It was the English novelist George Eliot who said; “Our dead never died for us, until we forgot them.”
Death is indeed the final stop for every man, but what makes humans immortal are the good works in which they are engaged in flesh and blood. Their frantic efforts on earth throw them into the consciousness of many, passing their fond memories on to unborn generations.
For Jude Rudolf Solomon, during his lifetime, he played an important role as a wise businessman and generous philanthropist who lived according to the teachings of his creator.
He may have had a one-to-one trip, but his indelible imprints will never be hastily forgotten. All the more reason, the Intercontinental – Grand African hotel ballroom on October 23, 2021 was a place filled with growing emotions as friends and family converged in disbelief.
Those who never believed the news of his shocking disappearance also came to clarify and also said goodbye to the merry fellow. With tears falling like rain, the ballroom was filled to the brim as many well-wishers flocked to pay homage even in death. The praise and sweet testimonies of his human side praised the air as many who had a fair share of his generosity confessed that such a great man should not have died.
Born November 1, 1978 to Lebanese immigrants whose family emigrated to Nigeria in 1913 and adopted Nigeria as their country of origin. Jude was educated at the Lebanese International School in Lagos and went to Lebanon for his graduate studies.
After completing his higher education, he decided to return to Nigeria, a place where he found comfort and peace. When many of his peers thought he was not making a wise decision to return to Nigeria, Jude saw opportunities present themselves in Nigeria. He was awarded for following his heart and his intuition.
This decision set him on a path to greatness with exceptional achievements and successes. However, despite a short life, his impeccable accomplishment on earth can never be ignored with a wave of the hand. This is why many continued to celebrate him even in death for his selflessness, loyalty, generosity and sincerity.
Through hard work and relentlessness; he was able to climb the ladder of success in life when his path crossed with the founder and chairman of Zenon Petroleum and Gas Limited, Femi Otedola.
Their meeting was quite interesting as Jude in his usual element dazzled and swept the billionaire oil mogul off his feet with his confidence and oratorical prowess and highly cerebral presentation. Their meeting paid off when Otedola begged Jude’s uncle to persuade him to work with him at Zenon Petroleum & Gas Ltd.
After Jude agrees, the rest is history. In a short time in the business, Jude has proven to be the proverbial swizz knife. He was simply exceptional. He was multidimensional and broad in his approach to the work and the situation. He is a problem solver and a team player in his delivery and execution of tasks.
This has helped Zenon to rise astronomically above its competition as it also rose to the post of sales and marketing manager of Zenon Nigeria.
After working and building the Zenon brand for eleven years, Jude finally set himself a new challenge in 2009. He left Zenon to pursue his interests in the energy sector and real estate development. He then turned those seeds into a thriving business which he managed successfully until he was visited and taken away by the Grim Reaper on September 13, 2021. He wasn’t just commercially successful; he was also a dedicated family man and animal lover. He married his wife Maricel in May 2011 and the union was fortunate to have two wonderful sons – Jason and Kevin aged 9 and 7 respectively.
When news of his shocking disappearance broke, his former boss and mentor Femi Otedola couldn’t hide his feelings as he put pen to paper while scribbling a tribute to his meeting with the magical trader. Otedola affirmed it; âJude was one of the best gentlemen I have ever met. I have known him for 22 years of his life. He worked with me for many years to learn the basics of business. He has been there for me at very important times in my life and in my business.
We spoke every morning, separately during the day and the last thing at night. He was fiercely loyal, sincere and extremely honest until the end. He was selfless and always thought of others before himself. He was deeply spiritual and a great father and husband. His dedication to the family was absolute. ‘Jude, your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, you are loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. Rest in peace beloved brotherâ¦ you are now happy in Heaven with your Creator.