Meet the new boss — NOT the same as the old boss!
Never heard of this guy? You should.
Turn on any television set in America and at some point during the day, you’re liable to see some young black professional athlete sporting his shiny expensive suit and his rolling his flashy expensive car while flaunting his flashy expensive jewelry — or some tattooed, foul-mouthed “gangsta” rap artist doing the same thing.
For all the young brothers and sisters out there who find themselves impressed by such sights, I’ll “see” all of that and “raise” you one modestly attired Nigerian.
I don’t know if Adebayo Ogunlesi can dunk a basketball. I don’t know how fast he can run a 40-yard dash — and I’ll bet he doesn’t, either. I doubt we’ll ever see him strutting his stuff in a music video, extolling the virtues of the thug life while his pants are sagging lower on his butt than a supermodel’s bikini.
But Adebayo Ogunlesi is who I want to be when I grow up.
Mr. Ogunlesi is the chairman of an outfit called Global Infrastructure Partners — and he doesn’t deal in “bling.” He doesn’t buy flashy cars. He doesn’t even buy airplanes, although he undoubtedly could.
Adebayo Ogunlesi buys airports. We’re not talking dirt airstrips for little crop-dusters, either.
Earlier this year, Mr. Ogunlesi bought London Gatwick, the second-largest airport not only in London, but in all of Britain. The pricetag: 1.51 billion pounds. At today’s rates, that works out to not quite $2 billion.
That’s right…with a “b.”
How about that? One of the largest air terminals on the planet, owned by a black man. Read his story and you’ll understand how he got there.
GIP already owns London City Airport. This means that of the five airports in one of the largest and most important cities in the world, a black man owns two of them. If Isaac Hayes were alive today, he’d say “this cat is a BAD-mutha-shut-yo-mouth.”
And he’d be right.
Remember how Chris Rock broke down the difference between being rich and being wealthy? “(Shaquille O’Neal) is rich,” he said. “The white man who signs his check is wealthy.”
To Chris’ apt definition, we now add the example of Adebayo Ogunlesi. The black man who chills out in the first-class lounge in the airport is rich. The one who owns the airport is wealthy!
London Heathrow may have seen the last of me.
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