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Fernandez As A Custodian of Wealth and Panache By Olakunle Bakare

Fernandez: style personified
Fernandez: style personified
Fernandez: style personified

Nothing perhaps, compares to it.

Those who have come across real wealth, and what good use money can be put, are still astounded when they are faced with the magnificent objects of desire, which that incredibly blessed colossus, international businessman  Ambassador (Chief) Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez has assembled.

Without modern technology, the wondrous feats of this torch bearer, the pride of Africa, would have sounded like legends woven by elders to titillate younger people, encourage them to aim for the sky.  We would all have thought it impossible for a mortal to be this rewarded. But the pictures are there for us to see. In living vivid colors; the resounding successes of Nigeria’s most colorful billionaire, a recurring perpetual echo, is a tale we are proud to tell.

Renowned and well-known round the globe, the tall, dark and refined 64 year old (as at when the story was written) man of commerce and diplomacy is an embodiment of good form, surrounding himself with exquisite things only money alone can not buy.

From his superlative yacht, Yemoja, six luxurious private jets, head turning beautiful popping chateau in France, the eulogized master of the game has that rare gift of discern splendor that is impeccable. With his eye for details and uncommon panache, Ambassador Deinde Fernandez tower anywhere.Romanticized by most of Nigeria’s richest men, and women, his is the icing on an elaborately decorated multi-tier cake.

…His Humble Beginning:

Lucky to have a rich Lagos Yoruba heritage, he was born to Mr Camut Akinwale and Mrs. Juliana Fernandez in 1936.

Holy Cross, Lagos was where he began his education.  He moved on to CMS Grammar School, Bariga and St. Gregory College, Obalende (both in Lagos) for secondary education. Brooklyn College and St. John’s University were the tertiary institutions the Apesin Ola (Onije Onimu) of Egba land attended.

Married to Erelu Apesin Ola, Chief (Mrs.) Aduke Fernandez, they have two ravishingly beautiful daughters, Princess Atinuke and Princess Abimbola.Well-grounded in Yoruba culture and tradition, Chief Fernandez owns a 340 square kilometers diamond plant in Angola. The Ambassador-at-large for Congo, Angola and Mozambique is United Nation’s permanent representative for Central Africa Republic.

The shinning light has friends in the highest places, mixing with super heavyweights of all races. During his lifetime, beloved John Fitzergerald Kennedy, assassinated United States of America’s president was a friend. Among his inner circle of friends are ex-president George Bush (of USA), Gnassingbe Eyadema (of Togo) and Samora Michel (Samora & Gnassingbe are late).

The stamp of luxury and splendor are trademarks of the high chief’s fancy but classy and timeless possessions.

His Yemoja Yacht
His Yemoja Yacht

…His Yemoja Yatch as Sea Home:

His adorable yacht, Yemoja is a delight.  The two-storey wonder has spectacular sitting and dining rooms, a lavish master bedroom with two baths, two children’s rooms, a gym and entertainment centre among other heavenly paraphernalia.

The goddess of the sea (which is what Yemoja translates to in Yoruba, the rich language of Nigerians who live in the South Western part of the African nation), the yacht designed by F de Voogt, built by Van Lent with interior décor by Lavor has dominant African themes. Lion skin rug and statues of warriors are prominently displayed on special carpets or white washed oak paneling.

The all-steel motor yacht is 46.90 meters in over all length, 8.60 meters in beam and 2.75 metersin draft. The gracious lady on water exceedingly satisfied its discerning owner. The lower deck provides roomy accommodation for Chief Fernandez and family. The owner’s suite has an exquisite sitting room area, his and hers bathrooms, walk-in wardrobes and a lavish bedroom.

Atinuke and Abimbola’s cabins (the children) both have different themes.There are butterfly and parrot themes.

The yacht’s magnificent stairway spanning three decks have carved antelope heads in the balustrade.

His fabulous New York island home
His fabulous New York island home

…The Island & Chateau Palaces too:

If you think Ambassador Antonio Fernandez’s taste is lavished only on Yemoja, come with us to his paradise on an island in New York (United States of America).

With all the modern services a town might require including a fire service station, and a long bridge leading to the palace, this mansion takes the cake.Lavishly decorated rooms, with golden balustrade, dining room with golden chandeliers, it is splendor at its highest.

When the water level is high, the state-of-the-art cars are automatically raised above sea level, protecting all objects on ground.Well-fortified, the Island home is impenetrable.

The chateau in France, once owned by Napoleon Bonaparte is another architectural master piece.  With everything you can think of, it is on a large expanse of land as big as a village. And the interior bears the indelible signature of the wealthy merchant. Only the best is good enough, and the chateau displays all the beauty under the sun.

His homes around the world have awards and gifts from every where. And his dinning rooms usually have flags of visiting head of states. And some of the most popular world leaders have special seat made for them.


…The Private Jets:

The guardian of panache and prosperity travels in style.  He has six up-to-the minute private jets (Two Gulf streamer G4 and 900 Boeing). The planes are designed like his homes with the same touch which only accepts the very blessed. Roomy interior, bedroom and sitting area are standard features.

Permitted to belong to the exclusive club of the super rich is an honor granted Chief Antonio Oladeinde Fernandez who has mastered the art of mixing with the very best and brightest humanity has produced, relishing the most beautiful things ever conceived by the human mind.

With Nelson Mandela
With Nelson Mandela

Oladeinde Fernandez, 79, died on Tuesday evening 1 September in a private hospital in Brussels, Belgium after battling with an undisclosed illness for several months. He died in the presence of his wife, Halima Maude Fernandez.
He is survived by 9 children, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.


This piece was written many years ago by Olakunle Bakare, top Nigerian celebrity journalist and publisher, Encomium Weekly.

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