How I bought my 1st Multi-million Naira Lekki home—Dr. Ope Banwo + Story of the seminar that gave him his first jackpot

Dr. Ope Banwo, Lawyer, Pastor & IT Guru

“If I give you my word,
I follow through with it. I don’t take nonsense; I could have a very brash
personality because that is who I am. You don’t make things happen by being a
nice guy.  I am not a nice guy; I hope
you understand what I am saying?
Dr. Ope Banwo
With the aforementioned description
of himself, I welcome you to the story of the life of Dr. Ope Banwo. He is famously addressed as “The Wealth Apostle” with the tag of an entrepreneur, attorney,
author, motivational speaker and internet business consultant hanging on his
clean image.  Dr. Banwo holds a Ph-D in law and has published several books on law,
personnel development, internet marketing and Christian lifestyle. He is
currently the CEO of American Internet
Business School
; Chairman, Afrinet
business solutions
and partner, Banwo
and Igbokwe, LLC.
Sometimes ago I invited him to
deliver a lecture titled “Blogging for
Profit”
at a leading Magazine firm where I contribute as an editor. The
event which was strictly for staff and other media professionals recorded a
huge success and few months later, many of the young guys who sat in the room
with Dr. Banwo had gone to seek a
new career in digital media. He later came for a second lecture but the room
was half empty this time around. However, he shared some of the secrets of his
life with your Africa’s Number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog, Asabeafrika. The story which has remained unpublished for a long
time is brought for your enjoyment today. Read why you need to be on the
internet from the guru. Enjoy


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Why did you come
up with the Nigeria Dot Com Awards?

The IT Guru and Investment attorney shows us a brochure of the Nigeria Dot Com Award

Nigeria Dot Com Awards is actually a product of the American
Business School
which I am the founder and CEO and Afrinet Business Solutions
which is also my internet business company. We believe that Nigeria is just
catching fire as far as the internet business is concerned. Five years ago,
virtually, people just see the internet as a place to go and play. But in the
last 3 or 4 years a lot of businesses has started taking interest, a lot of
things have started happening on the internet. We have the Iroko TV, we have Konga, and we have Jumia and a lot of enterprises taking the
space on the internet. All of a sudden people are beginning to see the
potential of the internet for exploding their business online and we felt that
one of the ways to help those businesses grow is to create an event that honors
and encourage growth.

Dr. Ope Banwo gives the GDA one of his books on Internet entrepreneurship and digital business

As a lawyer with offices here and in the United
States
, I am more or less semi
retired myself and I have begun to focus exclusively on internet business
because I know that is the future for Nigeria. And I think that one of the ways
to help the industry to grow is to start recognizing the best efforts on the
internet.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika…,’We want to create an award that encourages everybody to compete on the internet’

And that is why we did the first Nigerian
Dot Com Awards
in collaboration with American
Internet business school
where we rewarded a lot of initiatives; for
instance the best internet payment platform provider, the best e-commerce
website, the best website design, the best internet marketer, the best internet
training school, the best internet social forum, the best hospitality provider,
the best internet newspaper online, the best television station online, the
best radio station online, the best internet magazine, the best politician on
the internet were all commended as a way of making the business competitive and
getting people to do better exploits on the internet. Once you start putting
recognition award in any industry you will help it to grow and I can see that
some of our people are doing awesome jobs.

How do you rate a successful online
business?

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’The internet is the next place where everything happens’

Let’s take
for instance; if you are to take newspapers, when you look up, the newspaper
hierarchy is clear. If all us here are to name five newspapers doing well
offline, we are likely going to get four names that will come up on the list
but the internet is different. Far and away and beyond any newspaper in Nigeria
today, Vanguard is killing them.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I am here to help entrepreneurs find their footing on the net’

People don’t know that; what Vanguard
is not making offline they are probably making online and there are many
companies like that. So, the internet is like a new market place where those
who are dominating offline are not necessarily going to be people who are going
to dominate online and online is going to be where the money is going to be now
because the money always follows the people. Right now I think more than 70% of
Nigerians have a face book account. That is where they are, they spend 4 to 5
hours on the Facebook, and most of them are on twitter.  Very soon people are going to start figuring
out how to chase them down with products on face book because the people will
buy where they are. So, those who get into the business of figuring out how to
do internet marketing are the ones who are going to make the money.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabearika….’I find it difficult defining myself’


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Can you define Dr. Ope Banwo?  
That is one
question I typically don’t like to answer, I tell people ‘form your opinion about me’.
But one thing is sure and I think you know that. I don’t think anybody would
meet me and not remember me, it is either you are going to hate me or you are
going to love me but there is nothing like ‘Oh,
Ope Banwo, Ope
Banwo, I don’t
remember that guy’
.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I have brought dynamism to law and Entertainment, those two’

It can’t happen, why, because I am very forceful in
what I believe in. So, when all is said and done I want people to remember me
as a business solutions provider in whatever industry I set myself. In law, I
was the first to file a class action law suit against the banks over the failed
financial crisis couple of years back. I made my mark with the action. In
entertainment my record speaks for itself about Stingomania Records. We may not have had the kind of financial success
we need in the market but we are the only Nigerian record label that will take
a totally unknown artiste or group of artistes and spend money and time and energy
trying to build them up. To some people, that is suicidal but to me that is
what I want to do. I made my mark wherever I go, I want people to see me as a
man that is passionate about everything that he set his mind to do.  I don’t do things by half measures.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I don’t play nice guy for failure. It is better i am nasty and successful’

It is
either I do it very well or I am not doing it at all. I want people to see me
as a man of his word, if I give you my word, I follow through with it. I don’t
take nonsense; I could have a very brash personality because that is who I am.
You don’t make things happen by being a nice guy.  I am not a nice guy; I hope you understand
what I am saying? I believe my own gift from God is to be an activator and an
initiator. I am not a manager, if I did anything wrong in Dove Media (His first big
corporation he set up for the Redeemed Christian Church of God), I stayed too
long. Dove should have
been a one year assignment; of course with the help and support of Daddy
G.O
I was able to raise over five hundred million naira in less
than six weeks. How many people can do that? I was able to start a company that
in less than one year, we became the number one (entertainment) distribution
company in Nigeria.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’Dont bring me to your business if all is going well with you but if you need a new start, i am the right guy for you’

All of that works
well with my personality, making things happen, kicking balls, firing people,
kicking people, yelling at people, making things happen. But a different kind
of talent is required to manage a company when the company is set and I don’t
have that talent. I am smart enough to acknowledge that now. I am a tinkerer, I
like to tinker, and my friends call me tinkerer. I like to tinker, take things
around. That gift is good to a certain extent but it gets to a point when you
remove that kind of a person and you allow a manager who can maintain a system
run the show. And sometimes I have made the mistake of staying too long in
organizations, so, everything I put my hands on now, when I start, I tell them ‘just give me two years’.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I don’t practice bureaucracy’

I am not a
bureaucrat, anytime I want to be one, problem happens. Like in Dove when
we got to a point when we started getting bureaucratic, I couldn’t play the
politics any longer. I am too direct to be political, I say my mind and most
times that doesn’t work well with powers that be. But if they need to get
something started, somebody like me can make it happen because I am not
apologetic. I do what I believe is right and I have no problem upsetting
anybody. I am not vying for any elective position; I am not trying to get
people to like me. So, that is the way I see myself and that is the way I want
people to see me, that if you need somebody to make things happen, if you need
somebody to innovate, to build from scratch, I am your guy.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I kick ass and i get things done. That is my nature’

But once your house
is in order and everything is working well, I am not your guy any longer, don’t
hire me for that. If you have a problem in your company and you need to sought
it out, you need to kick balls, you need to get it back on winning ways, I am
your guy but when there is stability and your company is making success, don’t
call me because I will probably mess it up because when I get there, I am going
to say ‘we can do this better, we can
change this, we can change that’
and sometimes that is not what is needed.
It took me a long time to come to that realization that I am a zero-to-One- guy and I am not a 1-to-infinity guy. Zero-to-1 is the most difficult for a lot of people getting stuffs
started.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I am a zero-to-one-hero’

That is why I am having so much success in having guys get started on
the internet. I can take you from Zero-to-1,
zero-to-1 is getting started to make
money, how you maintain it and sustain it, you need another person, that is not
my thing and it is not a curse. It is not something to be ashamed of because a
lot of us have that mindset that you did something two, three years and walk
away, people see it as if you are abandoning a project. That you have
abortions, no, there is a different skill that is required take a project from
grand zero to the sky and I am not apologetic.

What is the secret of your success?

Dr. Ope Banwo in a straight encounter with the GDA

That is a
very interesting question but I will answer it anyway; I believe in values
rather than money and that is what makes the life of an innovator. I am a
stickler for values, my worth is in what I do as a lawyer, as a pastor, as an
IT expert, as an author and a motivational speaker. However, let me give you
one story that could motivate someone to be different.

Dr. Ope Banwo to the GDA….’I look out for values in whatever i do not money’

Right from time, I don’t
look out for money in whatever I do but I look out for the values I can give
and to God be the glory, those values always bring me fortunes and wealth. In 2009 when I returned from the United
States
, I took residence at Southern
Sun Hotel, Ikoyi, Lagos and I used
to organize seminars on internet business and sundry themes. As an investment
attorney, I was invited by

Femi Awoyemi, CEO, www.proshareng.com, the man who organized the seminar that gave Dr. Ope Banwo his Lekki Peninsular home break in 2009

Femi Awoyemi of Proshare Nigeria; his portal was organizing a seminar titled “The
Margin Loan Crisis and the way forward”.
It was the first week of
either June or July of 2009 and I was invited as a key note speaker to talk
about dealing with the margin loan crisis and I spoke on the topic “7
LEGAL WAYS TO AVOID PAYING YOUR MARGIN LOAN”
and that was it. After the
seminar, people collected my complimentary cards and because I gave a prophetic
declaration at that seminar, I was taken as a prophet of sort.

Dr. Ope Banwo to Asabeafrika….’I predicted that 5 banks MDs will lose their job after my seminar and it happened’

I said before
the bank crisis dust settles down, not less than 5 bank MDs would lose their
jobs. As God would have it, that was exactly what happened the very next week
when the then CBN Governor, Sanusi
Lamido Sanusi
removed 5 bank MDs. Although I had no idea that was going
to happen, I just looked at the situation then, and made a prediction based on
what I have read on the health of some banks. However, after the seminar I
started getting calls from many participants who were also victims of the
margin loans crisis who wanted me to help them in court and because of my
authority on the issue,

The GDA & The Doctor shares a joke during the course of the encounter

I became a sort of last hope for them and I think at
the last count I had fourteen of them at N3million naira per person and that
was how I bought my Lekki Peninsular
property.

The GDA gets a copy of one of Dr. Ope Banwo’s Internet Entrepreneurship book

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