Celebrating Skymit Boss, Tayo Ayeni At 60

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Celebrating Skymit Boss, Tayo Ayeni At 60

December 27
08:52 2022

Yes, billionaire Auto Magnate, Tayo Ayeni is 60 in few hours, December 28th. This day would avail friends, relatives and associates to felicitate with a man whose ingenuity and industry have seen him grow from just being an entrepreneur with interest in a particular business to becoming a respected and renowned empire builder.

No doubt, at 60, Ayeni wears his entrepreneurial strength and savvy like a badge of honour, on his chest; shining it with sweat, as true virtuous men do. He stands tall, wading through odds with the courage of a knight and the confidence of a champion. Unlike the proverbial warrior who lives to sing the song of his own deeds and derring-do, Ayeni remains impressively humble and immune to conceit, treading a rare path to acclaim thus, attracting honour in torrents and from home and abroad.

Nobody forgets the first time they met the dark-hued chairman of Skymit; everyone wishes for an encore. Often it’s not the first meeting that resonates but the first time he inspired them to look inwards and tap into their innate individuality and purposeful clarity cum cheerfulness continuum that is the hallmark of the Skymit brand.

Very few people had seen Ayeni without his characteristic charisma and flair. His storied and sensational life would make many of his peers go green in envy, and make them feel like they came to the world at the wrong time.

Growing up through the maze of life’s dark woods, Ayeni snapped off a long branch and picked his way by its mutter. Stumbling through life’s expanse, his wandering feet got entangled in thickets of experience and roots that ran deeper than his years. The unfamiliar scent of manhood stung his nostrils and kept him on track along with the profound domains of experience.

He has maintained a culture of unflinching uprightness, and unwavering commitment to the collective good. He has remained a staunch patriot and advocate of the common man. This, among others, guarantees his place in the pantheon of Nigeria’s finest citizens.

But determinedly, he kept to the trail, guided by the whiff and promise of a better tomorrow.

As a gangly teen, Olutayo was wiser than his years. He was older than the days he had seen and the breaths he had drawn. He understood that life wasn’t completely a frightening encounter with genuine menace; he also learnt that as a young adult, he must learn to navigate the brute nudge of manhood and all its desperate years.

Tayo, who is fondly called ‘Omo Baba Ten Ten’, makes history every hour, to which he industriously adds page after page, volume after volume, as if nature were holding up a monument to his exploits. Yes, to his staff, family, friends, beneficiaries and other loved ones, his smiles have been their anchor, his shoulders their rampart of comfort. Ayeni’s citizenship of humanity they claim, depicts his love of life and undying compassion for the needy and less privileged.

There is a lot about Ayeni that really steals under your skin at your first encounter with him: he is self-assured and yet not given to flightiness, unlike other business moguls.

Intellectually, Ayeni flaunts a visceral approach that only a few of his contemporaries can rival. Hard work has designed him a wide-grin and leads him across the lane of fame to the realization of his dreams.

In the comity of businessmen in Nigeria and beyond, Ayeni, no doubt stands out; not because of his towering physique or moneyed pedigree, but because he has come a long way in an industry notorious for stillborn business initiatives and impressive concerns with short trajectories. He continues to be a corporate iconoclast, defying conventional wisdom, pushing the envelope, poking fun at the big guys, saying exactly what he thinks and doing exactly what he wants.

Thus it was no surprise to all those who knew him when in his early 20s, he established Skymit Limited, a high net-worth automobile company in 1986.
More than two decades since the established of his company, Skymit Limited, coined from the term, “Sky is the limit,” has evolved beyond the bounds of the founder’s vision and projections for and about the business.

This no doubt establishes Ayeni as a master of his universe and a director of a billion-naira generating empire thus affirming his niche in the league of extraordinarily driven and gifted Nigerians whose talent continually overwhelms the odds to the delight and inspiration of the world.

However, even though Ayeni modestly attributes his eminence and business success to God Almighty, it is a common jest within his circle of friends in high society that he (Ayeni) probably caught God’s attention via his relentless and ambitious exertions from his hammock amid the tumultuous boundaries of young adulthood.

He is not necessarily the world’s greatest businessman or the most successful but if you were able to trade places with any corporate chieftain, wouldn’t you consider Tayo Ayeni? He simply has the most fun. Ayeni’s most impressive feat however is to engineer an awesome life for himself.

This refers to his ingenuity at finding time to yacht, visit the cinema and the gym. And of course, Ayeni also loves dancing; he also loves to go away to serene places such as Seychelles, Maldives, Canary Islands, and Capri on vacation. Despite his hectic business schedule with its grueling man-hours, he finds time for activities that feeds his passions, holds his interest, and incorporates his family even while permitting some modicum of guilty pleasures.

This no doubt conflicts with the boring global car dealer stereotype. Ayeni endeavours not to have his pace and attitude to life dictated to him by the demands and constraints of his job thus his conscious and continual attempt to marshal a perfect synthesis of work, play and responsibility into his business and life model.

If Ayeni doesn’t fulfill the now ubiquitous stereotype of the conventional businessman’s rise from grass to grace, it’s because he never purported to be one and his story was never scripted to satisfy such typecast. The outlines of the story are familiar: A product of the famous Ilesha Grammar School in his native Ilesha, Osun State, Tayo Ayeni’s thirst for educational excellence and self-actualization spurred him to venture outside the country to Fronsynly Polytechnic, Italy where he graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering.

Ever since, he has not looked back, applying himself with inspiring gusto to the onerous task of fashioning an extraordinary man out of his evolving persona. Daily, Ayeni has channels all of his intellectual and capital resources into making a name for himself in the highly competitive world of automobile business.

Besides Skymit Limited, Ayeni also calls the shots at Space Ventures Ltd, an establishment that deals in photographic materials; Space Properties, a real estate firm; Moontrends Holdings, a project financing and management firm, and Limoserve among others.

He is a member of the Nigerian-Italian Alumni, Nigeria-South Africa Chambers of Commerce, Ikoyi Club, Lagos Country Club, and the highly influential auto entrepreneur is not given to crass extravagance and inclinations to show-off which oftentimes causes many a Nigerian businessman to seek cheap popularity and respect by spending indiscriminately on extremely expensive and inconsequential luxury acquisitions.

Ayeni never seeks his highs by throwing money at musicians to sing his praises nor is he besotted with the fast lane to the extent of living his life like it’s meant for a speed track. He remains true to character, upholding the ideal that success is better defined by one’s contributions to the development of humanity thus his extensive philanthropic gestures spanning several social segments and divides across the country.

Ayeni has received several local and international awards in recognition of his exemplary entrepreneurship strides, including but not limited to ‘Best Entrepreneurial CEO, Ikeja City Award’ (four straight years), ‘Best Multi-Stock Showroom’ – On-Wheels Magazine (2009), ‘King of Luxury’ amongst others.

Happily married to Adetutu, the pioneer Managing Director of Skymiles Travels and Tours Limited, a member of the advisory Council of the prestigious Grange School and successful lawyer, the couple is blessed with five kids and a blissful home thus remaining a role model of sort to several of his peers who persistently find it difficult to keep a successful home alongside a successful business.

But wait a minute, it’s a going to be a big celebration for the Ayenis tomorrow. A cursory look at the invitation letters reveals the degree of meticulous and preparedness of the celebrant for the event. Predictably, many people are eager to be part of the memorable celebration.

Not a few people have been jostling to lay their hands on a copy of the invite, but unfortunately, it would be easier to embark on a round-trip through the Bermuda triangle than to get the invitation card. That is how scarce and exclusive his party would be.
Everything points to the fact that the forthcoming celebration would be his classiest shindig so far.

Asides the A-list guest list compiled to add colour to the event, high society is abuzz with obsessive rush for the most elegant fashion apparels. As you read, major fashion designers all over the Lagos metropolis are getting busier by the day. And there is no respite in sight for them. The mad scramble by the crème of the Nigerian high society to grace Ayeni’s gig in the most elegant apparel would probably not abate until tomorrow morning.

In fact, not a few celebs in Lagos and Abuja are turning their wardrobes upside down and inside out in a frenzied overhaul to ensure that they have the appropriate outfit to don for the wondrous occasion.

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