Some times in 2014, I went with a photographer to interview the late billionaire businessman, Bolu Akin-Olugbade
When I called him that we were on our way, he used one queer way to describe his house:
“To ba ti wo street yen, wa a ri ile kan to ni pillars bi ile Subomi Balogun. Ile mi niyen” (When you enter the street, you would see one house that has pillars like the house of Subomi Balogun. That’s my house).
From all indications, he enjoyed the comparison with the owner of First City Monument Bank.
Bolu, as friends and colleagues called him, loved life and lived it to the fullest.
In his garage, I counted FIVE different models of Rolls Royce.
Yeah, I said FIVE. Not to mention other exquisite brands.
A very good and engaging interview subject, he said Nigerians were abusing the word ‘billionaire’.
“Many of those people Nigerians call billionaires are glorified multi-millionaires,” he told me during the interview.
To him, being rich should be denominated in dollars.
“How much are you worth dollars?” I asked him.
“You mean in cash or valuables?” He tried to verify.
“I mean in cash; money you can say you have in bank in dollars,” I explained.
“As at today, I have $250million,” he declared.
“You want this on tape?” I asked.
“Yes. You can quote me.”
After the interview, he walked us to the door. I took another look again at the undebatable opulence and class that defined his existence.
When I read about his death yesterday, my heart sank. He perhaps, hypothetically, deserved to live forever and enjoy life.
And my mind went to those assets. Especially, the Rolls Royce cars (I believe he would have acquired the latest) and I asked again:
WHAT’S OUR PURPOSE IN THIS WORLD?
Striving and achieving good and quality life is good and can NEVER be faulted.
But I still think our greatest investment is how much we touched others positively when alive.
How much we give to those who don’t have and how much food we give to the hungry.
When rich men die and take nothing with them (and even leave the living to fight over their earthly acquisitions), the immortal words of God come to mind in Ecclesiastes 1, verses 1 to 4:
1. The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
2 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher,
vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3 What does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but the earth remains forever.
@ Samuel. O. Ajayi