Becoming an entrepreneur extraordinaire is not mere lip service; it takes consistent effort and focus to grow from just being an entrepreneur with interest in a particular business to becoming a respected and renowned empire builder. Think Dr. Mike Adenuga, GCON, CSG, CLH, the Chairman of the telecoms giant, Globacom. Frequently likened to a champion and sometimes, a business genius, Adenuga effortlessly depicts the image of a modern-day General of Commerce.
Interestingly, however, nothing excites Adenuga as much as his octopoidal conglomerate. Yes, very few of members of Nigeria’s affluent club can achieve every great feat in their youth and remain quiet and self-effacing, like an avatar of the Himalayan thrust. While some are busy pushing status and their immense bulk in a desperate dash for socio-economic and political acclaim, Adenuga affects tact and humility, without ostentation or pretence. Adenuga is a force of nature. A rare factor on the African continent.
You could be forgiven for ascribing to him, superhuman smarts. For a man who has learned and mastered intricate business as the genius conductor assimilates Mozart’s aria, you can never ornament the words enough to describe his unparalleled verve and genius. If Adenuga were a lab scientist, he would have reordered groups in organic chemistry and calculated the anti-derivatives of functions that he will effectively deploy in real life—all with a modest amount of energy.
Some would liken him to ‘The Factor’ on the African continent, a towering force of hope and entrepreneurial depth. Little wonder, he and others are still standing firm on the Forbes list of billionaires for 2018, released a few days ago. The rankings also show that Dangote, Adenuga and Abdusamad Rabiu top Forbes’ African Billionaires. Curiously, Dangote saw his wealth drop by $2bn from $12.2bn in January 2018 to $10bn in 2019. But Dangote retained his position as Africa’s richest man for the eighth consecutive time. Adenuga, with interests in oil exploration and real estate, moved up to be Africa’s second richest man. The American magazine said Adenuga’s net worth dramatically increased from $5.3bn to $9.2bn because he provided more detailed information about his assets. Yes, it’s often said Adenuga covets no vanities thus unlike many of other billionaires; he demands no free verses, heroic couplets or ornamental rhymes to glorify his personage as a man. Adenuga is hardly given to such infectious vanities.
Interestingly, Abdulsamad Rabiu, chief executive officer of BUA Group, featured on the list for the first time since 2015. Folorunsho Alakija, whose net worth dropped to $1.1 billion from $1.3 billion, was ranked 19th. The rank was a tie with South African banker, Michiel Le Roux. Commenting on the reduced net worth of the personalities, Forbes said, “Buffeted by plunging stock prices and weaker currencies, the number of African billionaires has shrunk to just 20, down from 23 a year ago. “Four people fell off Forbes’ annual list of the continent’s richest since last year while one returned to the ranks after a four-year absence. All but four members of the list have smaller fortunes than a year ago.”