Once upon a time in Black Entrepreneur History lived a man named Olatunji Ajisomo Alabi, popularly known as Lord Rumens, who became a noble business man, author and founder of 1st Marble Workshop in Nigeria, Corner Stone Estate and Lawn Tennis.
Lord Rumens was born in the village of Oke-Ona, Abeokuta South Local Government area of Ogun State (Nigeria) in the year 1915 to parents Alihaji Muktar Alibi Alamutu and Alimotu Sadia Kanleara. It was in Abeokuta that he attended Holy Trinity School, and later, relocated to Lagos to enroll in Methodist Boys High School in 1934.
It was after becoming a grown man that in the year of 1956, he was welcomed to the Parent Company in Parise Companie Francaise Das Petroles to participate in instituting Total Oil Nigeria Ltd. It is there where he attained knowledge that he could apply both practically and theoretically which made him so thorough in the area that he was appointed consultant advisor of the firm. Not only this, he was also a major shareholder.
Lord Rumens completely transformed Nigeria’s Carrara Marble Ltd into the largest workshop in Africa, expanding into many areas such as oil and gas, real estate and farming while sustaining the marble requirements of the previous Nigerian Building Industry. This marble was provided in many places such as the Murtala Mohammed International Airport presidential lounge, Stock Exchange and many more. Along with these grand accomplishments, he was the sole proprietor of Corner Stone Estate.
Outside of the business aspects of Olatunji Ajisomo Alabi’s life, he loved sports, so much so that he launched Lawn Tennis, a lawn tennis club in Nigeria, to which he became president in 1966. So his life was very much intertwined with sports, unlike the majority of other businessmen in the area. Not only that, he was also an author, having written an autobiography titled Lord Rumens. This memoir was written in 1944, and it is in this book that he lamented the fate of table tennis in Nigeria. He believed that the people who were entrusted to manage and run the tennis club and championship were not serious about it at all and not developing the sport as it should be developed. Therefore and because of his obvious love for the sport, he founded and launched the Lord Rumens Tennis Classics which brought in many big names of tennis from around the world each year.
Known as a loving person, he never neglected anyone in need, helping friends, family and strangers alike.
Lord Rumens passed away in the year of 1988 on November 14th, survived by six children and many grands. He was honored with a street being named after in which is located in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria, leaving a mark and memory of his philanthropic contributions to the nation which include the transformation of a swamp which was abandoned on Rumen’s Road, Falomo, Ikoyi. There’s also a tennis court that bears his name at the Lagos Lawn Tennis Club which is located in Onikan.
This article was written BEH contributor by Emmanuel Chike Nnama of Lagos, Nigeria
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