Lagos Island prince, Ademola Oniru is the second son of Oba Idowu Oniru of Iruland. The Oje Olofin of Iruland, who is passionate about his family, is the CEO of Oniru Beach.
The philanthropist and chairman of Oniru Football Club, held nothing back as he spoke to ENCOMIUM Weekly on the famous Oniru Beach, his family, and a whole lot more.
What business are you into?
I’m into properties. I build. I started from moulding blocks, building roads. I have an industry here in Oniru that I have been running for the past 12 years and gradually I proceeded to making pave-stones. That’s how I started. And to God be the glory, I am successful.
How do you manage your chain of businesses?
I have professionals. I have three types of fields in my business and people that belong to those fields. I put them there to manage them for me, and at end we come round a table have a meeting and they give me detail.
Has the king, who is your father influenced your success in any way?
Yes. Everything I am today is my father. He encouraged us to be hard working, when we were young, he used to tell us that if you work hard, you will become respectable and successful. So, he geared us up. All of his children, not just me.
All of his children are successful, but individuals have their own style. I think I took my father’s step and that’s why I’m very successful.
Are you in-charge of Oniru Private Beach?
We face a lot of challenges, but with God on my side everything is possible. We have hoodlums at times, we ask them to pay and they will fight the gatemen. The main problem is he Nigerian Armed Forces, they harass people.
I have 17 life guards because, no matter how much you control the crowd, you will still see some stubborn ones. When we get fed up, we tell them to go and collect their money at the gate because we don’t want to tarnish our reputation.
Oniru Beach is unarguable one of the hottest party spots in Lagos right now. How did you achieve this?
Everything that God has a hand will be successful. We managed it through adverts and we will give our customers the best. Though we aren’t 100 percent okay, I train my crew to be respectful. We also have our ups and downs, especially with the military which has been settled. Oniru Beach is cool and alright.
What’s your relationship with your brother, the commissioner?
He is the first born and I am the second, we relate well. I handle the estate, security and anything involving the people in the estate. As a big brother, he also lives here in the palace. At times if something is beyond my power I will call the Aremo to come in, we are very close.
Do you have any political ambition?
(Smiles) No, I don’t want to talk about politics. It’s God’s wish but I am not a politician.
Your educational background?
I started m nursery school at this end, meaning Nigeria before I extended it to England and I obtained the usual certificate, everybody get from abroad. I did about 10 to 15 professional courses in different areas of business which finally made me choose which area I would focus on.
How was it like, growing up in a polygamous family?
That’s why I was brought up and I really didn’t have any choice. It was hard little when we were young. Being from a polygamous family, your mother would say things to you, the other wives will say other things to their children. But at the end, our father was someone that was intelligent and he asked us not to listen to any woman, that we are one.
How do you handle family conflicts and siblings rivalry?
Respect is reciprocal as you know because all my life, I can’t remember any of my little brothers or sisters being rude to me. If you do something bad, I will caution you and we know each other’s character. So, we don’t really have any confrontation.
What’s your dress sense, any favourite designer?
I lived in England and America for years and whatever is in vogue over there my people will send it to me. It’s only Ankara that I wear in parties you will see me buying here. I don’t have a particular designer, I just pick what it is in vogue.
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday,December 06, 2011