Sade Okoya at 40: A Birthday Feast Fit for Royalty



If organising high society parties with the right mix of guests, gourmet food and endless exotic champagnes and cognacs known to connoisseurs were art, you may jolly well call billionaire industrialist, Chief Rasaq Akanni Okoya, the Michelangelo. And if that skill were classical music, please, call him Mozart. The money man knows how to deploy his vast wealth to serenade and stun those close to him. And, when it’s about his beloved wife, Folashade, he goes the whole hog, spares no expense and harnesses all his contacts and connections to flatter and fete her.

Folashade, a University of Lagos graduate, clocked 40 last Sunday and Chief Okoya pulled everybody that matters in the society to join him in celebrating the woman that effortlessly adds plenty sheen to his glowing and glorious being. Held inside the sprawling Oluwa Ni Sola Estate on Lekki Expressway owned by the Eleganza Group chairman, it was easier to count the foremost Nigerians that weren’t at the party than those there. And they were in their eye-watering finery, yet, complied with the Black Tie dress code.

From captains of industries to consummate politicians, royals and rulers, it was an evening when the spangled stars in the Lagos skyline, peering through the gold embroidered blinds, seemed to connive with the neon lights that lit the hall to cast a celestial halo on the birthday girl. Regally tall and resplendently attired, Folashade beamed with toothy smiles as she moved from table to table to greet guests, ensuring nobody missed out on the Okoyas’ epicurean hospitality. Despite her humble parentage, Folashade, who got married to Chief Okoya while in her early 20s, now carries herself with cultured aristocracy.

It was her day and she lived the moment like she was born to do so. With comedian, Tee A, behind the microphone, there was no dull moment and the tempo of the party went octaves higher when reigning indigenous lyricist, Olamide Baddo, took the stage. Seguing from his early to latest hits, the singer ensured he made many men discard their agbada while the women did away with their stilettoes as they danced without inhibitions to his music. The birthday girl was not left out of the dancing binge that lasted well into the midnight.

Hardly had the tears shed in bucketful at the burial of Olu Akeusola, a Professor of Comparative Grammar, dried, than salacious tales about his lifestyle began to emerge. An illustrious Epe son and Provost of Michael Otedola College of Primary Education, Akeusola, died Friday, April 21st, at the age of 55 and was buried the following day. Despite dying about three hours after returning from Abuja, no foul play was suspected in his death. Professor Akeusola is survived by three wives and children. But that is not the story. At the eighth day Fidau prayer, a woman came out from the crowd to inform the clerics conducting the prayers that the baby she was holding was ‘fathered’ by the deceased. She told them that the baby was christened Abass by the Professor himself and that she came all the way from the United States of America to attend the Fidau.

The clerics prayed for her and the baby and further announced that another London-based woman has a baby by the late Professor but could not make the prayer. While the first two wives were understandably aghast, the last wife, who did not have any child by Professor Akeusola in more than five years of marriage, was devastated and inconsolable. Interestingly, despite having a palatial home fit enough for royalty, none of the three wives lived with him. Sources say he preferred his freedom and did not like the encumbrances of having a woman under his roof or so.