Tuesday, 17 January 2017

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


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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 The story which has remained unpublished for a long time is brought for your enjoyment today.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


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'

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

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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