BY Destiny Eseaga
Mr Sijibomi Ogundele, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Sujimoto, in this piece, says he dreamt of building the tallest residential building in Africa.
Years 2016 and 2017 were probably the most difficult period of my life.
I had dreamt and developed the biggest project in my life – the tallest residential building in Sub-Saharan Africa estimated to cost 90 million dollars. I invested all my money, time and passion into something I believed in.
Unfortunately for me, the economy was very bad and things became very rough. I had to let go the best people around me.
There’s a way life tries to snatch your dream away and suddenly everything you are doing looks impossible.
Some people told me that real estate is a difficult sector, so it would be best for me to leave my passion and do something else. I visited my old-time friend’s water factory in Abeokuta and thought about venturing into the ‘pure-water’ business.
I even went back to Ijebu Igbo and visited some farms because it seemed agriculture and farming had become the new ‘oil’. Some people began convincing me to leave everything and deviate into something I knew nothing about (agriculture & farming).
Even the guy (my supposed best friend) whom I borrowed almost two million dollars was always coming up with stories. I tried to sell everything I owned to move to NYC (New York City). I had spoken to a successful Nigerian actor who had moved to Atlanta because of the steep recession. He said life was easier there, things were stable and I could access credit through a flexible banking system.
I was confused and devastated, but I kept the words of Napoléon Hills book on replay in my head. I remembered that my present situation should not determine my destination..
But I knew in my heart that running away wasn’t the definition of the Motomatics Philosophy I had created, the Sujimoto I know and advocated wasn’t a runaway loser, neither was it lack of focus kind of personality or company…
I developed courage and refocused my life. I revisited my options and created Guilliano, the son of Lorenzo, the Grandson of Cosimo the Medici. I conceptualised, planned and executed the project, even though I didn’t have all the money. In less than six months, though I am still not where I want to be, but I am thankful to the almighty that I am not where I used to be.
It’s been the most inspiring, most difficult and most challenging time for me. But now, I am thankful I didn’t give up, runoff or lose hope.