Chief Michael Olasubomi ‘Subomi’ Balogun is impressive on all accounts. One is hard-pressed to find a more spirited, impassioned, and delightful Nigerian businessman who is still a champion of his industry at 87. But that is Chief Subomi Balogun: 87 years a man, and over 50 of them being a paragon of vision and verity.
March 9, 2020, marked Chief Subomi Balogun’s 87th birthday. In commemoration of this, reclusive poets filled their inkpots, and myriad eulogists participated in the parade of praises. The legend of banking and industry is likely one of the few people who are not seated majesties but still get ancient princes and royal fathers’ accolades.
Only ignorance would urge one to pay no mind to Chief Balogun’s new page of life—not even animosity. After all, the lives this man has influenced and affected run into millions. A progenitor-level character, the founder of Nigeria’s indigenous First City Monument Bank (FCMB).
The legends of how this many-titled Chief rose from a young lad of Ijebu-Ode to establishing one of the earliest indigenous banking institutions are inspiring. According to the stories, Chief was born in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State. He graduated from Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, and went on to study Law at the prestigious London School of Economics.
It is said that young Balogun’s diligence and fiery brilliance made level paths for his success. But he trudged many paths before he found that smooth one. After several turns, Chief Balogun reached a height that permitted him to establish the institution of our pride. Aside from his contributions to the banking sector, Chief Subomi Balogun’s philanthropy is unrivalled.
Was it not only a few months ago that he gave away a whole health centre (the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre (OTNPC)) for children’s care? That’s a legendary character for you. And so accolades are signifying a second Noah’s Flood in his honour—and why not? After all, millions of Nigerians can claim the title of ‘son of the soil’, but only a handful can plant something on Chief Subomi Balogun’s level.