Birth­day ‘Boys’...How Three Al­pha Men Cel­e­brated Their Birth­days Last Sun­day

THISDAY - - HIGHLIFE - with LANRE AL­FRED 08076885752

Pray, who wants to party like a rock star when you can do so like a bil­lion­aire? Let Femi Otedola, oil czar; and ship­ping mag­nate and board­room guru, Musa Dan­juma, teach you a trick or two about cel­e­brat­ing with bil­lion­aires. They know the game and have no apolo­gies about how they play it. Last Sun­day, Novem­ber 4th, Otedola added an­other year.

Weeks be­fore, the Forbes-cer­ti­fied bil­lion­aire, who is grad­u­ally be­com­ing a force on so­cial me­dia, in­formed his fan­dom about his an­nual va­ca­tion which has so far taken him to sev­eral Eu­ro­pean cities in­clud­ing Monte Carlo, Monaco, where he was joined by among other high pro­file friends, his bil­lion­aire collaborator, Al­haji Aliko Dan­gote.

On his birth­day, he posted a pic­ture of him­self in Mar­rakech, a scenic and psy­che­delic city that marches to its own beat and wrote, “Thank­ing God for an­other year, Happy Birth­day to me in Mar­rakech.” No fur­ther de­tails were pro­vided as to how he cel­e­brated but that sin­gu­lar post opened a tor­rent of birth­day wishes from across the globe for him.

For so­cial me­dia men­di­cants, it was an op­por­tu­nity to solicit for one as­sis­tance or the other.

In­ter­est­ingly, Otedola shares the same date with two other bil­lion­aires; the se­rial lover, Dan­juma, who turned 68 while it was the 67th birth­day of Zenith Bank Plc founder and chair­man, Jim Ovia.

On his part, Dan­juma, as usual, threw a party for his bil­lion­aire friends and as­so­ci­ates. A man who never shies away from cel­e­brat­ing even at the drop of a hat, the cream of La­gos elite poured into his stately Ba­nana Is­land home to fe­lic­i­tate with him that star-span­gled night. Though there was no wife in sight hav­ing bro­ken up with his last wife – the fourth ac­tu­ally, ac­tress Caroline Dan­juma.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the Ovias did not throw any party. While he does have ev­ery rea­son to cel­e­brate ev­ery year of his life hav­ing risen from mod­est back­ground to be­come one of Africa’s wealth­i­est men and suc­cess­ful bankers, in­side sources said Ovia’s birth­day passed with­out a bot­tle of bub­bly be­ing popped. He didn’t make the cham­pagnes rain, nei­ther did he set a large ta­ble of gourmet meals be­fore friends. Rather, it was for him an­other op­por­tu­nity to be sur­rounded in the warmth and well wishes and prayers of his fam­ily mem­bers for adding an­other year. Only the prayers of his wife and chil­dren rained on him.

Jim Ovia

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