Adetokunbo Olufeolami was born into the Fela family of professors ‘Layiwola and Adeline Durotoye on May 12, 1971 in the ancient city of Ibadan. His parents were both lecturers at the University of Ibadan —the premier university — as of the time of his birth. From Ibadan, the Durotoye family moved to the then University Of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) located in Ile-Ife, Osun State in Nigeria in 1972. Ile-Ife, historically, prides itself as the cradle of the Yoruba race.
EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
As it is the custom of lecturers to live in the apartments provided by the university management, the Durotoyes lived on the campus quarters where the little Fela started his education. He attended the Staff Children’s School between 1974 and 1981. After his primary education, he proceeded to Moremi High School where he started his secondary education, which he finished in 1986. Having completed his secondary education, he proceeded to the Obafemi Awolowo Unioversity, Ile-Ife, where he obtained a Barchelor’s degree in computer science with Economics. He later had a Master’s degree in Business Administration (M.B.A) as well as a Master of Philosopher in Strategic Management.
He left the shores of Nigeria for the Kennedy School Of Government at the world famous Harvard University, Boston (Massachusetts). He also attended High Impact Leadership for a better society programme at the world class Yale University, New Haven (Conneticut) and The Leadership Institute, Arlington (Virginia), all in the United States Of America. Durotoye is also a Certified leadership coach of the John Maxwell Team.
In 2015, he completed the Executive Seminar Programme on Strategy, Innovative and Governance with specific focus on Sustainability for the Non-Governmental Organisations and corporate organisations at the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS), Pan-Atlantic University, Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. In the same year, Fela Durotoye completed the supernumerary police training programme at the Nigerian Police Training College, Ikeja, and received the Distinguished Student at his graduation and passing out parade.
CAREER BEFORE POLITICS
Fela’s career over the years has straddled lecturing and pure motivational speaking. His professional career began in 1992 as a Project Finance Analyst in Ventures and Trusts Limited. He would later join Phillips Consulting Limited (PCL), in 1998, where his competence earned him the post of Head of Customer Service Group.
In 2000, he founded V.I.P. Consulting Limited, and it did not take long for the company to become a household name and gain a reputation as one of the leading experts in the area of Customer Management and Workforce Activation in Nigeria. Barely seven years after, V.I.P. metamorphosed into Visible Impact Limited. And with the change in name came with the direct change in purpose; it changed from being a management consulting firm into a social enterprise.
The transformation or re-branding of the company added to its existing Consulting group. Four other divisional groups comprising the Project Management group, the Multimedia group as well as the Investment Management and Foundation groups formed the new Visible Impact corporate structure.
Durotoye is currently the Chairman of the boards of Directors of some of Nigeria’s leading companies, including House of Tara International, a leading beauty company in Nigeria with over 4,000 beauty representatives, 22 beauty studios and 12 make-up schools; Homebase Mortgage Bank Limited; I-Aspire Media, operators of Nigeria’s premier inspiration and leadership radio; and ORBRA ICT, manufacturers of cutting-edge smartphones, tablets, smart devices and accessories.
Durotoye currently lectures Ethical Leadership at Stanford University Seed Program to CEOs of businesses with operations across Africa. He is also on the advisory board of Nigeria Canada Forum (NCF) based in Regina, Canada.
Before becoming presidential candidate of the Alliance For New Nigeria (ANN), Durotoye had never held a political post before.
His motivational speaking skill has the tendency to win him people who appreciate the power of diction and elocution. He is known to be a good communicator and motivator, which means regardless of whether his ideas are workable or not, he has the advantage of the ability to make people believe in them.
His religion helps, too. Durotoye is a devout Christian and he has never hidden it. Even when he is on the hustings to address potential voters, he talks more like a pastor than a politician. Since religion is a tool in the hand of politicians to actualise their dreams, some pastors may see Durotoye as the voice of Christians in the political scene and talk their members into voting for him.
The he has broad-based clients. Durotoye has a vast and variegated pool of clients across almost every walk of life.
The Influence of his wife also counts for something. It may sound ridiculous but Fela has a wife with Influence — Tara, founder and CEO of House of Tara International. In 2013, Tara was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was also named one of the Forbes ’20 Young Power African Women’. She has large following that her husband can surely exploit.
Political neophytism. It can be argued that oftentimes Fela mistakes a serious enterprise like governance for motivational speaking. This is very obvious to those who know much about politics and they see him as a joker who cannot be entrusted with their mandate.
Religion. His ‘churchy’ disposition may cost him the votes of the electorate who are of other religious persuasions apart from Christianity, as well as the atheists.