Enigmatic billionaire, Deinde Fernandez, dies at 79

Deinde FernandezOne of Africa’s richest men, Oluwo Antonio Deinde Fernandez, is dead.

The 79-year-old reportedly breathed his last on Tuesday in Belgium.

His death was announced on Twitter on Tuesday by Publisher, Ovation International, Dele Momodu.

The tweet reads: “Nigeria, and indeed Africa, has just lost one of its greatest sons; Ambassador Chief Antonio Deinde Fernandez is gone!”

A reclusive but colourful personality, the deceased was born in Lagos in 1936 into the Fernandez family that originated from Brazil and the first European migrant to Lagos State.

He was Diplomat and Permanent Representative of Central African Republic to the United Nations

In 1982, he served as advisor to the Angolan Government on Economic matter. He held the position for two years until his appointment as Deputy Permanent Representative of Mozambique to the United Nations in 1984.

He ran an oil company called Petro Inett which obtained a 50% share with South African-based Energy Africa Limited in a deal with the state oil company for exploration rights in a 4,700 km2 area of Angola’s coast in 1996.

In 1992, he was appointed as Special Adviser to the President of Mozambique on International Economic Matters, a position he held for three years.

He was formerly married to Aduke Fernandez, whom he divorced in July 2003 following a £ 300m divorce suit in Scotland filled on July 1, 2003 by her counsel.

Before then, he was married to American Barbara, whom he also divorced.

He married Halima in 2003.

One of his children is Princess Antoinette Oyinkansola Fernandez, from his relationship with Abiola Dosunmu, the current Erelu Kuti of Lagos.

His daughter, Abimbola Fernandez, is a model and singer. She released a single titled ‘Let’s Take It Naked’ in January 2014.

His two ex wives, Barbara and Aduke, died within three months of each other.