When Folashade Noimot Adeleye, from Ijebu Ode (Ogun state) met Alhaji Rasaki Akanni Okoya, about 19 years ago, she was barely 21. And the established mogul was about 58.
She was fresh faced, and living around Ojuelegba area of Surulere in Lagos. Brought up by a strict grandmother, many didn’t forsee a romance with a 37 year age difference (Alhaji Okoya, born on Jan 12, 1940, is 77).
She admitted that it was not love at first sight. But as the elder businessman with other wives persisted, she gave in. He liked her so much that she didn’t stand a chance. With attention and lavish gifts, she was swept off her feet.
Okoya was then experiencing turbulence in his relationship with his second wife, Ajoke. Both later parted ways.
And around 1999, the romance of Folashade and Alhaji Rasaki Okoya blossomed into marriage.
Then, only Alhaja Kuburat Okoya, his first wife now about 77, was in his matrimonial home.
Over the years, Shade, who later became Bewaji of Lagos, Otun Aare Iyalaje of Ajiranland, Yeye Ogechukwu of Epeland and Ajisewa of Oke Ona, had her four children – Olamide, Subomi, Oyinlola and Wahab.
With the kick off of Eleganza Industrial City, a 35 hectare expanse on Lekki-Epe Expressway, in 2012, where she’s managing director, her focus was sharpened. Producing world class chairs, tables, coolers, diapers and pads, luggage, bottles and soap, she works practically half-days (12 hours) to see to the success of the business with over 2,000 staffers.
The sixth of seven children, Folashade was born on April 25, 1977, to late Alhaji Tajudeen and Alhaja Nimota Adeleye. She has an Ordinary National Diploma in Banking and Finance from Lagos State Polytechnic and B.Sc in Sociology from the University of Lagos.
She’s also the managing director of Eleganza Fashion Products and Eleganza Cruise and Tours.