“It’s not about the money; it’s about the goodwill.” Obi Cubana discusses how he made his money before reacting to rumours about rituals.

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Obi Iyiegbu, popularly known as Obi Cubana, gave an interview in which he discussed how he became a wealthy businessman and his mother’s funeral, which was the talk of the town.

The 46-year-old businessman told BBC Pidgin that he and his brothers offered his mother a burial that made headlines because they promised her a carnival for her 80th birthday. They resolved to keep their vow and give her the kind of burial she deserved because she was their father and mother after their father died 15 years ago.

 

The businessman said he studied political science at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and kept looking for a job after NYSC but couldn’t find so he started doing  “small small mama put” (restaurant) in Abuja where he did his youth service, after which he started a “beer parlour” at Garden, Abuja.

 

He said that at the time he was doing the beer parlour business, he, his brothers, and their friends were living in a one-room accommodation in Zone 4, Abuja. He said it was a tiny room, 12 by 12, and all the six occupants of the room had was a mattress on the floor which they had to manage.

 

He said their source of livelihood, the beer parlour, was soon demolished “through El-Rufai”.

 

He added he thought it was over at the time but he opened “Ibiza” which then birthed “Cubana”.

 

He explained that not every business he got into worked. Some failed, he said, others succeeded.

 

Speaking of the publicity around his mother’s burial and comments from some that he and his friends did rituals or got their money through illegal means, Obi Cubana said hard work is the only way he got his money.

 

He explained that what people see now is years of hardwork.

 

He said:

 

Miracle doesn’t give money because that pastor needs the money more. Native doctor cannot give you money because his children are the ones who fetch water from the stream. How can he give you what he doesn’t have? Work hard. Work hard.

 

As for those asking him to “cut soap” for them, he told them to work hard and be consistent.

 

“Cut soap” is slang used to ask a successful person to give you a bit of what they are using that makes them successful. It originates from the claims that some young fraudsters visit ritualists who give them soap to bathe with for optimal success.

 

Obi Cubana said: “If you are in your 20s, work now. I am 46 years. I have done my first half. I don’t know why someone who is just 20 years will say he has not made it when he still has 50 years 60 years ahead.

 

“There is no soap to cut for anybody, there is no soap anywhere, work, pray, be good, make your own soap.”

 

The Chairman of Cubana Group said the only spiritual power he believes in is prayer. He said his mother, a school teacher, was very prayerful and after she died, he felt a huge part of his energy left him.

 

He further stated that he believes in fasting and prayer and not rituals.

 

“I do pray before I leave the house. I pray because if you don’t pray your body will be naked and prone to different attacks,” he said.

 

As for the crowd at his mother’s burial and how money was displayed, Obi said it comes from years of friendship and goodwill.

 

He said: “We didn’t plan for one-fifth of the crowd at the funeral. But see what happened at the burial.

 

“People have been saying that Obi Cubana has money, which money? They need to know people who have money in Anambra and in Nigeria.

 

“It is not about money but goodwill. What happened that day, money can’t buy it. See the crowd, yet nobody was raped, no car was stolen and no one was attacked. It can only be God.”


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