Triumph Of Enterprise: Alliance Française, The Mike Adenuga Centre Wins A Five-Star African & Arabian Property Awards

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Triumph Of Enterprise: Alliance Française, The Mike Adenuga Centre Wins A Five-Star African & Arabian Property Awards

Triumph Of Enterprise: Alliance Française, The Mike Adenuga Centre Wins A Five-Star African & Arabian Property Awards
October 09
19:17 2021

-It’sa Testament to Class and Legacy- Organizers

Alliance Française, The Mike Adenuga Centre, has won the Best Mixed Use Architecture category at the prestigious African and Arabian Property Awards 2021-2022 in the United Kingdom (UK).

The awards celebrate the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. An International Property Award is a world-renowned mark of excellence, writes Lanre Alfred.

Great deeds are like carnations. They flower in the exploits of a titan like Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, GCON, CSG, CLH; the echoes have taught Nigeria and the African continent to trust the soul and entrepreneurial depth of the man whose extraordinariness is unparalleled in the African business circuit.

Effortlessly, Dr. Adenuga personifies the kernel of Vince Lombardi’s famous quote: “Winning is not a sometime thing; it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do things right once in a while; you do them right all of the time. Winning is a habit.”

For Dr. Adenuga, winning is clearly ingrained in his DNA. All his business ventures have been cutting large swaths through the labyrinths of otherwise unprofitable and volatile industries.

For several decades, the Alliance Française, committed to promoting French culture and teaching French as a second language around the world, was located in the boisterous area of Yaba, Lagos. But thanks to the generosity of the billionaire extraordinaire and Chairman of Globacom, Dr. Mike Adenuga Jnr, the organisation now has a new home in Ikoyi that has been aptly named the Mike Adenuga Centre.

Since it was declared open to the public, the centre has been attracting commendations from far and near; art aficionados, artists and preeminent Nigerians, in particular, enthuse about it. In Adenuga’s reckoning, it was all in a day’s work.

Yes, like an oasis in a desert, the Mike Adenuga Alliance Française Centre, straddling three highbrow streets (Gerard, Alfred Rewane and Osborne) in Ikoyi, and nestled amidst a clutch of high rise and well-appointed buildings that bespeak class and high profile commerce, looms outstandingly in its opulence and sheer beauty. Tastefully modern, the centre’s white exterior spews elegance without recourse to obscenity and has an interior ornamented with pristine decor.

Everywhere is spick-and-span thus projecting the halo of an improvised Eden on earth. Apart from a spacious car park, the venue offers facilities such as a world-class art gallery, a French restaurant with a bakery, a state-of-the-art cinema, artists’ studios, an outdoor amphitheatre, a library and e-library, nine fully-equipped French language classrooms, translation and interpretation service, Campus France branch, offices and much more.

Every building has something of the personality of the owners in it, a hint of the people behind the design; no wonder the centre has the touch of a billionaire with a taste for all things exotic and exquisite. Its beauty has been inspiring gawks and double-takes, as well as odes and appreciation to Dr Adenuga, whose love for the arts spurred him to create the hub of cross-cultural immersion with a view to making an exciting and impactful contribution to the Nigerian arts scene.

Interestingly, the prestigious Baron Architecture, a Property Development & Marketing Company, which has a robust portfolio of residential and commercial properties in Nigeria, oversaw the project that has changed the cultural landscape of Lagos.

According to Baron Architecture, “Restoration project for a pre-independence building and juxtaposed with a contemporary building is the perfect symbol for a Cultural and Art Centre. The design of the new structure was done in order to create a contrast between the two eras of architecture yet, a seamless transition from both buildings in making it one whole structure.”

However, one cannot agree any less. Too many people in the modern world view luxury as vainglorious but to Adenuga it is the essence of a charmed life that he has been blessed with and which he wants to bequeath on humanity. No poet or proponent of the high art would visit the centre and not descend into the chamber of an eternal muse.

Officially declared open to the public in April, the French President Emmanuel Macron had in July 2018, inaugurated the centre during a visit to Lagos. According to Macron, the centre is aimed at fostering friendship between Nigeria and France, saying, “Lagos is one of the challenges of, not only Nigeria but Africa. This huge city is a tremendous challenge about how to make people live together in peace and better society; I want France to be part of this story. I do want my country and citizens to be part of this experience, which means sharing same values, cultures, languages, literature, music, movies, projects, common economic projects, among others.”

The youthful President said further that the Alliance Française is a commitment aimed at making the friendship between both countries, which have different but vivid and vibrant cultures, as well as lifting barriers that have existed between both cultures. He added, “The common space we have is not linked to language or country. We are different people, but we share the same values and it is precisely these common values we want to convey.” In a chat with on the sideline of the building’s inauguration, revered playwright and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, said that no Nigerian alive has invested in the advancement of the arts and creative industry as much as Adenuga. He added that the Globacom boss’ cross-cultural ideas and development is one without geographical borders.

It was in homage to his humanity and relentless strides at rewriting the African business narrative that the French government invested him with a Knight of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Legion d Honneur), the highest French decoration and one of the most famous in the world early in 2018. Established in 1802 by Napoléon Bonaparte to recognize eminent accomplishments of service to France, the Chevalier de la Legion d Honneur, France’s premier award, has been presented on behalf of the French Head of State to only the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.

Unlike the proverbial warrior who lives to sing the song of his own deeds and derring-do, Adenuga remains impressively humble and immune to conceit, treading a rare path to acclaim thus attracting honour in torrents, from home and abroad. While he strikingly commands the relentless tribute of a cheer, his feats reverberate as deafening applause.

Adenuga 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.

Interestingly, the President of Awards, Stuart Shield said “Winning an International Property Award is a significant achievement. We celebrate the highest levels of achievement by companies operating in all sectors of the property and real estate industry. An International Property Award is a world-renowned mark of excellence. The awards are split into regions covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Arabia, Canada, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, UK and USA. Participants enter at their relevant national level and are judged by a highly experienced team of professionals who cover the whole range of property disciplines”.

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