Why I resigned as the head pastor of my church – Dr. Ope Banwo | Says “I am a zero-to-one guy”

Dr. Ope Banwo specially authographs his new book ‘African Internet Business Manifesto to Gbenga Dan Asabe’

Founding
Managing Director of the Redeemed Christian Church of God
owned Dove Media Group and former top member of the
RCCG has revealed for the first time reasons why he left the shores of Nigeria
7 years ago for the United States of America where he established and ran his
own church, House on the Rock at
Omaha, Nebraska, United States of America before he returned to Nigeria recently
to join the late Pastor Gabriel Oduyemi’s Bethel Ministries in Lagos as an
Associate Pastor. Speaking to your number 1 African Celebrity Encounter blog asabeafrika
inside his Lekki Peninsular, Lagos, South West Nigeria office recently  Dr. Ope Banwo, a Ph-D holder in law
who is the founder of American Internet Business School
and the initiator of the Africa Internet Business Summit which
will hold a second edition on November 22nd  2014 revealed to this blog some of the
interesting things he found out in majority Christians when he held sway as the
Head Pastor of a church he founded in Omaha, Nebraska, USA before he resigned
after appointing a resident pastor to lead.

“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’. 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”


Asking
Dr.
Ope Banwo
who broke his silence on his exit from Dove Media to us in an
earlier post to define himself was one task the lawyer-turned-cleric-turned IT
guru found tasking as well and he came like this “That is one question I
typically don’t like to answer, I tell people ‘form your opinion’. 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’. 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”
Dr. Banwo….’Myles Munroe told me I am a sprinter and not a marathoner’

Dr Banwo took time to highlight
some of his major achievements in various endeavors “In law I was the first to
file a class action law suit against the banks over the failed banking system
over six years ago. I made my mark with the action. In entertainment my record
speaks for itself with Stingomania. We may not have had the
kind of financial success we need in the market; there are lots of big record
labels but we are the only Nigerian record label that will take totally unknown
artistes and spend money and time and energy trying to build them up.

Dr. Ope Banwo to the GDA….’I discovered a lot of people knew how to solve their own problem but only love to disturb their pastors’
To some
people that is suicidal but to me that is what I wanted 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. It is either I
do it very well or I am not doing it. 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; 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) 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
in less than 6 weeks. How many people can do that? I was able to start a
company that in less than one year we were the number one distribution company
in Nigeria. All of that works well with my personality, making things happen,
kicking balls, firing people, kicking people, yelling at people, making things happen”.

“I am not a manager; if I did anything wrong in Dove (Media) 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 in less than 6 weeks. How many people can do that? I was able to start a company that in less than one year we were the number one distribution company in Nigeria. All of that works well with my personality, making things happen, kicking balls, firing people, kicking people, yelling at people, making things happen”.


Dr. Ope Banwo….’In hiring me for a work you must know that i dont like confortable zones. I like building new bridges’
I am not a nice guy

On
why his talent couldn’t sustain him as Dove Media MD/CEO after helping the
company to record quantum success, Dr Banwo traced it to his rare gift
of starting and leaving it for someone else to take to the next level. The 50
years old legal expert also declared that he is not a nice guy when it comes to
taking business decisions “I think a different kind of talent is required to
manage when something is set and I don’t have that. I am smart enough to
acknowledge that now. I am 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, so, everything I put my hand on now, when
I start I tell them ‘just give me two years’. I am not a bureaucrat, anytime I
want to be, problem happens. Like in Dove when we got to a point when we
started getting bureaucratic, I couldn’t play the politics. 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 are right and have
no problem upsetting anybody. I am not vying for any elective post; 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.

The Lawyer & IT expert showing some of his itineries for the oncoming Nigerian Dot Com Awards in November

But once your house is in order and everything is working well, I am not your
guy, 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 done; 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
One-to-infinity guy. Zero-to-One is the most difficult level for a lot of
people getting stuff started. That is why I am having so much success in having
guys get started on the internet. I can take you from Zero-to-One, zero-to-one
is getting started to make money, how you maintain it and sustain is for
another person, that is not my thing and it is not a curse. It is not something
to be ashamed about 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 projects. That you have abortions; no, there is a different skill is
required and I am not apologetic”

Dr. Ope Banwo…’My achievements don’t come with small action’

My Real Philosophy
Taking
this blog further on what guides his views about life, Dr. Ope Banwo gave out
what he described as his real philosophy of life “Never ever let people define
you. Never be bullied into silence”. The author of the book Social
Media Genesis
and African Internet Business Manifesto continued
“Never allow you to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life;
define yourself. Never follow the crowd; those are my rules for success. Never
let people define you, don’t be defined by money be defined by opportunities.
Run your own race, what is happening is that a lot of us see that this is what
is happening and we all rush there but God has set everyone aside for his own
race. I am not envious of people who are running their race even if they are
making more money because for me it is never about the money if it is about the
money I will stay with law only and make lots of money there. For me, it is
about being the best that you can at any point in time and don’t regret the
things that you can not be. That is what all of us do, for many years I did
that. At some point I said maybe something is wrong with me. I started my first
business at the age of 21; I became an MD of a PLC in Nigeria at the age of 24.
International
Funding Group PLC, I worked there in
1990 and 1991 I was the MD and I handed six hundred million naira in deposit,
what is Dove? That was really the one where I made a mark but it has
been too long for me to even remember because everybody is talking Dove.
But the point of the matter is that each of those ones, my tenure was less than
two years. But for some years I kept saying ‘maybe something is wrong with me
o’ or maybe ‘somebody cursed me’ because after three years I just lose interest
in everything and I am trying to forge myself to start going.”



Dr. Ope Banwo to asabeafrika ‘I am a Zero-to-One Guy’

“Question number one, what is the problem that needs counseling: question number two, what do you think is the solution to this problem that you have; thinking and praying over it, what do you think is the solution to this problem? And then you fill it out and you sign. You know what happens? 99% of the time people actually wrote down the solution to their problems. So, when they come into my office, I read it and say ‘ehen! Go and do likewise’. And my counseling became thirty seconds; after sometime I didn’t see anybody again”


 

 

What I told them at Bethel Church

Dr. Banwo shared his recent
experience at his new church Bethel
Ministries
where he is now an associate pastor with this blog “When I
joined Bethel Wonder City I went there to help them to restructure the
church, you can go there today and see what has happened but I told the General
Overseer (Reverend Mrs. Oduyemi) from day one, I said I am a two years guy. The
first year I will give you one hundred and ten percent; the second year I will
give you a hundred percent, the third year I give you zero percent. I am not a
marathon guy, I am a sprinter and I am very comfortable with myself. And Dr. Myles Munroe helped me to come to
that because he was also my spiritual mentor and friend. And he said to me “Ope, you have a spirit of a sprinter, so
keep sprinting. When you keep sprinting hand over go sprint here, hand over.
Sprint there, hand over that at the end of your life you would have created so
much that you would have maximized your talent rather than trying to fix
yourself into the role of a manager”
.

Dr. Ope Banwo….’I can start your organization for you but dont expect me to maintain it for you’
Dr. Ope Banwo to asabeafrika ‘In taking business decisions i am not a nice person’

For instance, if I am required to do
the same thing over and over I will probably commit suicide. If I am asked to
resume into this office every morning and I have to open this book and I have
to read it and do the same thing again tomorrow, do the same thing next
tomorrow I will become a miserable guy. But if I come to take up a vision,
there is nothing happening, everybody is just lazing about, I give this one a
punch, get this done, get that done I come alive and I could work twenty four
hours. So, that is me. Just see me as somebody who can help you get from
zero-to-one and leave it to God to help you take it up from there. That is the way
I see myself, I know it is brutal but one of the best ways to get on in life is
to be very honest and brutal about your own self assessment. I have done it and
I am very, very comfortable. For a long time, I have never been to court in
almost six months, I told my head of chambers I said ‘this thing is running
smoothly now, you can take it on’. I am thinking of a new thing to do, in the
legal profession I love initiating. When we started the bank fraud class action
cases I don’t sleep, we put things together because we want to fight all the
SANs. Everything has stabilized now and I am not interested.  The same thing I did with the entertainment
industry, today I am on the internet reform and mass education, I am not
sleeping. I have written four books in one year. I have more than twenty
profitable websites and I just established the American Internet business school
with my partners in the USA, I created Afrinet village, I created the African
business solution
and many of them like that”

Dr Ope Banwo and Gbenga Dan Asabe shares a joke

Life as a pastor and what people love
to pretend about

Dr. Ope Banwo told asabeafrika the story of
his short term ministry in the USA as a pastor of a church and what he found
out about people as a spiritual leader “Even as a pastor, I had to hand over my
church. I started a church in the US, House
on the Rock,
not related to the House
on the Rock
here (Owned by Pastor Paul Adefarasin)  but after two years I appointed a pastor, I am
not doing again, you go and run the church. Some will say the call of God is
without repentance, I know it is without repentance but the call of God did not
say you should stay in one place and keep doing what is not your calling. So, I
walked away from pasturing; I started two churches. I am ready to start ten
more because the idea is to use my money to start it, do it truthfully then
hand it over to somebody. I don’t get money from my churches, they don’t pay me
any money, I am not doing it as an investment but I am happier rather than me
being a pastor for five to six, seven years and I have to pray and fast
everyday for people who don’t even want to go to heaven to start with”

Dr. Ope Banwo…’Nobody can meet me and say he forgets who I am’
Dr. Ope Banwo….’As a clergy in America i found out a lot of people are not really interested in going to heaven’

No pastor can force people to go to
heaven

“A
lot of people don’t want to go to heaven and you can’t force them. Some people
can do that and be helping them. When people come to me (for counseling) 99% of
the time people know the solution to their problems. I decide to stop doing
counseling in my church; people would come over ‘ah, they have heard very
beautiful sermon and they want to see pastor’ I was now working so hard and I
said ‘this can not be the life God want me to run o, where I am counseling
after church, I am counseling up to 7pm, what is going on here?’. So, I came up
with a plan, if you come to me and you say you want to see pastor, no problem.
I will tell my secretary and they will give you a piece of paper. ‘Please write
down what is your problem, why do you want to see pastor.

Question number one,
what is the problem that needs counseling: question number two, what do you
think is the solution to this problem that you have; thinking and praying over
it, what do you think is the solution to this problem? And then you fill it out
and you sign. You know what happens? 99% of the time people actually wrote down
the solution to their problems. So, when they come into my office, I read it
and say ‘ehen! Go and do likewise’. And my counseling became thirty seconds;
after sometime I didn’t see anybody again. So, a lot of people know the
solution to their problem but they are looking for somebody to hold their
hands, pet them, lay hands on them and I wasn’t cut out for that. Some pastors
are, that is their talent that is what they do. I am not saying it is bad. But
I am simply saying my style is so un-pastor like. Somebody comes to meet you
and say ‘sir, I want to leave my wife’ and you say ‘ok, what did your wife do,
why do you want to leave your wife, why do you think this is a good idea, why
do you think this is a bad idea?

The GDA in the heart of the encounter with the legal icon & IT Expert, Dr. Ope Banwo
Dr. Ope Banwo to asabeafrika….’The best policy you can give yourself is to be able to define who you are’
By the time you are looking at the issue, the
person quotes the passages in the Bible that says it is a bad idea. So, what do
you want me to say?; okay number two, number three, number four, go and do
likewise and I lay hands on them. They go, within thirty minutes my counseling
is over. I have seen forty people but people don’t like that. So, to me, that
is what I am. I am about practicality, I am about being real to yourself, even
when I was a pastor I will acknowledge every Sunday that I am not a perfect
guy; I am just struggling too to make heaven. I am not trying to make
holier-than-thou. This is what God said we should do, this is what he said we
should not do. If you cannot deal with it, go deal with your God I am trying to
do my own and when I got tired I handed over. The same thing in business; this American
Internet
business school
that everybody is so excited about and even the white
guys that are my partners, in the next two years I might not be interested in
it again. So, right now I already have somebody who is going to take over. That
is my new style; before I embark on a business I already have a successor. So, that
I can train him through the first two years because the third year I may wake
up and wouldn’t feel like going to the office regardless of how much money the
business is making. Because that is me, I am a sprinter, I am not a marathoner”.
The GDA meets Dr. Ope Banwo

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