Her Imperial Highness (H.I.H.), Abimbola Fernandez, a descendant of the royal Olumegbon family of Lagos, Nigeria, wants you to find the Royal in you! In the words of Her Imperial Highness, “If you are familiar with where you are from, it shows you where you’re going!”
This month, I had the chance to get to know H.I.H. outside of what I already knew of her from the new original docu-series, African Royale, which debuted on The Africa Channel (TAC) on October 19. The show stars the beautiful Abimbola Fernandez, a Nigerian princess finding her way in Los Angeles. Her Imperial Highness is the child of African diamond, oil, and gold tycoon His Excellency Ambassador Deinde Fernandez and Chief Aduke Fernandez, both deceased.
Abimbola was born in France and, in her early years, raised in New York. At age 10, she moved to Scotland and attended the prestigious boarding school Fettes College in Edinburg. In addition to business success, her father was an ambassador, extraordinary and plenipotentiary Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs to the mission of the Central African Republic. Her father left an enormous fortune behind, and various parties, including a woman Fernandez described as her father’s mistress, are battling for a piece of the billion-dollar pie. Be sure to tune in to the Africa Channel to follow her journey of self-discovery while also protecting her family’s legacy. The African Royale series is produced by TAC Studios, the production division of the channel that highlights Africa and compelling African and diaspora stories.
Upscale Interview with HIH Abimbola Fernandez:
Upscale Magazine: Why was the Africa Channel the right partner for your story?
H.I.H.: The Africa Channel is a network that not only provides a platform for but also highlights & amplifies the stories/voices of all members of the African Diaspora. They are the perfect home for my story, one of African excellence, heritage, culture & legacy.
Upscale Magazine: What have you learned about yourself through this journey?
H.I.H.: I’ve learned that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. Dealing with the loss of both parents within two years, uncovering misdeeds within their respective estates, and litigating with the Executor of my mother’s estate for misappropriated funds… it all takes its toll on you. You have to have a strong heart to push through grief to reach justice & success.
Upscale Magazine: Explain your experience as an African of royal lineage. For example, what does H.I.H. really mean?
H.I.H.: H.I.H. is an abbreviation for the titles Her Imperial Highness / His Imperial Highness. In 2004, the Emir of Kano Crowned my late father His Imperial Highness Garsan Fulani of Kano, that being fairly recently royalty does indeed run in our blood. My paternal grandmother is a descendant of the Royal Olumegbon Family of Lagos. My parents also held the titles of: Apesin Ola of Egbaland | Erelu Apesin of Egbaland (1995) and The Baron & Baroness of Dudley (2001).
Upscale Magazine: Do you have a castle, is there a Prince, and do you have royal subjects?
H.I.H.: My late father has a Palace in Kano, Nigeria. My parents also owned a chateau that was passed down to myself & my sister – “Chateau de Bois Feuillette” in the north of France on 48 acres. This property was an anniversary gift to my mother in the 80’s. Funny enough, Chateau literally translates to castle. This was the first home I lived in as a child. I do have 3 half-brothers. I personally do not have royal subjects and was not living at the Palace with my father during the last few years of his life.
Upscale Magazine: How are you using or planning to use your platform?
H.I.H.: I’m hoping, from the story I’m sharing, that people will at the very least, be inspired to push boundaries & believe in their purpose so deeply that they can never be deterred.
Upscale Magazine: What is your fondest memory of your childhood?
H.I.H.: My most fond memory as a child is that of having a strong family unit. I grew up surrounded by unconditional love, support & encouragement. Before bed, every night, my father would tell me, “I will always love you,” and that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Upscale Magazine: What does your family legacy mean to you?
H.I.H.: My family’s legacy transcends my parents; it’s now the story I’m creating for my children to tell. It’s the pedestal I’m leaving them to stand upon proudly in order to do their part for their Continent, humanity & their heirs.
Upscale Magazine: If you could share one or two inspirations from your life experiences with Upscale’s readers, what would you share?
H.I.H.: There are no greater inspirations in my life than my parents. Seeing the beginnings of my mother, born of humble means in Memphis, TN & my father coming to the States with only $10 in the 1950s, living out their Imperial ascension, following their dreams & exceeding all expectations is powerful. It’s left me knowing that I’m able to accomplish anything I put my mind to, as they did.
The Africa Channel and Her Imperial Highness want you to find the Royal in you by offering a chance to win an African Ancestry DNA test and a trip to Ghana. Here’s how to enter:
All entries submitted must be received by 11:59 p.m. P.T. on November 24, 2023. Limit one (1) Contest entry per eligible person. Multiple entries received from any person beyond this limit will void all such additional entries:
1. Follow @AfricaChannelTV on Instagram,
2. Post a 30-60 second video on Instagram explaining why you want to find your African heritage and visit Africa and what you hope to learn from the experience,
3. Tag @AfricaChannelTV and use hashtags #AfricanRoyaleOnTAC
Watch The Africa Channel via pay T.V. distributors across the U.S., including Charter’s Spectrum, Comcast, and Cox Communications, as well as in Canada on Rogers Ignite and Bell Fibe and in the Caribbean via the Caribbean Cable Cooperative. It is part of The Africa Channel Inc.