Afe Babalola’s biography: the life and achievements of the Nigerian lawyer

Afe Babalola’s biography: the life and achievements of the Nigerian lawyer

Afe Babalola is among the most known lawyers in Nigeria and the founder of Afe Babalola University. He is an educationist, farmer, and former pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Babalola has received several medals for being one of the highest contributors toward advancing and improving Nigeria's legal, health, agricultural, and education sectors.

Afe Babalola’s biography
Afe Babalola wearing a white Nigerian male agbada. Photo: @daily_trust
Source: Twitter

Afe Babalola has been an attorney in Nigeria for over 60 years. During this time, he has massively promoted the education and agricultural sectors. As a university administrator/owner, Babalola has partnered with various institutions worldwide to improve medical and healthcare education in Nigeria. He also gave bursaries to university students pursuing agricultural courses and donated millions of Naira to the farming community in Ekiti State. This biography shares Afe Babalola's successful journey, exciting details about his family, and his philanthropic works.

Profile summary

Full nameAare Afe Babalola
Date of birth30 October 1929
Age93 years (as of August 2023)
Place of birthEkiti State, Nigeria
ResidenceEkiti State, Nigeria
Marital statusMarried
SpouseYeye Aare Modupe Afe Babalola
Notable relativesLawyers Bolanie Austen-Peters (daughter),Michael Babalola (son), George Babalola (son)
Alma materEmmanuel Primary School, Wolsey Hall, Oxford,London University, London School of Economics.
OccupationLawyer, educationist, farmer, and philanthropist
Years active1963 – present
Former workplaces Central Bank of Nigeria, Olu Ayoola and Co., University of Lagos
Afe Babalola's law firmAfe Babalola & Co.
Afe Babalola's universityAfe Babalola University
Net worth$350 million

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Afe Babalola's story

Aare Afe Babalola was born in Ado Ekiti, Southern Region, British Nigeria (now called Ekiti State, Nigeria). He grew up in a family of farmers, and his parents were not educated.

What is the age of Afe Babalola?

Afe Babalola is 93 years old as of August 2023. He was born on 30 October 1929.

Afe Babalola’s achievements
Afe Babalola wearing a white suit. Photo: @MaxbNetworkProductions
Source: Facebook

Educational background

Babalola attended Emmanuel Primary School, Ado Ekiti. He almost stopped his education at the primary school level because his parents couldn't afford his secondary school fees.

Fortunately, an international program enabled Babalola to obtain a Senior Cambridge School Certificate from Wolsey Hall, Oxford. He later got an A’Level certificate from London University and Economics and Law degrees from the London School of Economics.

Career history

Afe Babalola worked briefly at the Central Bank of Nigeria before studying law in London. He was called to the England bar in 1963, the same year he became a member of Lincoln's Inn — a thriving society of barristers in London.

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Babalola returned to Nigeria and worked as a litigation lawyer at Olu Ayoola and Co., a law firm in Ibadan, the capital of Oyo State. After two years of legal practice, he established the Afe Babalola and Co. (Emmanuel Chambers) in 1965. Afe Babalola & Co. is among the largest law firms in Nigeria and has some of the best lawyers in the country. Also, some of his children have worked/work in this law firm.

In 1987, Afe Babalola became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (the highest rank in Nigeria's legal profession) in 1987. The nation’s leaders considered making him Nigeria’s Attorney General and Minister of Justice at various times, but he turned down such offers.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (the former President of Nigeria) appointed the attorney as the Pro-Chancellor of the University of Lagos in 2001, and in 2009, Babalola established the Afe Babalola University. Also, he won the Best Pro-Chancellor Award in Nigeria in 2005 and 2006.

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Afe Babalola’s wife
Afe Babalola wearing a grey suit. Photo: @9JAYOUTH
Source: UGC

Ekiti considers him a father of the state because of his immense contributions when it was created in 1996 and his contributions to its socio-economic development.

Dr. Kayode Fayemi (Ekiti's governor) mentioned Babalola as the second biggest employer of labor in the state, and his businesses pay the highest taxes to the state government. Moreover, Ekiti struggled to get a better power supply source for a long time, but Babalola did it for them within a short time.

As a farmer, Afe Babalola set up an Industrial Park in Ado-Ekiti. It processes crops like cassava, tomatoes, and yam into finished products. As a result, the industry has reduced the vast amounts of waste farmers encounter when storing crops in their homes.

Why did Afe Babalola create Afe Babalola University?

The lawyer founded the Afe Babalola University (ABUAD) to improve people's living standards through education. Providing quality education would enable Nigerians to get better employment opportunities internationally and compete globally with other specialists.

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In 2013, ABUAD was ranked the second-best private university in Nigeria and 17th out of 136 universities in Nigeria. While many public universities are burdened with heavy monthly electricity bills, ABUAD has a power project that even serves Ekiti State's industrial park.

The institute offers 47 accredited courses, awards scholarships to deserving students, and gives rebates on courses like Agriculture to encourage students to pursue those programs.

It has a big farm for agricultural students. The farm sells maize to Obasanjo farms, and each student who studies agriculture at ABUAD gets N250,000 seed capital after graduation.

ABUAD's 400-bed teaching hospital was established on 20 October 2017. Some of its state-of-the-art facilities include eight modular theatres, 16 kidney dialysis machines, CT-Scan and MRI scan machines, and an ICU ward.

The hospital does kidney transplants, brain and heart surgeries, and more. It also partners with organizations that support its quest for quality health care, teaching, training, and research services.

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Some of ABUAD's partners are Aster Hospital Group (Dubai and India), JNC International, Project CURE (USA), Abbot Laboratories, Afriglobal Diagnostic Services, Howard University's College of Pharmacy, and Adler (England). Moreover, Afe Babalola University's law department and the College of Engineering are among the best in West Africa.

Afe Babalola’s family
Afe Babalola giving a speech in a graduation gown. Photo: @Aare Afe Babalola Legacies
Source: UGC

Afe Babalola's family

Afe Babalola has nine children with his wife, Yeye Aare Modupe Afe Babalola. They taught their children the Fear of God, humility, sacrifice, integrity, and other virtues. As a result, Afe Babola's children have higher degrees from world-class universities like Harvard and have excelled professionally.

Modupe and Afe Babola's sons, Michael Opeyemi Babalola and George Olatunde Babalola, daughter Bolanie Austen-Peters, and two other daughters are lawyers. On top of this, Bolanie is a multiple award-winning movie director/producer, theater director/producer, and cultural entrepreneur.

How many wives does Afe Babalola have?

The attorney only has one wife, Yeye Aare Modupe Afe Babalola. The internet has no record of Afe Babalola's second wife, and no source has reported that he has another wife.

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What does Afe Babalola's wife do for a living?

Yeye Aare Modupe Afe Babalola is an entrepreneur who owns and runs many businesses in Nigeria and overseas. She is ABUAD Ventures' CEO, ABUAD Integrated Resources' Chairperson, and Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD).

On top of this, Afe Babalola's wife is a member of many local and international NGOs, including Food Aid International, that supports widows and orphans. She is also the President of Fountain of Hope International, which cares for the less privileged, and students of Afe Babalola University consider her a mother and mentor.

Is Afe Babalola still alive?

Attorney Afe Babalola is alive and resides in Ekiti State, Nigeria.

Is Afe Babalola a Christian?

Afe Babalola and his family are Christians. He grew up in a Christian home, married a Christian wife, and instilled Christian values in his children.

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Afe Babalola’s biography
Afe Babalola wearing a blue Nigerian male agbada. Photo: @sociomemo
Source: Facebook

What is Afe Babalola's net worth?

The Afe Babalola University's website states that he is worth $350 million and is the fifth wealthiest attorney in Nigeria. Besides the money he makes as an attorney and from his law firm and university, Afe Babalola is a prolific farmer. He owns big pieces of land in many towns in Nigeria. He is one of the biggest fish farmers in Ekiti State, has planted teak trees, and grows various food and cash crops.

Associations of Afe Babalola

Afe Babalola is a member of many prominent organizations that align with the legal profession. Below are the positions he holds in some of those organizations:

  • A fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Nigeria.
  • A fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies.
  • A fellow of the Leadership Institute of Nigeria.
  • A patron of several law student societies, legal institutions, and corporate bodies.
  • A member of the Body of Benchers, the highest legal body in Nigeria.
  • A member of the Rector of Europe.
  • A member of the Lincoln’s Inn, London.

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Awards and recognitions of Afe Babalola

Besides his professional awards and recognitions as an attorney, Babalola also received other awards for supporting education and agriculture in Nigeria. Some of these awards and honors are:

  • Queen Victoria Commemorative Award at Socrates Award of European Business Assembly in Oxford, UK.
  • Africa Man of the Year on Food Security in 2014.
  • The Advisory Board of the African Leadership Development Foundation (USA and UK) inducted him into the Africa Hall of Fame in 2016.
Afe Babalola’s children
Afe Babalola wearing a white cap. Photo: @Aare Afe Babalola Legacies
Source: Facebook

Afe Babalola's quotes

Afe Babalola shares wise words in his speeches. Some of his top quotes are:

  • My legacy is not in the buildings I have, not by the money in my account, but in these children, students of my school.
  • The only change that can be a lasting change, that would change the world and change the people, is changing the mind of the youths.
  • Hard work does not kill; what kills is indolence.

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Facts about Afe Babalola

  • He established an annual award for farmers in Ekiti state.
  • As the University of Lagos' pro-chancellor, he used his salary to give students scholarships and renovate the school.
  • Babalola built a standard administrative building for the Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, in 2016.
  • He built an auditorium for the Faculty of Law, Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, in 2016.
  • Afe built a home for nurses at Ekiti State teaching hospital in 2016.
  • He donated N16.5 million to empower over 1,000 people in 2017.
  • In 2018, Babalola donated over N2 million to 48 farmers at Ekiti State's agricultural exhibition to boost food production.

Afe Babalola rose from a humble background in the rustic town of Ado-Ekiti to become one of the most outstanding lawyers in Nigeria. Nigeria celebrates the attorney for establishing a university to help the youth to acquire quality and affordable higher education. shared the untold story of Dana Kinduryte. She is the ex-wife of Nigerian actor Jim Iyke, who is a father of three.

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