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July 28, 2021
INTERVIEW

Flashback Interview: Billionaire’s Son, Jibrilla Indimi Opens Up On Private Life & Business

Jibrilla Indimi is the first son of Dr. Mohammed Indimi, the billionaire founder of Oriental Energy Resources Ltd. The unassuming young man lovingly called Jay by admirers is probably the least famous of the popular Indimi children. Maybe this is because of his almost Spartan lifestyle.

Super-rich Jibrilla, a Lynn University alumnus Boca Raton, Florida, where he bagged a degree in Business Management loves to stay in the background. He is one of the few super-rich kids you won’t find on social media showing off their extreme wealth.

One remarkable thing about him is his humility and self-effacing personality. He lives a very Spartan life despite his privileged background.  As the heir apparent to one of Nigeria’s highly successful business moguls, Dr. Mohammed Indimi – the younger Mohammed is doing his bit to help the family business in its march to global prominence.

Jibrilla is one of the executive directors at his father’s company. Jay is also an independent business man with interests in various key sectors of the Nigerian economy. And that’s not all; Jibrilla is also involved in a couple of humanitarian ventures.

He is a philanthropist in his own right. In the comfort of his lovely house in highbrow Maitama District, the scion of the Indimis, Jibrilla spoke to Abuja Standard Publisher, SEYI ONIFADE about his private life and reflections on life. Below are excerpts of that 5 year interview.    

First, let me welcome you back to Nigeria. Can you please tell
me how does it feel to be back home?

Er rm.. Yeah I’m happy to be back you know wherever I go, home is
always home. So I miss Nigeria a lot and thank God I achieved what I
want to achieve. And now I’m happy.

So for how long have you been away from Nigeria?

I have been away for 7 months, and then I came back to Nigeria for 2
weeks. And then, I went back for another 8 months, so all in all about
18 months I have been out but I have never stayed outside Nigeria for
more than a year. This is my first experience.

 I know you have been very busy in South Africa, Cape Town,
specifically with a new project; the Southern Cape Tea Co. Can you shed more light on what the project is all about?

Yeah you know, interestingly I have some group of friends in Cape
Town and one of them has some ideas about tea. And what people don’t
understand is that South Africa; they have a very unique tea which is
Honey Bush and Rooibos tea. It is only produced in South Africa, so I
say well why not it is a big market in South Africa. And so I say OK
let me use my connections in the Arab world and West Africa; and then
see if I can be able to export it.

So how has the patronage been like first in Cape Town, and other
South African cities?

It’s been good. We are doing our best to expand; you know it is a
new company so we are trying to bring it out there. And yeah business
is good. It is a good start.

Can you share some of the challenges you have encountered thus far
being a Nigerian trying to set up a business in a foreign land?

Er-rm. It is just unfortunate that we have bad reputation for
Nigerians generally in South Africa. It is sad at this moment right
now as I’m talking to you, it saddens me you know, we have a very bad
reputation with scamming, 419, and everybody knows about that
globally. Yes at one point, one of my friends outside Nigeria asked me
haven’t I ever entered into difficulty with someone because I am a
Nigerian and i said no but I told him now that you are talking about it; now
you are attacking me you understand. It is sad but I have to move on
and do what I have to do.

Considering the population strength here in Nigeria, are you
thinking of expanding back home or is it going to be a mainly South
African thing?

It’s a mainly South African thing for now. I’m going to be
exporting it from South Africa to other nations. For now it’s mainly
in South Africa.

Could you describe who really is Jibrilla removed from your famous
billionaire father? Can you let us in on your own kind of personality?

Hmm-mm, I’m not very social (general laughter) you know but I like
people, I just don’t like any negative things. I like straightforward
people and positive people. I just try to stick to the winners; and I
don’t walk around with the name of my father on my head no I’m just
myself and that’s just me.

How was life like growing up for you? Can you share your childhood
experiences with me briefly?

Well, I grew up in a well-to-do family. I am the first born and
since I was born my father is blessed. So I had an amazing childhood
life, you know going to Disney World and all this kind of stuff when I
was younger. And yeah I was blessed from day one. I’m just lucky to
have a father as my daddy. So it’s been an amazing journey.

Been the first born from such a wealthy family, did you enjoy some preferential treatment? Was there any
impactful stuff your father was trying to instill in you while growing up so
as to lead the family proudly?

Well my father treat us all equally, we are all equal, the
children, and the mothers we were all treated equally but of course,
yes been the eldest I know it’s a responsibility on me. And yeah there
are some certain guidance growing up that I learned from my father.
There are some certain things but the key is just for me to be an
honest person, and not that I have responsibility over my younger
ones. And I try as much as I can for everybody to be one because we
are from different mothers; so ultimately I treat all my brothers and
sisters as one from the different mothers but everybody is one to me.
I think that’s very important.

I know you have some privileges been from a wealthy home. What are some
of the advantages and disadvantages of been an Indimi son?

The advantages you know having my last name is a key. I don’t go
around telling people that I’m somebody’s son but it helps in some
certain areas even though I don’t go around telling people but
honestly it works. It is a big key, the access is easier been an
Indimi’s son. And for the disadvantages I don’t like to hold any
grudge or anything like that; so if there is any negativity which as
human beings you know there are a lot of eyes and focus on me and
things like that. So, if it’s positive that’s good and if it’s negative
then, that’s their problem. I deal with that quite OK silently and
I don’t counter. I just stay away from it and it’s up to them to judge.

I know you have a background in oil business. How easy was it for
you to venture into tea production business? Are you just doing that
on a part-time? And are you still involved with Oriental Energy
Resources Ltd?

Yes, I am an executive director at Oriental, and Oriental is not
gonna go anywhere. It’s been established about 20 years ago and I grew
up knowing Oriental. And on the other ones I do the company, and also
with all the crises that we are having in the North I realized the
reason behind all that is poverty; we have a lot of poverty in the
North and it’s a big problem for us in the North. I believe that’s why
there are many violence and things like that happen, so I’m working on
establishing a foundation with my foreign counterparts to help the
poor, to train them, give them jobs and for them to make a living. I
am paying a lot of attention on that aspect because someone needs to
do something. I’m working on that and insha Allah you will know about
it.

Aside Oriental Energy Resources Ltd, do you think there are still
 better opportunities for you out there to do your own thing?

Yes I’m a director at Oriental but at the same time I’m
independent. I’m an independent businessman, that’s Jibrilla. That’s
what I do, I do engage with Oriental but ultimately I’m independent.
I run my own business and I’m my own boss.

 In terms of material things, do you think you have everything you
could ever dream of?

Hmm m just to be healthy, what else do I need? I thank God I have
everything I need, I think so, and I believe so. So as long as I’m healthy
then, I’m fine but I think in terms of material things everything is
there! I’m thankful to Allah for that, so my only focus is my health
but in terms of material stuff I’m fine.

Mentally, where is your mind at for the future?

Generally I’m just looking at peaceful co-existence between the
societies that’s what I look forward to.

I have been with you for the past few minutes now and I can smell
humility all around you unlike other billionaire kids who
are mostly snubs and arrogant. What informs your humility? Was it part
of the training you were given while growing up?

That’s just me. It might be due to my upbringing because I was
trained well and well groomed in my family. But like you say it is
true some people can be arrogant because they are from rich family or
they are something but no I’m just being myself, and I enjoy it. I
like to associate with people generally whether you are poor, rich or
whatever everybody is the same for me.

Let’s get a bit personal now, who is the lucky Mrs. Jibrilla Indimi?

(laughs) I am not married now but you will know her very soon.

 How soon should we be expecting the biggest society wedding in
Nigeria now? How soon are you looking at marital life?

Yeah like I say I think soon means soon. It’s not going to be long,
yeah marriage is very important. I want to see my own babies and once
the time comes I assure you will be the first to know.

With your busy schedule and globe-trotting, how do you create time
to unwind?

I like to spend time on my own. I like to be alone because
normally i always have people around me but I like to spend my
own ‘Jibrilla time’ you know. I like to travel alone, go somewhere and
have my own break and come back. That’s how I treat myself.

Is there any special thing you do that makes you feel more relaxed
maybe champagne or swimming?

Yes I like swimming. I like football and horse-racing. Those are
my three top ones. I love horse-racing and you know in Nigeria is more
about Polo, Polo everywhere.

 I know you have been to most part of the world, where is your
favourite holiday destination?

I like Miami, Geneva and Cape Town. Those three are special.

 Considering your frequent globe-trotting, can you marry a foreigner?

My father married a foreigner but I don’t really think about that
now. I focus more on getting a wife, not thinking about getting 2,3 or
4 wives. No it doesn’t occur to me.

Don’t you think you are on the wanted list of so many women out there
being a billionaire’s son? Don’t you think it will be hard for
you to get someone who will love you for being Jibrilla and not for
the billions?

(General Laughter) Hmm I don’t carry that on my head. Yes
sometimes you can see what a woman wants but I don’t talk to women as
I’m Jibrilla Indimi or something like that; so I don’t consider that
to be a big deal really. No. If she dated me as an Indimi’s son that’s
her own thing but I don’t go talk to a woman as Indimi son, so it’s up
to her to make her own judgment.

Let’s talk fashion a bit. Are you really a fashion freak person?
What does it for when it comes to fashion?

Nothing spectacular. Just simple and casual.

What about automobiles? Are you automobile-crazy? Or anything goes?

I’m not that crazy about automobiles but I have had quite some
good ones but I’m not really crazy about it.

 Which designer perfumes do you wear now?

Right now I like Versace and 212; those two are my major perfumes.

 If your life were a song, what track would it be and why?

There’s this Paul McCartney‘s song ‘Let it Be’. I like that song,
it inspires me a lot. That’s an inspiring song to me. Do you know that
song?

Finally, how would you like to be remembered by your friends,
relatives and siblings?

To remember me, as a straightforward person and a positive person, and
not judgmental – welcoming and humble.

Thank you so much for your time

The pleasure is mine.

 

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