SHADE OKOYA OPENS UP ON THEIR UNDYING LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
There is no contest about this – Mrs. Shade Okoya is one of the most beautiful women that we know. In spite of being a mother of four, with her sumptuous figure and superlative dress sense, she can still enter for any beauty pageant and come out tops. A very, very supportive and hard working woman, she shared with YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine’s GBENGA SHABA some secrets about her man (Alhaji Rasak Okoya), her marriage and more…
How would you describe today?
Today is a wonderful day and a well deserved honour for my husband. From what everyone has been saying, it made me to believe that he is being appreciated for what he’s been doing in the country. So, it’s a great day for me and a well deserved honour for my husband.
How would you describe your husband?
He is a nice man. Very generous, kind, humble, hard working and a happy man. He is a mentor. I think I learnt from him the aspect of hard work and I know that when you work well, you get the fruits of your hard work. So, I think I learnt that from him, aside being humble. Irrespective of people’s age or who they are, he is ready to respect you even when people don’t expect him to do so. He is a hard worker, trustworthy, loyal, a friend and very dear to people. He is a friend to all people and to me, he is a wonderful husband and a wonderful father to my children. He is good.
What are some of those things that many people don’t know about him?
Everything people have said about him is what Chief Okoya Rasak is to me. He is very, very generous to a fault and he is a hard worker. So, I think the honour today is well deserved. He is a very, very good businessman. He started this business with just the little amount he got from his parents; he got the experience and the training and from there the loan he was given by his mother, 70 pounds, to all this. So, you can imagine all the hard work he would have put into this. He is very hardworking and also generous. A wonderful father, a loving husband and a man of all seasons to his friends and I think he is a happy person, so I’m happy to be with him and I will be happy to do it all over again.
My husband has sown that in me, so to say, because I got it from him. I came around and met him doing that. So, I’ve got no other choice than to learn it and follow his steps. He is my mentor and I’ve learnt a lot from him. So, I think I’m happy doing what I do.
What is the secret of your successful marriage?
Okay, 16 years down the line, I think I’m grateful to talk about marriage (Laughs). I think the first thing is I have evolved and we are friends of each other. I respect him a lot. My husband is a happy man. I’m happy with him as well because being happy at home goes a long way. My children are also doing very well. Everything is working well for us. So, I think all these put together have kept our marriage.
You and your husband are a busy business couple. How do you create time for each other?
We travel a lot most times and those are the major period we do have a lot of fun. But that doesn’t mean we don’t work during these journeys as well.
How do you cope being a mother, wife of a successful business man and a business woman as well?
I think everything seems to work together perfectly because once in a while my children too assist when they are on holidays. I love what I do, so I don’t think it has any negative effect on me. I enjoy what I do. I see it as fun because I’m happy doing them.
How does it make you feel when people say you are fashionable?
I don’t know, but people do say that about me several times.
Do you see yourself as one?
I don’t know, but my children do say that about me often, so I think I’m fashionable.
What determines what you wear to an event?
The occasion determines, of course. I wear to suit the kind of event I’m attending. I wear what makes me look fit. I wear dresses of all designs.
I work. I’m always working. That is part of the thing that has kept me the way I am and I love to cook. So, eating, working and being moderate. Everything just goes together.
What do you wish your husband?
I wish him all the very best. He is a hard worker, he is a generous man, he is a happy man and he also loves people. So, I pray to God for long life for my husband. God should give him very good health and every other thing should be in place and God should always be there for us.
RASAK OKOYA ON LIFE AT 75
How do you feel to have clocked 75 years?
I am happy. I thank God for this special honour to have seen this landmark. I’m happy.
Did you see yourself in this position when you started?
When you are a determined man, you will achieve success. When I travelled out to other countries and I saw how they produce things over there; meanwhile, here in Nigeria, no one is doing such a thing and when we started, we did with determination that we are going to be great one day. So, here we are today.
What is the secret behind your young look?
If you take good care of your health and then you are hard working, you don’t live a wayward life, you sleep at the right time, eat good food and you are happy, then God’s favour will crown it all.
You are known to be a workaholic even at your age. How have you been able to cope?
It’s been a part of me. I like and enjoy production and by the grace of God, Nigeria will realize that production is the root of the development of a nation. They would realize that we need more technical schools so as to have more production personnel because only university education will not help. For some of us that went to technical school, we have realized this. There are no people to handle the technical aspect of our developmental process. We need good mechanics, good electricians and builders as well. All these I’ve mentioned. You have to rely on our neighbouring countries for the supply of man power and all these contribute to our economic woes. So, we need to redress this situation by going back to the drawing board.
What other plans do you have for Eleganza Group?
We have about 32 hectares of production outfit coming up where over 2,000 people would be employed and we are determined to do more as the year progresses.
What do you wish yourself?
I still wish for longer life. I want to live longer so as to affect more lives positively.
HAJIA ABBA FOLAWIYO
How would you describe Chief RasakOkoya?
He is my brother in-law. He is a friend to my late husband. He is a very generous man who doesn’t think twice to assist. Very hardworking and a loving man. You can see the kind of people that are identifying with him today. It is a testimony of the kind of man he is. In fact, I don’t know how best to describe him. He is generous and nice. He loves everyone that surrounds him. He is a wonderful person.
CHIEF OPRAH BENSON
How would you describe Chief Rasak Okoya?
Everybody has said it. He is very humble and very kind. He is a person that listens to every complain and tries to help people out. So, we are very proud of what he has done and we are hoping that he continues and that others should emulate him. So, we congratulate him today.
What is your wish for him?
I wish him to continue to be above level, dwell in God’s love, then he would have good health and long life.
You are ageing gracefully, what is the secret of your youthful look?
Hard work and thanks to God.
Of all the things you have achieved in life, which one do you cherish the most?
I cherish all that God has given to me and all that He has made me achieve in life.
What would you love to be remembered for?
I would love to be remembered for what I’ve been able to do in the society for young people; for giving them jobs and trainings. I would love to be remembered for my love for mankind.
What is your philosophy of life?
Keep on praying. Trust in God.
PROFESSOR PAT UTOMI
How would you describe Chief RasakOkoya?
He is an honourable man. Very hardworking and friendly. He is one of those who will never compromise their integrity for anything. You can see that in the success of his companies as well.
What is your wish for him?
I wish him every good thing of life and more grace to witness more of this special moments in his life.