It is not difficult to imagine that today's richest man in Africa, Aliko Dangote, wakes up in Africa,has his breakfast in Asia, lunch in UK, dinner in USA and sleeps in Australia.
Although, Candido Esan Da Rocha's Family were Brazilian Slaves who returned back to Nigeria, just like the Oladeinde Antonio Fernadez's family.
Let's take a look at Candido Esan Da Rocha's life.
However, the The Returnee Slaves of Seira Leon and Brazil Soon took Over Lagos :
After the Abolishing of Slave Trades, Returnee Slaves to Nigeria were known as Saros Or Creoles.
Most of the Latin American returnees or Amaros started migrating to Africa after slavery was abolished on the continent while others from West Africa,...
The returnees mostly resided in the Lagos Colony,With substantial populations in Abeokuta and Ibadan.Some also settled in Calabar,PH and other cities in the Niger Delta.
Many of them graduated from grammar schools and became administrative workers for the British imperial interest in the country.
Trade with Europeans also fueled the commercial rise of the city.
Many of the immigrants were of Egba and Oyo heritage and some were familiar with Yoruba traditions and culture.
The conflict was between the Egbas and the Europeans.
The Egbas decided to go on rampage and damaged European symbols such as churches and missions,..
Prior to the conflict, a few notable Saros, such as Henry Townsend played prominent roles as advisers to the council of chiefs in Abeokuta.
The Niger delta was a little bit dissimilar to Lagos and western Nigeria where the Yorubas were dominant. Lagos was much more cosmopolitan while the delta was composed of different and varied ethnic groups of equal political footing.
However, life in Port Harcourt was rough for many Saros. Some came to the city as workers for British merchant houses and the colonial government.
This policy led to a gradual change among Saros especially those in the West. The idealistic revolt against the British was led by a missionary James Johnson who decried excessive British interference in the affairs of the missionary society.
They went to the New World as slaves from different sub-ethnic and ethnic backgrounds but approached relationships among themselves as equals.
In Lagos, their neighborhood became known as Popo Aguda, Brazilian quarter (This is were we call Pako Aduda in Surulere)
These Amaros gave Portuguese and Spanish names in Nigeria.
The Brazilian returnees were notably technically skilled artisans and were known for ...
The Brazilian returnees also popularized the use of Cassava as a food crop. They had pioneered trade with Brazil in the mid nineteenth century.
But somehow, Joan Esan da Rocha seems to be the most widely known name of all.
his native name was ‘Esan’ he was baptized in Brazil as ‘Joao’ (meaning in English John) and his surname ‘Rocha’ was the name of his Portuguese master.
By then, The total population of the Emancipados (freed slaves) at the time was 1, 237, according to Governor C. A. Moloney of Lagos.
She too was also a native of Ilesha, Osun State.
while his father died on December 31, 1891, in Lagos, when he was aged 25 years.
The third was Moses who was born in Lagos in 1876 and qualified as a medical doctor in 1896 from Edinburgh, Scotland,specializing in tropical medicine and one of the earliest trained Nigerian doctors
He, according to records available was never beaten and always came first in his class. At the time he was leaving CMS, he became the school’s Head Boy.
It was equally said that he read Charles Dickens and Oliver Goldsmith, besides books on history and exploration of Africa.
One of them was the late S. H. Pearse, a classmate of da Rocha at C. M. S.
And as mother luck would have it, the Englishman chose da Rocha of the three.
The bank lent Candido da Rocha the money with which he funded the purchase of the gold bars.
He made on average,a whopping 200% profit on the sales which is worth billions of naira in todays money.
It was unheard of if not unthinkable at that time for an African to make that kind of money.
Candido da Rocha was said to have a midas touch. If for instance, 10 horses were lined up for sale,he always picks the champion.He had the best known race horse at the time called Vampa which won several races from sprint to long distance.
Candido Da Rocha’s knack for spotting champion horses, information reveals could be compared to that of the legendary Agakhan, a rich man who brought almost all champion horses.
But,ran the bank himself – he was the founder, sole owner and sole operator and competed with the Bank of West-Africa and probably the old Barclays Dominion, Colonial & Overseas.
His Bank was Scammed of a very huge sum of amount at that time.
the announcement stated.
Candido lived at Water House at Kakawa, built by his Father Joao Esan Rocha, famously called Casa d’Agua or water house.
The home was commemorated in literature by a novel, The Water House, written by Antonio Olinto.
During the Second World War (1939 – 1945), when the authorities of Kings College were looking for a place to relocate the students in the boarding house – among whom were Tiamiyu Bello-Osagie,...
Even after the war, when government asked influential Nigerians to contribute to the rehabilitations fund, he made substantial donations ....
Candido Da Rocha was also a founding member of the Lagos auxiliary to the Anti Slavery and Aborigines Right Society which was headed by James Johnson and had Samuel Pearse and Sapara Williams as members.
Three women were known to have had children for him and lived with him briefly.
The da Rocha family is well entrenched in Ghana.
The second woman who had a son for him died at an early age.
The daughters, three in all include Louissa Ebun Turton,
the second daughter was called Angelica Folashade who later became Mrs. Thomas.
In 1920, Candido da Rocha reportedly fell out with his only son, Alexander.
It was not exactly known what led to the estrangement between father and son.
Family sources confirmed that Alexander was not mentioned in his will.
Following the estrangement,Alexander went to live with his mother in Ghana.
“Even though nobody could lay claim to what my uncle did to papa,..
Any person in charge of the birds upkeep, must by papa’s standard know all the species of birds he had” said Dr. da Rocha–Afodu.
Candido Esan Da Rocha died in 1959 and is buried at Ikoyi Cemetery.
He died as the first Billionaire in Nigeria and African.
Among his children were Alexander Da Rocha,
Angelica Folashade Thomas,
and Louissa Turton.
There is absolutely No contention on Candido da Rocha being the first Billionaire in Nigeria. Even the Colonial records confirms it.
After him was then Alhaji Alhassan Dantata, of the Dantata Dynasty.
Then, Sir Louis Philip Ojukwu, Chief Timothy Adeola Odutola etc
Eg Alhaji Alhassan Dantata and how he built the Dantata Dynasty (Even paved the way for Aliko Dangote)
Sir Louis Philip Odumegwu Ojukwu Story.
You can check them out on my TL.