Yudala! Making Sense With Leo Stan Ekeh’s New Big Deal


The seasons pass but Leo Stan Ekeh, the chairman of Zinox Group and Yudala, remains grand, like the nurturant guardian whose tenderness and warmth blesses the land. In 60 years, Leo has blossomed into a man of affluence and integrity. The story of his exquisite manhood resonates with a pleasant peal.

To his staff members, family, friends, beneficiaries and other loved ones, his smiles have been their anchor, his shoulders their rampart of comfort. However, the shrewd entrepreneur and Chairman of Zinox Technologies boasts of a series of remarkable firsts to his name. He stands out as one of the few daring businessmen that pioneered desktop publishing and computer graphics in Nigeria. He is credited for computerising about 95 per cent of the print media, publishing houses and advertising agencies in the country.

Unbeknownst to a lot of people, Leo owns the much-talked about Yudala. Exactly, a year ago, the premium online shopping store, Yudala, stormed Nigeria and became a big hit, beating other existing online stores with its aggressive campaign, celebrity endorsement and impeccable delivery services. It became the first company to combine an e-commerce platform with offline retail stores located nationwide, after its launch last year July attracting millions of customers from inception. With its massive media buzz, it instantly took over the social media but the buzz is however backed up with prompt service delivery. The company, run by Nnamdi Stan-Ekeh, Leo’s first son who is the Vice President of Yudala Online, is an Economics graduate from the University of Lancaster.

As the tired sun melts into an endless horizon and azure skies are shrouded in dusk, the passage of childhood and transition into youth opened fresh vistas in the life of Ayo Otedola. If only youth were enough to bring the relief of peace, success and acclaim, Ayo would sleep easy. But he couldn’t. Unlike the proverbial lazy bones who lived to see the sun rise before his eyes were closed while the dawn chorus becomes his lullaby, he worked through dusk and dawn to actualise his heartfelt dreams of grandeur. Curiously, however, very few people know Ayo, the elder brother of Forbes-certified billionaire, Femi Otedola, the chairman of Forte Oil. This is because he keeps decent miles away from the spotlight, like a moth fleeing the flames of a wildfire.

Ayo, like the proverbial moth probably fears being burned or corrupted by the spotlight thus his studious reticence and avoidance of the cameras. Fame is dispensable in the life of Ayo Otedola. That is why he keeps his family and business very private. However, Ayo, a jolly good guy, who has one of the largest farms in Africa, is unable to escape the focus of Highlife as he adds another year to his illustrious spell on mother earth. Last Tuesday, June 28 to be precise, he celebrated his birthday in the company of his closest friends and relatives in a posh restaurant in London. Ayo is a happily married man, father and grandpa. He looks so much like his billionaire sibling and Forte Oil boss, Femi. They share a very close bond and their children are always together.

If fortune can be harvested as gold and silver grapes and blessings flourish like leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys, the life-path and home of former governor of Lagos State, now a minister, Babatunde Fashola, would glitter like a barn full of treasure and a life well spent. Tunde clocked 53 last Tuesday. The day presented him with an opportunity to express gratitude to his Creator for the inestimable love and mercies he bestows upon him. However, the truth has dawned on the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing on his day of joy, like parched sun on naked earth. As he clocked another year last Tuesday, June 28, nobody cared enough to accord him a congratulatory message on the airwaves or pages of the nation’s newspapers.

Back when he was governor of Lagos State, the news dailies were cluttered with congratulatory messages and hyperbolic praise of Fashola. Corporate titans and political big wigs jostled to place the most sensational advertorials in the media, to wish the two-time governor the best that life and fate could offer. But no sooner had he left his exalted office than he was deserted by his army of loyalists and political associates. Funnily enough, journalists, bloggers, political underlings and other major beneficiaries of his government and political caucus, while he was governor, also ignored him on his birthday. Perhaps the former Lagos governor would glean a lesson or two from this.

A miser lives poor to die rich. Thus Sir Olu Okeowo is not a miser. The Chairman of Gibraltar, a real estate firm, lives a charmed life, unlike the proverbial miser. The popular socialite and real estate player is notable for his love of expensive automobiles. He has different models of the luxurious Rolls Royce in his garage and he spares no expense in catering to his wants and guilty pleasures. However, rumour has it that Sir Okeowo is extremely stingy to friends, associates and acquaintances.

According to rumour mongers, he prefers to show off his intimidating wealth and spend his money on his expensive lifestyle rather than give it out to the needy. Thus whenever folks approach him with bills and other financial needs, he simply deflects their requests with a charming smile even as he declines their heartfelt requests. But a very close source to Sir Okeowo argued that, the rumours being peddled about him are part of the plot by mischief makers to destroy the name and reputation of the very amiable and generous man.

According to the source, Sir Okeowo is not as stingy as he is being described; he simply avoids the machinations of lazy men and women with indecent motives. Olu is not just another socialite; he is a respectable corporate veteran with noble background. He is from the famous Okeowo family whose patriarch made overwhelming success in the business world. His imprints in the social map are as indelible as his landmark achievements in the economic firmament, especially in realty sector.