Is money more important than certificate?, chief Rasak Okoya has this to say

The chairman of Eleganza Group, Chief Rasak Okoya, 77, ia an interview talk about his life as a young boy and how he rose to become a successful businessman:
To you, is age just a number or has anything really changed as you
clock 77?
You are still strong and agile even at 77, what is the secret?
To Allah be the Glory.
Did you know when you were growing up, that you would one day
become this influential and successful?
In all my growing life to date, I have always given thanks to the
almighty Allah for sustaining me, giving me direction and my
What was your childhood dream?
My childhood dream was like that of any other child of my age and
time. However, mine was backed up by the treatment I received
from my parents. I was never allowed to play much. I had three
sections per day – first section at school, second section at my
father’s tailoring shop and third section at the mosque. This gave
me the attitude to work hard and also to save all cash that was
given to me.
So many people may not know that your story is that of grass to
grace, can you tell us how you were able to build your business
empire from almost nothing?
It is from the discipline and hard work with no time to play. When I
returned from school, I was always with my father in his tailoring
shop to assist him in my little way. Thereafter I started sewing torn
clothes at little cost for neighbours. As I was able to save up
money, I started the business of buying and selling clothing and
sewing materials at the front of my father’s shop. I was able to
save up some money and I also borrowed from my mother to start
importation of tailoring materials.
You only had primary education as your formal training, are there
times you feel any regret that you didn’t further your education?
It is true that I had only primary education and immediately after, I
went into trading. I don’t feel any regret that I had only primary
education. If I had acquired the highest educational qualification, it
is still money and wealth that are the bottom line.
Was there any reason why you just had primary education?
As stated earlier, my love for trading made me to drop at primary
Was it easy getting to be successful?
The journey wasn’t an easy one; it’s full of ups and downs. But my
‘can do’ attitude kept me moving and in no time, I became real
Your father was a tailor; did you consider doing his line of
I was always with him in his tailoring shop, so I can’t say I never
considered tailoring, but as soon as I started making money from
the minor works and petty trading of tailoring materials around his
shop, I forgot about it.
What has been your greatest challenge since you started running
your business?
My challenges in business were not being able to manufacture
products in full capacity, due to lack of forex to buy raw materials
and electricity to power the factory through the use of generators.
Diesel price has always been on the increase and Electricity from
power firm is never coming.
You probably have a lot of business you attend to, how have you
managed to keep your home and your business afloat at the same
I work round the clock and I enjoy working. In spite of my load of
work and the associated tight schedule, I make sure that I have
time to chat with my family and tell them the story of how I got to
my present position.
There was a time Eleganza used to produce virtually all products
but there seems to be a decline in the number of products the
company produces; what really happened?
Eleganza was producing virtually all house hold products, later we
invested in real estate and about three years ago, Eleganza came
back to manufacturing big and strong on 35 hectares of land
called Eleganza Industrial City, at Ibeju. Today we have larger
numbers of house products and more are still coming up.
Was it your personal choice to have just very few expatriates in
your company?
Eleganza only keeps expatriates for jobs that the indigenes do not
have the technical knowledge. As soon as we discovered the
potential of the indigenes to do the expatriate job, we embrace the
person without delay.
Do we see you retiring one day?
I have already retired but not tired. I am around the business
empire for advisory roles

Can the south east (Igbo speaking tribe) produce the next Nigerian President come 2023?
Be the first to get updated. Subscribe to our newsletter


  1. Na so is true

  2. Ok

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Enter Captcha Here :