Good Self Management Qualifies A Man For Leadership Responsibilities -King John Tome
King John Tome, the Ogu Holu Africa is an astute business mogul, Chairman/CEO, John the King Investments and pioneer of John the King Bilingual International University. He also doubles his monarchy thrones as Gbega Zola vii and Atobatele of Badagery, respectively.
In this interview, he highlights the origin of the Zola Kingdom, the state of business as well as leadership in Nigeria, with suggested way-outs. Excerpts:
Sir, could you please give us an insight into the background of your kingdom?
The first ruler of the Egun kingdom was my own four father, and his name was Zola. But I am the seventh ruler on the throne of the kingdom. And the kingdom has since been in inception all through Ghana, Togo and the Republic of Benin. I took over the throne from my predecessor, who has since passed away.
The kingdom has its extension from Jerusalem to Ethiopia. It is the first kingdom of Pharaoh that was brought to Africa. The journey started from Egypt to Ethiopia, from Ethiopia to Ghana, to South Africa, Nigeria, Republic of Benin and so on. Interestingly too, I am the, Adja-Adjakin African King; Ogu Holu, Africa in Cotonou. I also hold the title of Roi Majesty, Zola Oba Holu, Atobatele of Badagery kingdom, as well as Otodogbame in Lekki of Lagos.
And at the same time, I am also a member of the Full Obas Membership of Lagos State.
What makes that your kingdom so unique to every other known kingdom in Nigeria or Africa?
It is a kingdom that was established by God himself because God is our maker and creator. it happens to be the first kingdom in Africa. All the political thrones you know today are not the leading thrones in Africa because even those from the western world learned a lot from our ancestors. They learned business ideas from us.
Because the name of the first King of our kingdom was Zola, that also makes the name of the Kingdom Zola. Zola means fire. The reason why they named the kingdom after the fire was because the fire represents a lamp that illuminates the dark world, which is what our kingdom stands for. We have the Zola family in all the 54 countries all over the world.
Historically, what has been the belief or form of worship in the tradition of your Kingdom?
Today, what is referred to as idol worshipping was not portrayed as idol worshipping during the days of our ancestors. It was what they believed and how they served God then. It is the way it is being interpreted by individuals that make it what it is called. Our ancestors did not worship the idol and they did not worship Satan. They were simply working with God. It was the colonial masters that came here to condemn what our ancestors were doing. And the reason was that they wanted to force their own ideologies on us.
It is just the way the colonial masters brought about the Catholic church in Africa before the emergence of other church denominations.
In the days of our ancestors, there were very strict principles that no one dared to violate, or else, they would face the wrath. For instance, in the modern days, some men can easily sleep with another man’s wife as if it were a right thing to do. But, during the days of our ancestors, such acts were seriously prohibited by the laws of our belief and cultures. And everyone adhered strictly to it with due diligence.
Where in Nigeria can we find the descendants of Zola?
According to history, the whole Lagos is a descendant of Daome, because Zola owns Daome. If you study from history, you will discover that Badagery was formally the capital of Lagos before it was moved to Ikeja, just the way the capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja. Just as I said earlier, when you get to Ethiopia, they will tell you about Zola.
As a kingdom called Zola, what are your aims and objectives for your clans and the nation as a whole?
We want to be the first in good deeds. We want to restore our people back to their position of honour as it were. Wherever we have our resettlement, we want to make sure our positive impacts are felt in terms of growth and development. And one of the strategies being put in place to achieve this is, to first take our people out of their state of ignorance, while also giving them orientation. Even the whole Lagosians know that the first residents of Lagos, who were fishermen, were our ancestors. It is not the businessmen who seem to be in charge of commercial activities in Lagos today that own the state. No! It is the early fishermen. Even Ajah in Lagos is named after our descendants because I am called Adjahtome.
So, what plans does your kingdom have in place for the nation to get out of dilemma?
Nigerians need to first be liberated by the truth. Our country is such that people are hardened in their heart to the extent that they even reject what is meant to be a solution to their predicaments. Our leaders travel to other countries and they see the kind of developments that take place in those countries, so why can’t they just take a cue from such countries? Jesus says in the bible that when a man knows the truth, the truth will set him free. But here in Nigeria, we don’t like the truth that could set us free.
Sir, being a man of many parts as a monarch, father, husband, businessman, monarch, among many other involvements, how do you manage your responsibilities all together?
First of all, let’s start with the home front. If a man is able to manage his home very well, that is what qualifies him to be able to manage any other outside home responsibilities. And again, if you are able to manage yourself well too, you will be able to manage many other things around your life. Even if the opportunity permits me to manage Nigeria’s economy, I will do it and no one will be able to steal even ten naira. It is a matter of a common idea, which is strict adherence to accountability in every area where necessary.
For how long now has John the King Investments been in operation and what are the services you render?
The company has been in operation as an enterprise since the late 70s before it was formally registered. I have been in business for this long and what we do is general contracts. We are into profitable ventures and our core word in business is integrity.
Businesses generally in Nigeria today are struggling due to the present economic recession. But, by the grace of God, we are keeping up with work, and hopeful that things will get back in order.
You are the pioneer of John the King Bilingual International University in Benin Republic, who are the target categories of your beneficiaries?
Currently, on that aspect, work is still ongoing with the institution. We are looking at a standard that meets up with the global requirement. I as a pioneer of the institution, I am still studying my French and English in France. And as soon as I am done with that, we would kick off fully with operations at the institution. I need to sell what I have acquired in terms of knowledge.
By next year, we are looking at an institution that would be reckoned with all over the world. And that is what the university will be described as by then. It is a university where several country languages will be thought, and you know what that means.
Sir, as a grass-roots achiever, considering the spate of youthful exorbitance in the country today, what word of admonition do you have for the Nigerian youths?
First, our parents should stop that non-nonchalant attitude of dumping their children in boarding school, and be thinking that their children are in safe hands. Our youths in the higher institutions of learning today live a different life from the life they live in the presence of their parents. They do a whole lot of abominable things out there, and their parents think they are doing well while away in school. So, parents should learn to start mentoring their children and let them tap from their life profiting knowledge and wealth of experience.
The world of today has a very strong negative influence on the youths. There are only a few positive mentors out there, and the youths are fashioning their lives after the many negative ones. So, parents should start the positive mentoring for their children, so that they can become profitable to their lives and the nation as a whole.
Many of these youths want to make money without due process because that is what is obtainable in the society today. And that is one of the major problems in Nigeria. But, I admonish our youths to follow due process if they most genuinely enjoy the goods of the land.