Jennifer Obayuwana, the Queen of Luxury ; By Keem Abdul
Jennifer Obayuwana is easily one of Nigeria’s most stylish women. While she is not the publicity hungry, “slay queen” kind that hustles to be seen on the red carpet at high profile events in Lagos, once Jennifer makes an appearance, heads are sure to turn. In fact, not a few female Nollywood celebrities or Nigerian female musicians have been abandoned by photographers and bloggers hurrying to catch a glimpse of her and note what she is wearing as soon as she makes an entrance.
The story is told of how one of Nigeria’s top music exports to the world was on an intercontinental flight and seated beside a European business executive. The Nigerian artiste was wearing a Rolex Cellini Moon Phase timepiece, or so he thought, and he was flashing it hoping to get the attention and esteem of his co-traveller. Eventually they got talking and the artiste was asked where he bought his Rolex.
The conversation went like this:
Business Executive: “Where did you buy your Rolex?”
Business Executive: “Oh, nice! Do you know Jennifer?”
Artiste: “I have lots of female fans and girls running after me. I don’t know all their names but it’s possible that at least one of them is named Jennifer.”
Business Executive: “Oh, you got me wrong! I was referring to Jennifer, the lady who runs Polo in Lagos. They’re the official retailers of Rolex in Nigeria.
Artiste: “Ermmm… Yeah, I think I know her. I’ve met her at a party before.”
Business Executive: Oh, great! You should meet up with her. She’s amazing… I didn’t want to tell you this before, but I hope you didn’t pay a lot of money for this watch you are wearing. It’s a fake but you might not know it. I noticed it when we were boarding.”
The artiste ate humble pie and was remarkably quiet for the rest of that flight. Understandably so, right?
Jennifer Obayuwana is Executive Director of the Polo Luxury Group, the holding company of the foremost luxury goods companies in West Africa. From Lagos to Zurich, Cape Town to Monaco, her name rings bells and commands respect. She and her father, the estimable John Obayuwana pioneered and have remained at the forefront of luxury goods sales in the most populous black nation in the world. In Nigeria and across much of West Africa, their Polo Group holds the sole agency of some of the world’s most prestigious brands for timepieces and accessories such as Rolex, Breguet, Cartier, Chopard, Roger Dubuis, Piaget, Arnold and Son, Tissot, Mont Blanc, Longines, Balmain, Audemar Piguet and much more. They have highly qualified horologists trained by Rolex, Chopard, Omega, Longines and others. Their After-Sales Service Centre attracts the patronage of discerning luxury goods aficionados, giving them much delight. On the company’s website, a Rolex watch tells the time, real time and attests to its long-standing relationship with the Polo Group as its official retailer for much of Africa. They have set the standard of the highest quality and competence in the areas of craftsmanship, product delivery and excellence.
Luxury wristwatches and writing instruments are not the only products that the Polo Group sells. Its offshoot company, Polo Avenue is a multi-brand specialty retailer that focuses on fashion, leather goods, footwear and fragrances with a portfolio of brands including Dolce &Gabbana, Gucci, Versace, Balenciaga, Salvatore Ferragamo and Jimmy Choo. Jennifer helps create an in-store experience that rivals, matches and sometimes surpasses the stores of the top brands she stocks in the Polo Avenue. In an economy that is far from its best, somehow, she and the amazing staff attract big-spending repeat customers every other week. At work in a business suit, her mien betrays a laser-like focus on the company’s goals, bearing in mind that The Polo Group, through her working relationship with her father is one of the few companies in Africa where success has become transgenerational, a rarity in this part of the world.
With that kind of pedigree, it is no surprise that Jennifer is one of the most sought-after spinsters in Lagos, Nigeria. Of course, there will be pretenders and there will be genuine contenders for her heart. Her combination of beauty and brains, style and grace, being book smart and street smart is coveted highly. She is a philanthropist and skilled public speaker like her mentor Sheika Moza bint Nasser. Jennifer is a great encourager of girls and women, urging them to not just shatter the glass ceilings but to lift others like them as they toe the unique paths that Life has for them.
She does all this while being supremely stylish. You can’t fault the Nigerian Queen of Luxury for being true to her calling, can you?
Culled from Inaugural Edition Of TEJ