TALKS ABOUT HIS STYLE SECRETS @ 67
Ex-AIG, Aare Tunji Alapini ranks as one of the best-dressed men in Nigeria. Whether in native or in formal wears, he always looks on point. At 67, he has continued to dazzle at parties.
He is blessed with a pencil-slim figure. He is one man who always makes Style statements with his outfits. Even after leaving service years ago, he still looks very trendy in the way he dresses, the way he looks, even at 67. How does he explain this.
“There is an adage in Yoruba land that says ‘ohunti o banigbalale, aaro la ti ma nko’. Whatever you want to make out of yourself, starts from the beginning. Either in Character, in Purpose or in life, whatever you want, start from morning.
You cannot start building a bungalow and when you get to the roofing level you now want to raise it to a - storey building, it doesn’t work like that. You have to start from the foundation. So, give yourself a foundation for what you want to be.
That is what I think I have rigidly given to myself and worked on. Over the years, I’ve made up my mind that I want to be able to live a life in which if you meet me today and want to talk about me, you should be able to say the same thing Adamu in Kaduna will say about me and Emeka in Enugu will say the same thing.
I want to present a picture of who I am. And I’m straight forward with my friends. If a friend says he’s annoyed with me, go and find out what the reason is, we have irreconcilable differences, either he wants to do things that are not right and I’m saying no to it. It cannot be because I’ve done something bad to him.
I believe that whatever I do to my individual, to my friend, to anybody, I must get it back in ten folds. That has been my life.
How has he been able to retain his pencil slim physique in the last 20years?
“I tell people, No1, it's God’s Grace. No 2, I know when to put a stop to anything I do. I don’t eat much. I know when I’m hungry, I eat. If I’m not hungry, so I don’t eat. I don’t eat because I have to eat. I’m not that kind of person who will walk into your office, seeing you eating chicken and then join you to eat.
No. It’s a different thing if I’m coming to your office and I have informed you ahead of time that I want to eat, I will eat too. I may go to a party and not eat anything; I don’t even have to go to a party because I want to eat. But if I’m hungry I eat.
And I eat sparingly. I don’t eat heavy food. And of course I exercise, I play my Golf and I do so many things by myself. I always do what I think I should be able to do.”
Would it be right to say having been in the Police force for decades had helped to shape his lifestyle and dressing? “I believe so. I think my lifestyle keyed into my police training. My parents brought me up as a straight forward person.
They taught me not to steal and not to say things I cannot do. That has been part of me. When I joined the police force and I see that this is a disciplined organisation, I was expected to follow the line of righteousness.
It cost me nothing, it’s not an extra effort for me to be right, not an extra effort to be righteous, not an extra effort to be straight forward, not an extra effort to be truthful, and it’s not an extra effort to do good. So, whatever you want to do, do it the way it should be done.
It’s in the Bible ‘love your neighbour as you love yourself. The first person you should love first is yourself, it is how much you love yourself that you will use as a measure to love others. I think I love myself and I’m happy with that, I’ve also applied it to people around me.
From head to toe; each time he steps out, whether in native or English attire, there is always a touch of Class and Style. Did he deliberately decide on that too?
“First of all, you have to understand that I’m a Lagosian, I grew up in an area called Popo Aguda. I lived with my mum who is a fashionista. I believe in cleanliness and good tiding. All my friends are birds of a feather as me, they dress well, and they look well. I don’t see any reason I should be different.
I went to a school where my uniform is white and you must always be clean. If you can spend 5years in a school where your uniform must always neat every day, that should be part of you for the rest of your life.”