Meet Nigeria’s First Millionaire, Candido da Rocha

Candid da Rocha

There is a popular  Yoruba saying, when interpreted it implies burning through cash like Da Rocha. In another Yoruba saying, when individuals are tricked to spend cash excessively they will tell you that do you think I resemble Da Rocha? Or then again they will say to you I am not Da Rocha.

We at presents to you the tale of the amazing rich man, Candido Da Rocha.

Candido Da Rocha was an extremely affluent Lagosian. It is also prominently believed that he was the first known mogul in Nigeria.

Da Rocha as he was affectionately called was conceived in 1860 as the child of Joao Esan Da Rocha, a former slave who came back from Brazil to begin a business empire.

The junior Da Rocha, Candido, was known to be only have the language skills of Portuguese and Ilesha on his arrival. He went to the well known CMS Grammar School in Lagos where he was the head boy. Him and late Herbert Macaulay were friends who was likewise his classmate.

Da Rocha’s Water Business
Candido was said to have laid water funnels from Iju to Lagos Island, Yaba Ebute Metta and different zones where the demand for pipe borne water were high. He was said to have lived in his home and worked the Iju water works that served the entire of Lagos in the 20s.

The colonial administrators were said to be paying Da Rocha for the supply of water to Lagos state. His home had the first borehole and furthermore the first water fountain. He was said to have sold water to the general population from his home.

He made fortune from his water business with the end goal that he bcame extremely rich that the government needed to take it over from him.

He was also involved in different kind of business including cash lending which he did with two other rich men, J H Doherty and Sedu Williams and consequently, together they started a bank named the Lagos Native bank. He likewise went into fishery business and furthermore opened an eatery.

How Candido Da Rocha made Billions Through Gold Business:

In what was to in the long run be the start of his fortunes, an English gold miner who needed to venture out back to Britain moved toward Da Rocha in 1894 with bars of gold that he had mined and needed to discard.

Be that as it may, there was an issue of funds as he didn’t have all the cash required to purchase the merchandise. The Englishman needed 6,000 pounds. In this way, Candido da Rocha moved toward the Bank of West-Africa currently known as First Bank. The bank loaned Candido the required cash with which he obtained the gold bars.

He was later to file the gold bars into gold residue and sold on retail to the neighborhood gold smiths. He was said to have made an incredible 200% profit on the deals.

Candido Da Rocha Established Lagos Native Bank :

Candido Da Rocha later went into the banking business and was the first African to possess a bank called Lagos Native Bank which was built in 1907. He was joined by two other business men, J H Doherty and Sedu Williams, to set up the Lagos Native Bank yet he ran the bank himself.

Candido da Rocha’s House

Family life:
Research uncovered that Candido da Rocha lived alone a large portion of his grown-up life and was never formally married to any lady whether traditionally, in court or in the church in spite of being a solid Catholic. He was said to be a troublesome man to live with.

Three ladies were known to have had kids for him and lived with him for a short period.

One of the ladies was initially from the old Gold Coast now Ghana who had his first child and only son called Alexander Candido da Rocha.

The second lady who had a child for him passed on at an early age. From that point, he had four girls; three of these were conceived by a similar lady and one other daughter, Mrs. Enitan Salako, from another lady.

Candido Da Rocha’s girls are three in numbers which includes, Louissa Ebun Turton, the second daughter was called Angelica Folashade who later became Mrs. Thomas.

Candido da Rocha
Candido da Rocha and his parents

Candido da Rocha’s Generosity :
Depicting Da Rocha’s liberality, his 90-year-old granddaughter stated, “Individuals would come to him, crying, asking for monetary help; from the balcony, asking the amount they required, he would toss down the cash to them.

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Candido Esan Da Rocha kicked the bucket in 1959 and is buried at Ikoyi Burial ground.

Despite the fact that there was no Limousine nor Rolls Royce, Da rocha was said to have moved around in his extravagance horse drawn carriage.

One of Candido Da Rocha’s grand daughter, Angelica Oyediran in a meeting with The Punch said of the abundance of her granddad: “Candido Da Rocha was very close to the English and the western world at that point. He was exceptionally regarded and profoundly taught. He can’t stand untruthfulness and lying. I remained with him in this house for around three years when my mom moved in here to care for him. I was near him. He cherished me and I was extremely attached to him. I learned a lot from him while I was staying there.

Amid the Second World War, Da Rocha offered one of his properties, Bonanza hotel, to the English government to secure some Nigerian understudies at King’s College, who were at first in a boarding house at Race Course.

The school was kept running there until the point when the war was finished. Among his dear companions was Herbert Macaulay. Da Rocha declined to be a politician. When he was named to challenge a race and individuals moved toward him asking for cash to help his electioneering, he stated, ‘On the off chance that you need Da Rocha you vote in favor of him, and on the off chance that you need Da Rocha’s money don’t vote in favor of me.’

Twice, Da Rocha paid (a fine) to the English colonial government on behalf of Macaulay to keep Macaulay from going to prison when he was captured for standing as an opposition, and he cautioned that he would not act the hero the third time.

Da Rocha was a staunch catholic. He regarded God. He was exceptionally rich – he was a tycoon back then and extremely liberal.

The rich in those days sent their dirty garments to Britain for laundry. The Da Rochas, Johnsons, Dohertys and the Olowus, were elite individuals. They didn’t wash their garments in Nigeria. They sent them to another country for laundry. Some of them had around five dozens of shirts, five dozens vests, five dozens pants, and all that they could manage.”

Candido Da Rocha did not discovered cash, neither did he stole other people’s wealth before he turned out to be tremendously rich. His riches could be followed to his dad Joao Esan Da Rocha.

Joao Esan Da Rocha who was from Ilesha, was caught as a slave at 10 years old and taken away to Brazil in 1840. Joao Esan later got married to Angelica Josephina Da Rocha while in Brazil. The couple brought forth Candido while still in Brazil.

In 1871, Esan with other slaves regained their freedom and a considerable number of slaves could trace back their lineage back the Yoruba clan.

On his arrival from Brazil, Esan Da Rocha was one of the returnees that approached the then Queen Victoria’s delegate in Lagos to ask for a place for their resettlement in Lagos and they were allotted the territories between the Central Bank of Nigeria on Broad street up to Kam Salem, at Obalende.

The Water House was worked by Esan Da Rocha on the land allotted to him. He was given two bits of land since he returned with his significant other of Nigerian origin and four kids so he likewise got a portion of land on Tinubu Street. While building his very own home, Esan built it exactly as the house he lived in Brazil.

His homes are the well known Water House at Kakawa Road and the other one is on 4, Tinubu Street both on Lagos Island. Esan kicked the bucket at 88 years old and was buried at Ikoyi Burial ground.

Candido da Rocha ventured into his dad’s business domain, which he later turned into a multi-million pound empire, which includes agriculture, trading, hotel, real estate, banking and financial investments.