When in 2018, Lovehaven magazine interviewed astute businesswoman, Princess Folashade Abiodun Omotade, she vehemently declared that she wouldn’t get married again. The mother of three was so sure of her stance and closed any chapter that had to do with love or romance.
A close relative of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Princess Omotade nee Madojutimi lost her first husband in 2005 in the Bellview Plance crash at Lisa, Ogun State. With the death of Ayodeji Omotade, she made a decision not to get married again.
But Cupid arrow found a way to her heart. In September 2020, she was customarily married to the Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu.
Wow! She pulled a surprise on everyone and the quiet Nikkah ceremony took place at her Banana Island home in Lagos. How did she get another chance in the world of romance? She speaks to Kemi Ashefon in this special Valentine’s Day edition
Lovehaven: Congrats on your marriage ma.. You have been married to the Lagos State Commisssioner of Police, Hakeen Odumosu for almost five months now, what’s the feeling like?
Marriage is not new to me. I was married and then became a widow in 2005. But despite my age and experience, I would say that it’s a new feeling entirely and I feel fulfilled. I am grateful to God for giving me another chance.
Lovehaven: I remember the last time we spoke, you didn’t want to remarry because of your kids?
Yes, I remember cancelling remarriage. Then, I told you that my children remained and still are my priority. Their education is more important to me than anything because their father loved education and he was very intelligent man.
Again, I thought that there was no man I would marry who would not have children or hadn’t been with another woman before me. I didn’t want anyone to think any man sent my kids to school with his money when I can afford to send them abroad to school. Currently, my first daughter, who is a lawyer and studied abroad, is happily married. My two young daughters are studying abroad. My lastborn, who shared a striking resemblance with her late dad was born after my husband died. I was pregnant when he died in 2005. I didn’t have any of my kids here, so, I felt they should go and school abroad.
Lovehaven: I remember the Christmas of 2019, you were alone at home with all your kids abroad, were you planning to remarry then?
First, I would say that I talk a lot with my kids and whenever they weren’t around, I would be so lonely. At a point, I went to stay abroad with them but I returned again to Nigeria. But then, I would always call them to complain that I was bored and they always advise me to remarry since I need a companion and they weren’t with me again. So, it was when I felt okay, they are now mature enough that I decided to remarry. Meanwhile, luckily for me, I met my former friends. So, we started again.
Lovehaven: Was CP Odumosu an old friend of yours?
I have known him since the early 90s, when he first joined the Police. Then, he was posted to Zone D in Mushin, Lagos. Then, he was working with my first cousin, AIG Adisa Bolanta Baba, who was a DSP then. I dated Odumosu briefly. But my parents said they would not allow me to marry a police officer. We had to quit the affair. We met again after the death of my husband. I was living in Abuja and he was working in Abuja. So, we met again and he asked me out but I declined. Odumosu is the only police officer I ever dated despite knowing many of them in the force. When he asked me out again, I reminded him of my parents wishes that I shouldn’t marry an ‘Olopa’. He now said, ‘do you remember when I first met you, I said can you be my wife? And your parents said No. But your mother is late now, your father died many years ago, can’t we start again?. But I still refused. We began to talk about it, but we were not dating, before we started again in 2017.
Lovehaven: What kind of man was your father?
My father was not a poor man. My father was Mr Benjamin Adekunle Madojutimi Obamuyiwa.I knew him to be living in his house in Obanikoro, Lagos and driving his car which was a Peugeot brand and the number plate was ML 5040 . But I really don’t like remembering my childhood because I didn’t live with my mother.
Lovehaven: Well, your husband is not here to tell us what attracted you to him but what attracted him to you?
I like his intelligence, his smartness and his height. Moreover, Odumosu has a lot of things in common with my former husband. He is a kind-hearted man and a hardworking man. You know I am a very hardworking woman too. We complement each other. Those are what I knew about him in the early 90s.So, before I considered him for marriage, I had to talk to some of our mutual friends and asked about his lifestyle since I’ve lost touch with him over the years. They told me nice things about him and they confirmed all I knew about him in the early 90s.
Lovehaven: But you sprang a surprise wedding on us?
Well, both of us are adults, both of us are well over 50 years of age, so we didn’t see it as a new thing. There was no need to make noise about it. There was no need to elaborate it. So, we first went to my family house in Abeokuta to meet my people.We did Introduction & Traditional marriage in Abeokuta in August. The present Olutoko, of Itoko, the Oba of Itoko is my first cousin. I took Odumosu to the family house and I introduced him. He did the normal traditional marriage. It was after that we now did the Nikkai here in Lagos because he is a Muslim. He explained to me that if we didn’t do Nikkai, during the fasting period, I wouldn’t cook for him. He knows I love cooking. That was when we went and discussed with Sheikh Muyideen Bello to come and conduct the wedding in a Muslim manner, here in Banana Island.
Lovehaven: You are a very busy businesswoman, how do you juggle every aspect of your life?
I am a full time businesswoman. I am into shipping, oil and gas, manufacturing. I got my shipping license in 1994 and I have an office in Apapa. I also tried diverting to running a bureau de change which I still do with an office in Ikeja. I have a bag-weaving factory in Sango Ota. To the best of my knowledge, I have 12 companies with staff working for me. Actually, I don’t sleep early and could be awake till late in the night, but that doesn’t stop me from waking up before 6am. My routine is simple—after my prayers, I prepare meals for my husband if he’s around and I check my diary to see where I need to touch—whether my office in Apapa, Ikeja or the factory in Sango. I believe in hard work and can go the whole hog in attaining success in business.
You once worked at the Nigerian Ports Authority?
Yes, I worked at NPA. My uncle, Hon. Joshua Ogunleye helped my entrance to Ports Authority in the early 80s. He was the president of the Dock Workers Union of Nigeria and wanted me to work at the docks. But I refused because my sibling was working there. So, I opted for Ports Authority where I gained the knowledge of the shipping business. That was where I met my first husband. We met while I was working at NPA. He came to seek enquiries on a container of juice he imported that year but had challenges with the clearing. He met me at my desk and that was how we became friends.
But now as a businesswoman and a new wife, when do you have time for socials?
Yes, I carve out time to unwind. But with Covid-19 ravaging, one needs to be careful. We hardly go out now.
You are an elegant woman who dresses very well, what inspires your fashion sense?
I wear what suits me. I love both local and international designers. I love the designs of Ngozi Harry-Ngonadi (NHN couture) and Tee-Kay fashions. My shoes are always designers label and I love exquisite jewellery.