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News and Society Expression Unfold

Femi’s Angels By Keem Abdul 

Read Time:5 Minute, 36 Second

If you are familiar with the TV show, “Charlie’s Angels”, or its movie spin-offs of the same name, you would be familiar with the story of three ladies taking on the world backed by some very wealthy guy that they never see. “Charlie”, through a speakerphone, only spoke to his “Angels” either at the start or at the end of an assignment.

Art sometimes imitates life. If you look closely, you might notice that Nigerian billionaire and philanthropist Femi Otedola, like the Charlie of Charlie’s Angels, does have a team of lady angels too. However, he is a far greater improvement on the fictitious Charlie character. Femi’s three daughters are his angels and then his son Fewa makes up his unbeatable team of four. Together, they are teaching us a thing or two about how important having a loving, tight-knit family is.

Femi Otedola may have headed some of Nigeria’s most successful business organisations and may indeed be a regular feature in Forbes list of billionaires but in his own words, “One of my greatest jobs in life is being a father”. He evidently takes the job seriously and unlike many of his wealthy contemporaries who put money above family, he deliberately created a work-life balance that allowed him to be available for his children and spend quality time with his family. It’s not just that he spends quality time with them that is remarkable and commendable. It’s that he has allowed each of his angels spread their wings uniquely and express their gifts and talents without being coerced to take after him or become successors to his multimillion dollar empire.

Femi’s loving confidence in his three daughters, Tolani, Ifeoluwa and Temi has allowed them to emerge from the cocoon of their estimable pedigree into trailblazers who are building a legacy for themselves. Tolani is a phenomenal musician and one of the fast rising leaders of the current crop of Nigerian artists doing well. She recently scored a feature on renowned news station CNN’s “Inside Africa” program on the merit of her buzz and appreciable musicianship. Her father delightedly celebrated this with a post on Instagram with the caption: “My angel Tolani and her music made an appearance on CNN Inside Africa… So proud, well done!” Keen observers can tell her success did not happen overnight. From an early age, she had always showed her gifts in music and it helped that her father had an eclectic taste in music and played music around the house. He guided her to get a formal education even while grooming her musical gifts. She made him proud, bagging a first and second degree in Psychology from the prestigious University of St. Andrews in Scotland, as well as being schooled in Music and Master Performance from the Tech Music School in London, England. When she first premiered her music in Lagos in 2017, her Dad was at the venue putting things together. His celebrity friends, many wealthy like him, showed up in appreciation of his support for his daughter as she followed an unbeaten path in pursuit of her dreams. Not many Dads do that.

His second daughter Ifeoluwa is also a recipient of Daddy’s love and is arguably more popular than her father. Going by the stage name of “DJ Cuppy”, she has consistently been putting out good music and making a name for herself across Africa and indeed the world. Iconic global brand, Pepsi took note and made her one of their brand ambassadors in Africa in appreciation of her hard work. Now an even bigger brand, the ubiquitous tech giant Apple has just announced a first-of-its-kind deal that has DJ Cuppy hosting its first radio show radio in Africa on its online streaming platform, Apple Music. The show tagged “Africa Now Radio with Cuppy” is a weekly one-hour program that features DJ Cuppy curating and DJ’ing diverse genres of African music, as well as interviewing artists and celebrities from Africa and beyond. While the figures behind the deal were not publicly announced, sources estimate that it is at least worth a million dollars yearly for Femi Otedola’s angel.

At this rate, DJ Cuppy may soon be joining her billionaire father on the Forbes list as he listens and guides her on her journey. It will be recalled that it was her who drew her father’s attention to a charity initiative she was part of for children in the North East of Nigeria who had been affected by the ravaging terrorism in that region. At a fundraiser put together by his daughter’s charity organization and the globally renowned Save The Children in 2019, Femi Otedola made the largest ever charitable donation by a single individual: a whopping 5 billion Naira! Her father’s super wealthy and super influential friends also showed up, including Aliko Dangote who also made a huge donation to the charitable cause. You’d be hard pressed to find many men like F.O.

Another of Femi’s angels is his daughter Temi. Her array of talents is served to the world through blogging, fashion, art, travel and photography. Her father supports her every step of the way and she recently decided to try her hands at acting. She was cast to make her acting debut in a new film being made by ace filmmaker Kunle Afolayan titled “Citation”. While she was on set in Ile Ife, Osun State, her father paid a surprise visit to express his support for her artistic pursuits and to see firsthand what the making of a film entails. His expedition left him so enthralled that he said he would be supporting the Nigerian movie industry going forward. Who knows? We may truly see a Femi’s Angels movie with the man actually showing his face, unlike Charlie.

His son Fewa, is perhaps the most loved of Femi’s angels and leads a very private life. The billionaire always celebrates him at every chance he gets, and especially so on his birthday anniversaries. Fewa’s siblings dote on him, as do his parents and their love inspires many to be considerate and affectionate to everyone, regardless of class, creed and gender.

Femi and his angels sure do lead lives worthy of consideration and perhaps emulation. They embrace their frailties, warts and all but strive to be tolerant and loving to all despite living in a world where being rich and famous often opens one up to hate, jealousy and even cyberbullying. The Otedolas just may be premium material for a reality show that would give The Kardashians a run for their money. Time will tell.

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Tolani Otedola: A Class Act in Nigerian Music’s New School By Keem Abdul 

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