Nigerian night club owner and entrepreneur, Obi Cubana born Obinna Iyegbu has opened up on his late mother’s burial and why he held a gargantuan and lavish burial ceremony for her.
Obi Cubana’s late mother was laid to rest on July 16 at Oba in Anambra State and the burial ceremony was the biggest to have been held in the state as people from different walks of life including his friends, family and business associates not forgetting politicians, musicians, actors, among others thronged the community to offer their support to Obi Cubana as he pays his last respect to his mother.
In an interview with BBC Pidgin, Obi Cubana revealed that before his mother died, he and his siblings promised to make her 80th birthday celebration a grand one and give it a carnival-like party but their expectation did not materialize as their mother could not live long to meet her 80th birthday so when she died they decided to invest their resources into making his mother’s burial become a carnival.
“My mother’s burial was like that because we had already promised her that whenever she clocks 80, we’ll organise a unique carnival, which is the first of its kind in the world, to celebrate her,” he said.
“We joked about it and agreed. But thereafter, she died before she clocked 80. Due to that, we dissipated all our energy and initial plans to celebrate her 80th birthday into organising a befitting burial for her. That’s why it is the talk of the town.
“This year (2021) makes it 15 years that our father passed away. After my father’s death, we gave our mother all the love because she was always there for us. She was the one playing the role of a father and mother for us before her death.
“Whenever you visit her, she must pray for you before leaving. Even in your absence, she still prays for you, so when she died, it was as if they collected part of my energy.”
‘It’s a show of love’ — Obi Cubana defends ‘naira rain’ at the funeral
In the interview, Obi Cubana also dismissed criticisms trailing the spraying of naira notes at his mother’s burial.
The entrepreneur, whose real name is Obinna Iyiegbu, argued that no one should decide for his guests how to spend the money they worked for.
“How would I have arranged for people to come to the event and spray money. Is it to bathe with it? The money belongs to them, so it is their choice to spend it anyhow they like,” he said.
“All those that came for the burial are bigwigs across various industries, so they’re basically there to show love for my family. Some of them were my friends and colleagues from school several years back.
“Therefore, the burial offered them the platform to come and show their love and support. That’s what happened that day.”
Obi Cubana also called out those questioning his open display of wealth at his mother’s burial, explaining that such people are only envious of others’ progress.
“I don’t have time for people who want to tell me how to spend the money that I made through my own efforts. It’s waste of time replying to such people. They’re only criticising me because they don’t want others to succeed,” he said.
“We didn’t plan it (the burial) this way. It’s not about money. Money couldn’t have gotten us such a huge crowd, it was out of the goodwill that I enjoy from the public.”
How I made my first N1 million
On how he made his first one million naira, Obi Cubana said: “After undergoing my compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme in Abuja, I started searching for a job all to no avail.
“That made me start some small jobs and from there I became a real estate agent. I usually get five percent of every task that is successfully executed. It was along the line that I and my colleagues met a man who asked us to help him furnish his house.
“We did it very well that he gave me N500,000 separately from the profit of N600,000 which I also made from the deal. That made it N1.1 million in total. It was after my NYSC that I made my first one million naira.”
The Political Science degree holder also recounted how life was hard for him when he was a child as his parents were not rich and he had done several jobs after doing his national service.
He added that the lavish spraying of money by his friends at the burial was just a sign of goodwill and an expression of love from them and he is happy his friends honored him in that manner to make his late mom’s burial a memorable one.