As the founder of First City Monument Bank, Chief Subomi Balogun clocks 84 today, friends, business associates and well-wishers have continued to pay glowing tributes to the legendary banker and philanthropist, with many describing him as a portrait of many treasured virtues
It is difficult, if not out-rightly impossible to read the story of his life and not be eminently inspired. This is for the simple reason that each chapter of that life leaves sundry lessons. It is all about the impact, visionary commitment to courses, transparent honesty in dealings with others, as well as diligent pursuit of purpose, human limitations notwithstanding.
In fact, say it that Otunba Michael Olasubomi Balogun (CON), the man they call the Asiwaju of Ijebu Christians, is a lesson to life, and you would be stating the obvious. From the perspective of entrepreneurship, he is a front-liner, visionary leadership, he is there; manager of men and materials, he has a tall reputation; a philanthropist of note the same way he is an outstanding bridge builder.
For example, it was his great entrepreneurial foresight that saw to the birthing of one of Nigeria’s leading financial institutions, FCMB, at a time of seeming impossibility. An individual seeking and obtaining a banking license was unheard of at the time, but Balogun did not allow popular sentiments to smoulder his tall ambitions.
He envisioned, he prayed, but he also undertook shuttle diplomacy when it mattered, cried when the need arose and equally appealed where it was necessary. The point really, is that he has learnt to give to life, whatever is genuinely necessary to achieving the desired results.
Born on that auspicious 9th day of March in 1934, Otunba Balogun’s citation is like a scroll out of the hall of fame, gripping and intriguing no matter from which perspective it is told. Yet, it would remain incomplete without a reference to a few Nigerians who stood in support of this visionary’s mission to accomplish his ambition. In every interview, comment or discussion the Otunba Tunwase, who is also the Asiwaju Onigbagbo of Ijebuland, Dr. Michael Olasubomi Balogun will always appreciate such people, eternally remaining grateful, sheer humility, virtue, rarely found in men of such exceptional worth.
At 84 therefore, Otunba Balogun is a portrait of very many treasured virtues. He epitomises principled living, genuine love, detribalisation, and the eloquent apostolic dictum that one good turn deserves another. His bridge-building antecedents are well known, and has lent tremendously to the quest for inter-ethnic cohesion in the country yet, Otunba Balogun’s life-story shows that nothing could be impossible to anyone who believes and that there is light on the lips of a nine-year toddler.