Interviews & Profiles

Fela Durotoye: Proudly Nigerian

First impression does count; especially when it’s one-on-one.

His wife calls him ‘Mr. Nigeria’. But that’s not the catch. It’s the infectious, committed passion of the man. It’s the painstakingly carved artistic replica of the Nigerian Map, which doubles as a mirror in his lounge. Fela Durotoye is proudly Nigerian. “I’m incredibly passionate about this nation. I believe that without doubt, this is the greatest nation that God has ever created. No other nation has greater potentials.”

Fela Durotoye, a graduate of OAU, Ife, is a computer scientist and an economist by training, with financial and management consulting experience with Ventures and Trusts Limited. He has a Masters degree in Business Administration and also M. Phil in Strategic Management. With a working knowledge in the Management of Change in Complex Organizations, he brought this experience to bear in the area of Business Process Re-engineering for some major projects in Philips Consulting, where he excelled to head the Customer Service Group. In September 1999, on the prompting of a ‘divine instruction’, he was steered him away from Philips Consulting into an all encompassing dream; a mandate to become a nation builder. Eventually, he resigned from his plum job in 2000 to begin his own outfit; at a time when he had just received another salary increase. He deliberately walked out of his comfort zone into uncharted territory, unsure of what awaited him, except the power of dreams.

But he struggled to move with that direction. “The most difficult aspect was leaving, having to detach myself from Philips Consulting because I loved it with all my heart and had a personal drive to get to the top echelon. My vision was aligned to the growth of the company.” First, he began a Christian lifestyle and entertainment centre called EDEN. “For a period of time, I went from having a salary to having none.” When he was at Philips Consulting, Durotoye had a minimum of 7 suits, but on setting up the centre, it took everything he owned. “Including my TV, radio, fridge, deep freezer, Air-Conditioners, even light fittings. It was an incredibly challenging period.” After that, he moved into consulting. The most remarkable thing, he told me, happened to him during a personal prayer in 2004 when he had another incredible Moses-like encounter. He even remembered the exact time and date. “It was precisely past 2pm, November 23. God instructed me to raise a Generation that is Empowered, Motivated, Stirred and driven To Operate with Natural Excellence, and that generation is to build Nigeria into the world’s most desired nation.’” Durotoye described that as strange because at that time, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had just published a damning report that Nigeria had about 15 years to stay together as a nation. “But, since then,” He affirmed with a smile, “so many things have made me understand that it is not just a possibility, but a reality.”

Yet, in a country bedeviled by so many problems, Durotoye is like the proverbial Moses, an unflinching optimist in the power of dreams and vision. “We are loaded with problems means that we are loaded with opportunities. Let me put it this way,” He told me,Nigeria is wind for you to fly if you’ve got wings; it is breeze for you to sleep if you don’t want to do anything.” For him, the greatest problem Nigeria is faced with is that of perception and attitude. Many people, he lamented, still view the nation from a consumer perspective rather than from a producer perspective. “Consumers see scarcity, challenges and problems. But producers see scarcity as a use for greater profit, and challenges as opportunities.”

“When Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic, major shareholder of Virgin Nigeria, was asked what he sees in Nigeria, he replied that his problem is the exact opposite of the question, ‘What is it that people do not see in Nigeria?’’’ He also used Aliko Dangote and others who’ve made it in Nigeria as examples of the country’s viable environment for wealth creation. Today, Durotoye is the managing partner of VIP Consulting Limited, a major player in the industry. The company assist clients create visible improvement in their service delivery culture through training and consultancy. Major Banks are among his high profile clientele. “I am in my place of obedience,” Durotoye said about his foray into consultancy. “I’m committed to being the best in what I’ve been called to do.” His advice to young Nigerian professionals is ‘to build a reputation of expertise’.

“We have a flexible system that allows you to do anything in the world. Nigeria is the easiest place to start a business. You don’t have to steal in this nation to be a billionaire.” For a man who has travelled to other places, it’s an arresting statement. In 2004, he was one of the guest speakers at the Nigerian Professionals (NIPRO) forum in the US, and was also a recipient of the 2004 Excellence in Consulting Award given by NIPRO. “Don’t just be a general practitioner; identify something that you can do better at. Grow from being just being a pursuer of business to being sought after.” Durotoye is a specialist in workforce activation and a hot commodity in an industry where he is known as ‘Mr. Passion’. His other half is his other consuming passion. “She’s the greatest gift God has given me.” Durotoye chipped in proudly about his wife who is the Proprietress of renowned TARA Make-Up Studio in Lagos. “There’s no other human being in this world closer to me than my wife. I love her. I admire her as a person.” His marriage, he stated, is a covenant which has made his life much better.

At the 2003 ECOWAS Regional Youth conference, he was the celebrated speaker and thus received a mandate from the ECOWAS secretariat to prepare a 5-year plan for youth empowerment and employment in the 15 member states. But this amazing Nigerian, like Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr., has a dream. “By December 31, 2025, Nigeria would undoubtedly be the world’s most desirable nation to live in.” Though its 17 years away before full maturity, Durotoye drives on passionately about it, in his everyday business. And he works hard for it. Improving productivity in organizations and people are his motivation. Developing the country, he admonished, should be every citizen’s responsibility. “There are some people that are suffering and dying because you are not doing what you are supposed to do. Find solutions to problems. If Nigerians can change their perspective from that of (just being) consumers to producers, then they would begin to see opportunities in every problem and growth in every stratum. Then, we’ll be made.” Durotoye’s believes strongly in his vision for Nigeria. After all, if one Nigerian (Philip Emeagwali) could make 3.1 billion calculations per second, then anything is possible.

Nigeria can become the country of our dreams. But it requires the commitment, passion and responsibility of every of her citizen to make it come true; like the original national anthem says: to build a nation where peace and justice (and all that makes a truly great nation) shall reign. Long Live Nigeria.

59 Comments

  1. A year before I met him, someone has read my work and had exclaimed ‘Fela must see this, you need to meet with Fela’ but I brushed that aside for I simply assumed another kind of Fela Kuti has emmerged in lagos and I didnt think my work has any real relationship with fela Kuti’s approach. Of course, I enjoy his musics.

    After I met FD in 2010 for the first time, I knew I had no choice but stand up and DELIVER THE FUTURE. FD is a thoroughbred. He is ecclectic. I dont know where he got so fed with love, charisma, vision, patriotism, rare wisdom and the ability to communicate all these, but his kind has never been seen before now.

    I thank God daily for him, because he is my brook of inspiration for a great life.

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  2. others invest in youths because of what they can get in return for themselves and their companies but you invest in youths because of what you believe they can do for themselves and their nation at large

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  3. This is a good piece. Keep it up! FD is a rare breed and has giving some of us good courage to pursuing our dreams. I was priviledge to speak on the same platform with him in Ibadan…. He is a man with great God. I have an outfit “TALKBRIDGE” also in Nigeria with focus on Government and Politics, Biblical Entrepreneurship, Youth Development,…. I’m presently in the UK to further my education…. Coming back to my fatherland to build it up together with great minds like FD. God bless Nigeria!

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  4. Am from Cameroon!! am so passionates about Nigeria and he’s peoples.each time l travel to Nigeria, am just like crazy about the hole things.people are so push.when l see a country like Nigeria with the kind of intellectual the nation has, am just so amaze.like this New generation of leaders,fela durotoye, Prof Pat Utomi for does l realy read thier comintment.the country has alote.I Pray Cameroon should rise too and see such things.NIgeria is realy a Great Nation

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  5. I am truly inspired by your words, Mr. fela; its my desire that Nigeria will truly become great again, so Lets us all rise up to the occasion and build a New Nigeria founded on peace, love, rule of law and honest leadership. OU

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  6. I love everything about him,I have seen him come to my school before..,I am also into preaching change in our country.The name of my organization is NEW GENERATION OF NIGERIA LEADERS.Its a new organization.I am the Arrowhead.one day I want get to where you are so that I can so have my inpert

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  7. fela durotye is one man that this world and this generation has that we will forever remember for good. i had an encounter with him last wik friday and my life has changed like neva b4. i have always had a dream to help d motherless but from that day i relaised that my generation awaits me and so also does my world.

    i am just 2 grateful to fela, thou he may nt understand d impact that he has had in my life just in one hr….. he is one man that words cant describe at all………

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  8. Fela has really been a source of inspiration to me. His commitment to excellence, his packaging and branding is without rivalry and exceptional. His passion for National reformation is contagious. I am privileged knowing him.

    Egwim Ndubuisi

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  9. Meeting Fela Durotoye in Ago Iwoye,Ogun State Nigeria(2005), left me with an encounter I don’t have to recover from .This is the hope we Nigerians need.We will surely get there

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  10. This is indeed inspiring and I can testify to this. This is the kind of men we need to associate with. I identify with this

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  11. Fela’ profile is mind blowing. I think if we have ten persons like him in strategic points of administration Nigeria will become what we want her to.

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  12. This is from the Source and the end is Justify by the Beginner. i will like to meet/hear directly from you sir.

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  13. Fela Durotoye is really the man that Nigerian system needs, one who makes something out of nothing per say. The article is encouraging to any Nigerian who really wants to stand out in the crowd.

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  14. I have been opportuned to sit several times under the teaching of FD and he has been of tremendous blessings to me and my family.I serve as one of the servants under Albert Femi Oduwole, and was particularly blessed of him at the Campmeeting 2008, where he made a statement…”when your place of work becomes a place of worship, your desk becomes a alter”…This has really blessed me on my work.

    I am the Head of Business Operations in my company and I am presently having some challenges with leading my people, FD, can you pls give me a direct link to ask you some questions or chat with you.Thank you so much, and God will continually bless you in all your ways.Though you claim to be a witness, but to some of us, you a pastor…

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  15. its a blessing to have such a resourcefull personalty in our generation.

    definitely there is going to be a change.

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  16. Mr. Durotoye. Pls I ll love to get in touch with you. I am currently working on an initiative to change the focus and tap the best for our youths. Can you pls advise me on how best to make an appointment with you via ayofatox@gmail.com. I feel proud seeing Nigerians that have this right thinking and faith for this great country. God bless Nigeria

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  17. He’s too hot to be cold. Im glad you are a Nigerian and you live in Nigeria and that you have a vision for Nigeia. F.D, You will read and hear about me by the time i put your lessons to practice. Thanks

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  18. simply out of nigeria,i can’t wait to meet you,have a whole lot of writings by you.You are a blessing from nigeria to the whole world.Congratulations!

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  19. ….this is a great master piece awesomely presented of a man who is all and more of what is said about him. l ve sat under you just once and you changed my perception…., our generation shall see a greater nigeria… we shall partake of the juice of abundance…. l see it and its sooner than expected…… we are proud of you…. and a Nigeria that is the best place to be born. I love Nigeria…. with all my heart.

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  20. Fela Durotoye is a living inspirational magnet of the 21st century. i have heard about you so much and i decided to check for myself, then reading this article made me to love you the more. keep on keeping on. we love you and we believe you will never disappoint our generation. royal

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  21. A true nigerian to the core,i admire him alot.he has said it all,identify what u are best at&do it with passion surely u shall rise.Jst like Martin Luther King Jr.i love nigeria.

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  22. Without mincing words i want to describe FELA DUROTOYE as a KING, not as a traditional ruler.

    K = Kingdom Builder

    I = Institution Builder

    N = Nation Builder

    G = Generation Builder

    Meeting him has re-oriented me.

    I bless the day i met him.

    Fela is a good guy.

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  23. i served in jos..it was a nightmare 4 me not being arnd the very period he came to jos. I pray i meet him some day cos his articles i’ve read thus far has motivated me 4 greater things.i know that GOD WALKS AND WORKS WITH FD..HE CAN DO the same with you and myself.

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  24. FELA is one of the most gifted speakers on the surface of the earth. i love him with a passion and i believe that the vision God gave him about Nigeria is a big reality. i have been looking for a one on one encounter with him and i hope that the opportunity will be made available. if you read this message, i want to say that as a student of OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ile-ife, I am proud of you. hope to see you at the top.

    Akinyemi Adeyemi Bacon, 08056133374, yemibacon@yahoo.com OAU, IFE

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  25. I heard Fela Durotoye speak for the first time on sunday the 16th of November 2008 at the house on the rock Kaduna City Church and i was greatly inspired and motivated, he was a bleesing. God bless you and together we shall deliver the future through God’s word.

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  26. i just wachted fela’s interview on moments with mo,nd it was life changing.i decided 2 always try nd plan nd make sure i execute them at the right timing.

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  27. Fela Durotoye is a true Nigerian.I believe in his vision.I’ve heard him talk sereral times.He’s greatly inspired me.Greater works than he has done or he is doing,I shall surely do in Jesus Name.God bless Fela & Tara.God Bless Nigeria.

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  28. I met Fela first in 2003 at Ibadan. Since then i have survived from what i heard from him. He is a rare gem.

    I identified with his ideaology.

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  29. Hi NUGGETZMAN, thanks for your write up. I met Fela somewhere in Cross River State at Kwa falls some time s in year 2000.

    The situation then was funny, we were in the same vehicle and we could not recognize ourselves as a family, until when the MC on that beautiful Sunday announced that the Organist today is Bro Durotoye and the speaker is Bro Durotoye. I was immediately noticed by him when I bounced on the Yamaha Organ to play the selected hymns. When it was time for him he gently arose and gave glory to God before he started his sermon for the day. It was a day I could not forget. Fela was highly filled with the Holy Spirit in his speeches, he want to see changes from our leaders in Nigeria. Fela’s a highly gifted and blessed aerator indeed. If we can have 10 Fela Durotoye’s in Nigeria, Nigeria would have been more better for all. I thank God for him and his family.

    Regards,

    Femi Durotoye

    234 805 535 4906

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  30. Hello FD, you are too much. I listened to you the last time you came to HOUSE ON THE ROCK Port Harcourt. Please keep up the good work. I am also developing to be a motivational speaker. I need you as my role model. My number is 08036670623

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  31. it’s an honour to have met and served this man personally. He’s the kind of Boss, Friend , Father, Mentor and Leader everyone deserves. My life can never be the same having known this man.

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  32. I have not met Fela before, but the testimonies I have heard have caused a stirring within me, and I am feel very strongly that Nigeria will be great indeed.. We are the future and with motivators like Fela, we shall build formidable teams to revamp our great nation

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  33. FD is a great person who stands as the symbol of hope in a hopeless situation. His belief in the vision is nso contagious that we can not but believe in it. I love Nigeria with the whole of my heart and i believe we are already on our march to that great destination.

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  34. I came across ‘My Passion’ today and i was so engulfed by the impact he has made on the nigerian youths. i will really appreciate to know more about him and also meet him personally. i will see the latter as a great priviledge. GOD BLESS U AND OUR GREAT COUNTRY.

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  35. i heard fela for the first time in a church service in marry land in the united states. this man of God is loaded, he his an ideal of what Nigeria will become in the future. when i saw him my spirit cried with a load voice, so load that, i thought i was going to blow up saying “i am proudly Nigeria.”if you are reading this and u live D.C or marry land you still have an opportunity to hear him speak on Friday, jun 20 and Sunday 22nd of jun 2008 at Temple of Praise 11301 rhode island avenue, Beltsville MD. Guys let enjoy….

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  36. You are a true Nigerian Man, i respect you a lot especially when you spoke to me physically at the GOTNI SUMMIT last week because i was there, i look forward to that day you bring up young talented Nigerians like me and others in the area of ACTING cos nobody cares what they are after is money but the demand is too much,

    God bless you Sir,

    EMMANUEL KINGSLEY OFEM.

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  37. FD, is the Next Mandela of Africa, I was serving at katsina when i read him in magazine and it was so mind blowing that i left the state same day for Lagos to meet him,and i really meet with him next morning!

    You now have to ask yourself a question “what was it about this man in a page of a magazine for me to react in such a way?”

    Well, today i work with him in Visible Impact Ltd, but it is’nt just about celebrating the man because the FD i know would rather be fulfilled having you and me sarcrifice as much for the greatness of Nigeria.

    Cheers.

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  38. I met and heard Fela Durotoye for the first time at the House on the Rock, The Refuge, Abuja when He spoke and his nessage was titled SUCESS; the enemy of GREATNESS. Since then my thinking and my lifestyle has changed. Thanks to Fela. He is just a dynamic Nigeria emerging with great speed.

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  39. was previledged listen to mr durotoye speak at a church programme in jos called campfire,his passion for nigeria without a doubt ignited my own passion for nigeria and i truelly believe,that nigeria will indeed be the most desirable country in the world.god bless mr durotoye and nigeria.

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  40. i have listened to Fela speak on so many occassions.his passion for nigeria is undoubtably genuine.i feel very hopeful as a nigerian whenevei hear him speak.an experience with Fela will change your life for better for ever.we must all work the work and talk the talk-“by December 31 2025 nigeria will be the world’s most desirable nation to live in.”

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  41. Since the first day I watched Fela speak in my school, UNIBEN some 3 years ago, I knew that this man has serious stuff. I have learnt so much from this wonderful Nigerian. I honestly wish we can find at least 2000 of such people in our country. Fela Durotoye, please keep up the good work. God bless you real good. Onaivi Dania

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  42. This is indeed a nice snippet of the man! I have never met him, but I did listen to a couple of his church speeches/teachings on tape. He speaks wonderfully and comes across as a practicing christian, Born Again. His success and prowess are definitely gifts from God. As Fela continues to make great impact on people, let us hope more Felas will join the team and decisively change Nigeria. As a side note, I got here after trying to navigate his website and the heavy scripts made it almost impossible. We want to contact you, Fela so when you read this, make your site easier to navigate. The world needs you! Kudos to you, Fela. Just as you said, if you are a born again child of God, If you can see the invisible, you can get the impossible!

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  43. Cheers Mr. Durotoye.

    Pls I ll love to get in touch with you.

    I am currently doing something at the grassroot to change the focus and tap the best for our youths.

    Can you pls advise me on how best to make an appointment with you via uodiegwu@yahoo.com.

    I feel proud seeing Nigerians that have this right thinking and faith for this great country.

    Hail Nigeria, our country.

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  44. FD, as we call him, is indeed a great man…

    one i have the privlege of serving daily and learning from through our business (VISIBLE IMPACT, formerly VIP Consulting)

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  45. Thogh I haven’t met Fela in person, he stands out in our generation as a guy who has achieved a lot because he first believed and worked at it till the fruits began to show…and he has eaten of fruit and the joy of fulfillment that it brings.And his wife has risen too because of the man that he is…

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