On July 15, 2019, notable Nigerian entrepreneur and industrialist, Chief Oladele Fajemirokun, will unveil his autobiography, The Making of Me– My Odyssey in Business, at Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The business mogul admits that pressure from various quarters, especially in his business life, prompted him to put pen to paper on his life’s trajectory, especially his success as a businessman.
“My habit of discussing with friends and colleagues,” he recalls, “usually veers towards some of them prompting me to put some of the ideas I have into writing, because they say that many of my takes on business are not taught at the Harvard Business School, and that they would be of immense benefit to younger people who choose to go into my line of business, which is venture capital and ‘angel’ investment.”
The same sentiment has also been expressed by his children and the top managers in my companies, some of whom he has interacted with on a regular basis. Besides, “For many years, the bank directors at HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank in London urged me to write about my business life because of their fascination with my business and, moreover, through their roles, having witnessed the birth and growth of some of the companies in Nigeria.”
Dr Oladele Fajemirokun’s autobiography echoes the tale of a self-made man. “I can declare that I was not born into wealth, and, after my father’s untimely death, I did not inherit wealth. I have earned everything I own in life. My houses in prestigious locations in Nigeria, the UK, the USA and South Africa were all built or bought by me from my own labour. They were not inherited; neither were they, in anyway, proceeds from my late father’s estate.”
The author’s father, High Chief Henry Oloyede Fajemirokun, died when he was twenty-seven years, and he never experienced the special privileges associated with children of a wealthy father. He recalls, “I never travelled abroad, never went on summer holidays nor attended elite schools; instead, I started school at St Peters, Ajele. Most holidays, I was sweeping the floor in my father’s warehouse or working as a tally clerk in his clearing and forwarding company, and later, during secondary school and as a university undergraduate, as a clerk in the bank.
“My dad never believed in giving me pocket money. It was a concept that was alien to him, but only as far as it concerned me. He believed that I had to earn my keep. He made me open a passbook account, which he kept, and, occasionally, made me withdraw money for my siblings. This action of my father created the working hunger for money and survival all my life.”
Chief (Dr.) Oladele Fajemirokun, 69, had his early education in various schools in Lagos, finishing both primary and secondary education at Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State, and Loyola College, Ibadan, in Oyo State. Thereafter, he attended Gboluji Grammar School, Ile Oluji, in Ondo State, before proceeding to University of Ife, (Now Obafemi Awolowo University) in Ile-Ife, Osun State, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics.
Chief (Dr) Oladele Fajemirokun has cultivated and invested in leading companies in Nigeria, garnering a wealth of experience in key sectors of the economy, including insurance, telecommunications, oil and gas, agriculture, supply food chain and manufacturing. Notable among these are American International Insurance Company (AIICO Plc.), Food Concepts & Entertainment Plc. (Owners of Chicken Republic), Xerox Nigeria, now XHS, Johnson Wax (A Johnsons & Johnsons company, markers of Baygon & Raid Insecticides), among others.
Chief Dr. Dele Fajemirokun is a recipient of many chieftaincy titles, including Baba Oba of Ifewara, Osun State; Bajulaiye of Okeigbo, Ondo State; Bobagunwa of Ifewara, Osun State; Obaluaro of Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State; Fiwajoye of Ipetu Modu, Osun State; Amuwajoye of Mopa land; Atayese of Ondo Kingdom. Over the last two decades, he has supported initiatives that have profoundly impacted on the larger society.