Obi Cubana, Nigerian business mogul, says he threw a lavish funeral in honour of Uche Iyiegbu, his mother, because of the promise he made to her.
The 46-year-old nightlife promoter has become a viral sensation since he buried his mother, who died in December last year.
In an interview with BBC Pidgin, the entrepreneur said he and his siblings had earlier promised to celebrate the deceased in grand style when she clocks 80.
He said contrary to the plan, his mother passed on before the age of 80, prompting him and his siblings to channel their initial energy for her birthday into giving her a befitting burial.
“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.”