July 28, 2018

Who is Fela Durotoye?

Fela Durotoye speaks in an open town hall in Houston Texas, images by Msada's Creative Studio
You may refer to him as a consultant, motivational speaker, in some cases an untraditional pastor. He's also the 2019 Nigerian presidential candidate aspirant. Many have lost faith in Nigerian politics, thought of as an institution that has abandoned Nigerian citizens, fraught with corruption, enriches the lives of those that choose it while leaving the country in abject poverty, in decayed infrastructures, high inflation, high unemployment rates, encourages crime and more corruption.

"It's time to arise and build a new Nigeria."
Mr. Durotoye vows to change all of that.

" The time has come for our generation to build a coalition of ideas around a strong ideology of a New Nigeria where things work and everyone is working to make things work. A new Nigeria is every country that we're currently struggling to get Visas to... where things work, and people are able to find opportunity to dream and to pursue their dreams." Fela Durotoye aspires to build a new Nigeria that can compete with countries like Dubai, the USA or Singapore, the Nigeria that its founding fathers had in mind post independence. Asked about his ongoing campaign through Alliance for A New Nigeria (ANN) his chosen party, he states that his party is involved and arousing constituents at the grassroots with no government or god-father funding. Mr. Durotoye is actively rounding up different regions of Nigeria and the diaspora, holding open town halls where many are invited to meet him, hear him speak and are free to ask him questions. His recent visit to Houston Texas was met with a decent turn out by many that were at least curious.

Click for more images of Fela Durotoye in Houston

A gifted motivational speaker that he is, his audience soaked his words up. "I came to take sleep away from you, even though you have constant power; I came to put the pain in your heart, for every life that is lost in Nigeria even though you feel safe where you sleep in Houston." He is appealing that Nigerians in the diaspora take responsibility for the new Nigeria, we should all own this cause, for it's not just his cause, but ours. Asked how Nigerians in the diaspora can contribute or become part of his campaign, he states that it starts by first taking ownership of it, even though they cannot vote, they have the power to influence those that can. Since this is a grassroots effort, donations are essential. "He who pays the piper dictates the tune." The the people at the top have always influenced Nigerian elections with their large donations and they expect a return on their investment, with an agenda that would not benefit the country. He also notes that the majority of educated Nigerians do not vote, the less educated could be swayed with a few Naira, as a result, Nigeria is left with career politicians with no interest in the country. A GoFundMe has been set up for donations and can be accessed here
Conversing with the man who wants to make a new Nigeria a reality, photo by Msada's Creative Studio

He realizes there are skeptics out there that would question his intentions for wanting to run for president. "So what if I don't run for president? Does that make you feel better? I lose nothing, I'm living a great life." He decided to run because if he had done much of the things that he had been known for  - a sought-after business strategist with the exceptional ability to transform big corporations' leadership structure and culture, then with position and authority, this impact can be multiplied. 

Asked about the position of women if he were to win and assume the presidency, he believes the role of women to be vital, he's a champion for women empowerment. "Women empowerment is not a nice thing to do, it is a great thing to do, when we do it, the nation gets the benefit of it. Women are equal value creators, deserve equal seat at the table with men." He is willing to run with a woman vice president. In his administration, women and men would have a 50% seat at the table, not 35%.

Fela Durotoye is from Ile Ife from SouthWest Nigeria, part of Obafemi Awolowo university alumni as well as Harvard, Yale and the Leadership Institute in Arlington, Virginia. Wife is famed Nigerian cosmetics mogul Tara Fela Durotoye. 

More on Fela Durotoye can be found here.


IT IS TIME TO ARISE AND BUILD A NEW NIGERIA
IT IS TIME TO ARISE AND BUILD A NEW NIGERIA

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