Chief, Olatunji Adesoye, founder of Adesoye Holdings, in Offa, Kwara State, rings a bell even after his death. This is even more so since his children are following in his footsteps and holding up his legacy.One of his sons, Oluwasola Olademeji Adesoye, is the CEO of OCCOA Construction Company and leader of Lighthouse Family Church, who, in this interview, talks about his early life, the painful exit of his father, his relationship with his father before he passed on and how he became a pastor.
How would you describe the passage of your father?
To lose a great father like my dad is a very painful exit. It was the exit of a colossus. It was painful for us as a family. We know a thousand words cannot bring him back. We have tried, we’ve cried, we’ve screamed above our voice. If tears could bring our father back, I am sure he would be here now. We will miss him. I will miss him. Offa people will miss him more.
His legacy for us is probably the strongest encouragement; we have heard a lot of testimonies about our father, how he touched people’s lives. We knew him as a father, but other people knew him differently. And it has been exciting hearing people speak well of him, how he touched their lives and provided for their families. I think that is the greatest source of encouragement for us now he is no more.
What are some of the memories you cannot easily wipe away?
There was a way my father used to call me, and he had different expressions. Whenever he called me in a special way, I always knew I was in trouble. If he called me in another way I would know he wanted to praise me and that everything was fine. I got to know that my father had different moods.
I can never forget the ‘koboko’ marks on my back. He flogged the hell out of me. My father knew how to whip his children. Despite the fact that he loved us, my father was a disciplinarian. He never spared the rod. The early days of my life were traumatic. I got a lot of reprimanding with the whip. My father used to take us to watch football at the Kaduna Stadium. Though we were not interested in football, he wanted us to hang out with him at the stadium. So, we had no choice. He also took us to his project sites in the North and back home, to know what he was into.
As children, we were not interested in all that, but we had no choice. He was such a family man and those memories showed how he loved our mother. He treated our mother with utmost respect. She never lacked anything until death took her away. I never saw my father and my mother raise their voices at each other.
What are your regrets over the death of your parents?
I have no regrets. I was very close to my father. I had the privilege of caring for my father when he was critically ill. In fact, we travelled for his medicals and came back before he passed on. I had the privileged of taking him round the world and back to the country. At some time, we had a six-month vacation due to one or two challenges. And my siblings also had the same experience. Our father took care of us and we had the privilege of taking care of him. And my father lived a good life. His name has opened doors for us and we can’t stop talking about him.
What advice would you offer to those who aspire to become successful in life?
Life is full of ups and downs. As a pastor, my advice is for people to pray and always pray for God’s guidance and direction. There is nothing wrong in working for money. But you must know that life without hard work will never bring forth success. For you to make it in life, you must be focused. My father taught us a lot of things and today we are all doing well in our careers. Irreconcilable differences and mismanagement of funds could lead to the downfall of most businesses after the demise of the founder of the company.
What would be the fate of Adesoye Holdings?
We are united. There will never be issues. We, the children, are working and we are coordinating things for ourselves. We have a structured, everlasting legacy for our father. We were raised well by our parents. Our father left a legacy that we are enjoying today. Why would anyone think of mismanaging his business? He was very prudent and he taught us not to be extravagant.