Poverty forced me to develop strong determination to succeed -Chief Ade Ojo (Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies; Elizade Toyota Nigeria Ltd.) - SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE MAGAZINE


Friday, June 5, 2020

Poverty forced me to develop strong determination to succeed -Chief Ade Ojo (Chairman, Elizade Group of Companies; Elizade Toyota Nigeria Ltd.)

Success Story
Says “My Mother Laboured For 5 Days Before I Was Born”

By Charles Segun Adegbite

The Founder/Chairman of Elizade Group of Companies and Toyota Motors (Nig) Ltd, Chief Michael Ade Ojo has a great success story to tell. His is a classical case of “From Poverty To Prosperity”
” I was born without spoon (not to talk of silver spoon) in my mouth. I was born on the 14 of June, 1938, in a church in my home town. According to my mother, she laboured for five days before I could come out of the womb alive.” he said.
While narrating his life experience and success story to Successful People Magazine, he gave an insight to the circumstance that surrounded his birth, and how abject poverty forced him to develop a very strong determination to succeed through hard-work and God’s grace.
While narrating his childhood experience , Chief Ojo explained that his early life “was rough, I was born to the parents who were poor.
I was not to go to school. But one person, an Akoda (a native police) living in my uncle’s house at that time, was the one who called my mother, as I was told, that she should endeavour to send me to school because I was a fine looking boy. And that it would be good if I go to school. ” He said.
He was the 5th of six children (five boys and one girl) his mother born. “One of the reasons that my father gave, even though the first born went to school, was that out of the children of each of his three wives he could only send one to school.”
This octogenarian noted that the first born of his mother had taken the slot of his mother’s children.
“Since my mother was convinced that schooling was good, she decided to shoulder the responsibilities of sending me to school, all alone.” He disclosed.
In order to ensure that nothing discouraged her mother, late Chief Mrs Beatrice Ademolare Ojo, from sponsoring him, he (Michael) ensured that he was very obedient to her. Anything she asked him to do, he did.
“And one thing about my mother was that she was a good disciplinarian. She won’t take no for yes. My senior brothers would have gone to the farm except the one to go to school.
“The second person to go to school from another wife, I was the one going to fetch fresh water from the brook (a long distance) and doing all sorts of household shores before going to school.” he said.
According to him, his mother taught him to be responsible. “So I was quite obedient. If I happened to misbehave I was never spared. It was from my early life that working was just like my second nature.
On how he developed his business skills,  “I would go round to sell Eko (solid pap) before going to school. And when I returned in the evening I would go and sell kerosine and matches.
” In those days people were not buying one box of matches. So you tied them either five-five or ten-ten sticks each. And then take them around to sell. That was my own business." - He disclosed
“One thing I cannot forget was that, because of my parents poverty, when it was time to send anybody on an errand (whenever we were listening to tales by the moonlight) it was always me he (my maternal uncle) would send.
“Therefore they would deprive me of listening to the tales at the time everybody was enjoying it. But I had no option, I had to go. I called it intimidation. I didn’t know why, even when their own children were there it was me they always called to go on errand for them." He said.
“Apart from that I also suffered oppression. My maternal uncle was in the community of rich persons. There was abuse by him as if I came from heaven with poverty." He recalled.
"He would say things like: Baba e, ile ewe loni; baba awon Ile paanu loni” meaning that my father’s house was roofed with palm leaves and their’s with iron sheets. And those things meant a lot to me. These were the things that I gathered together that made me determined that I must change my family dynamics.
With determination he developed strong entrepreneurial spirit with his hard work, such that after graduation, he walked his way into automobile and within a week, sold 40 vehicles.
That marked the beginning of his adventure into automobile business.

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