then Balogun of Owu —the traditional prime minister and the Ekerin of Egbaland. The history of modern day Egbaland can never be complete without the late B.O Akin Olugbade. His wealth was phenomenal and his footprints are everywhere in the state. If there was any Egba man that stood toe to toe with former President Olusegun Obasanjo —even as a top military officer—it was late OB Akin-Olugbade. They were from the same Owu Clan but the two illustrious sons never saw eye to eye when Akin-Olugbade was alive. The man beat Obasanjo to the title ‘Balogun Owu’, one of the most revered chieftaincy titles in Owu. It was after his demise that Obasanjo got the Balogun title. Like his father, Bolu was very handsome, stylish, bullish and traditional. He was the Aare Ona kakanfo of Owu kingdom —the Generalissimo or Field Marshal of the Owu-Egba kingdom.
Though a second generation wealth creator, cosmopolitan and debonair Bolu was a perfect blend of inherited riches and self-acquired fortune. Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he did not always have everything on a platter of silver. Inventive and dogged, the suave blueblood had to become intrepid, selfless and ambitious to create his world of grandeur. And till he breathed his last, he single handedly expanded his interest into various business sectors such as property development, construction, manuf
For Aare Bolu, luxury was his signature. With almost a dozen luxury homes in ritzy areas of many countries’ capitals across the world, his Aare Ona kakanfo Palace in Abeokuta, Ogun State leaves most people speechless—as per both the interior and exterior. His exceptional love for Rolls Royce began in 1984, when he bought his first one by himself from profit he made from a good venture. By 2019 he had gotten his 10th Rolls Royce when his Rolls Royce Cullihan was personally delivered to him amongst the first roll out from their famous factory. Spotlight gathered that as a socialite of note, the deceased didn’t spray any musician lower than Nigeria’s highest denomination. For Bolu, it’s N1,000 notes or nothing. Yet, with his abundant wealth spanning four decades, one remarkable thing about him was his ability to live above scandals and ward off anything that could have tainted his image. Married to his beloved better half, Oladunni Akin-Olugbade for more than 40 years, they have been blessed with children and grandchildren too.