Heiresses and daughters of one of Africa’s richest men say they are not content being rich and famous in his shadow, and instead want to work hard to make names for themselves in their own right.
Dj Cuppy Otedola, 23, and her sister Temi, 19, are well-known in their home country of Nigeria because their father is energy tycoon Femi Otedola, worth an estimated £650million.
He was listed as the 16th richest man in Africa by Forbes in 2015 and has million pound properties in New York, Dubai, London, Abuja and Lagos.
His wealth has enabled his daughters to attend expensive private schools in England, have designer wardrobes and be waited on by ten members of staff.
As well as jet-setting between the opulent family properties around the world, they also enjoy spending time on their father’s £7million yacht, have designer wardrobes and throw birthday parties that cost more than a fleet of supercars. But the sisters say their privileged upbringing does not make their lives easy and they feel under pressure to match up to their father’s success.
‘I am scared of always been his daughter and not getting past that, for me that means not being successful enough,’ Cuppy reveals on Channel 4 documentary Lagos To London, Britain’s New Super-Rich. ‘I am still masked by my dad’s success. If I didn’t try and make it outside Nigeria I would be unhappy.’
Cuppy is keen to be famous in her own right as a DJ and has been securing gigs around the world at venues including Privé, Jalouse, District and Funky Buddha.
While Cuppy admits her father’s fortune has opened doors and helped her network, she then has to prove her talent behind the decks to secure more work.
‘I think I am a great DJ. Network comes into it but if I don’t do well I won’t get asked back no matter whose daughter I am.’
Cuppy, who recently graduated from King’s College, University of London, with a degree in business and French, said she wants to become renowned around the world as a DJ and make it into Forbes 30 under 30 Rich List.
Her younger sister Temi feels the same and she is busy trying to establish a name for herself in the fashion world.
Temi has set up her own style blog JTO Fashion and has 22,000 followers on Instagram.
She shares news on the latest style must-haves with her fans – many of whom are Nigerian – as she travels between the fashion capitals of Europe and shops in Dubai and London.
She said she feels her blog is ‘acting as the medium between Nigeria and the rest of the world’. Temi has been running her blog for the last year and said it has helped her establish a number of contacts with key fashion houses including Valentino.
She said she works hard on her blog because ‘my sisters and I were taught from a young age you can’t live your life in someone else’s shadow. Anything your family has done for you, you have to go and do for yourself as well.
‘I think that is why my sisters and I go out and try to do our own thing because we want to be respected in our own rights.’
Temi admits she wouldn’t have been able to establish her blog without her father’s financial support – but she sees the help he has given her so far as a loan she intends to repay.
Cuppy, who DJs wearing £1,000 headphones covered in Swarovski crystals (of which she owns 15 pairs), adds that being the daughter of a billionaire also brings with it additional problems. Speaking of why they love London so much, Cuppy said: ‘We go to Harrods a lot because it is convenient, they sell cars in there it is crazy.
‘We love The Arts Club, a super, amazing private members club, good food, good atmosphere.’ Temi, who is studying for a degree in art history at University College London, added:
‘We have done Dubai and Paris but always come back to London. You have the luxury shops, luxury cars, luxury houses, you can spend the money you have worked hard making.’
The girls certainly know how to spend money on throwing a good party.
Cuppy recently had Marie Antoinette graduation bash at the lavish Mandarin Oriental hotel in London where her guests were served Michelin starred food on gold plates and enjoyed Champagne fountains and indoor fireworks.
Cuppy said she chose the theme because: ‘I feel like I am this young woman with just so much responsibility and Marie Antoinette was Queen Of France at a young age, plus we both love dogs.’ She said the party would have costs around the same amount as ‘a few Lamborghinis’ but she will have to top it on her wedding day.
Guests were served with golden plates at the party in the ballroom of the five star Mandarin Oriental. Meanwhile, Temi had a similarly extravagant 18th party which was Moulin Rouge themed and attended by 200 guests. The sister say they don’t play hard in this way too often, preferring to be role models to young women in their home country and inspire them to work hard to achieve their goals.
Cuppy said: ‘We are setting the pace for young women who are trying to get out of a generational trend of just going to school, be good, get a job, get married and sit there looking pretty.’
Temi’s greatest extravagance is shoes, although not the Louboutins her sister Florence adores. She’s a fan of boots, with one recent indulgence being a pair of £998 Chloé Susanna ankle boots.
Temi was born in London, but her family moved back to Nigeria shortly afterwards. Then, when she was seven, her mother sent Temi and her sister Florence to the King’s School Canterbury where fees are £11,480 for boarders. Temi and mum Nana recently attended the opening night of the opera in Milan as guests of the design house Bottega Veneta.
She went on to attended the £26,800 a year American School in St John’s Wood London as she wanted to have an American college experience.
Their father Femi divides his time between Lagos and London, coming to the UK about once a month. ‘He’s very modest,’ Temi explained. ‘He’s self made and he’s always been very careful with money.
‘He loves his yachts but that’s his only indulgence. He still uses an old pay-as-you-go Nokia phone and he only recently learned how to use an iPad.’
She’s had to face something of a backlash from commentators in the Nigerian media who’ve said she’s managed to get where she is because of her father’s name.
‘There has been negativity,’ Temi admitted. ‘There always will be. My sister was DJing before I got started with my blog so I was prepared for it.
Temi blogs about her favourite beauty products and outfits, with clothes from her favourite brands including Emilia Wickstead, a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge, Rag & Bone and All Saints. She also likes to shop at boutiques such as One Vintage and Feathers near her family home in Knightsbridge where she returns every weekend, as well as Browns Focus, and Alara Lagos, which stocks brands such as Valentino, Dries Van Noten, Marni.