Femi Otedola is great in many things—businessman and investor, husband and father, all-round public figure. However, to the average news-sensitive Nigerian, Otedola is a philanthropist extraordinaire. On his 58th birthday, felicitations will be pouring in from all angles to celebrate a man whose prestige is built around the people.
Femi Otedola was born on November 4 in the imperial city of Ibadan. Within this length of time, Otedola has managed to give breath to his origin, and he isn’t shaming his forebears at all.
To the business community, Femi Otedola is a champion of long-term investments. Alongside a markedly instinctive grasp of the threads of fortune and Providence, Otedola’s mainstream business polishing is such that he never falls short of the mark, as evidenced by the long strings of success. This is why his former status as Forte Oil Chairman did not at all bruise his other chains of enterprise, especially shipping, real estate and finance.
But who knows Femi Otedola better than his family? His wife, Nana, is lovely and un-aging, and their four kids are their heart and joy. Little needs to be said about his second daughter, Florence Ifeoluwa ‘DJ Cuppy’ Otedola, who is herself a flint off the Otedola gemstone.
But Femi Otedola’s primary status is that of a super philanthropist.
It is rare to find true benefactors, people whose hearts beat for the underprivileged, and to whose credit both friends and foreigners are grateful for every cup and every plateful. Femi Otedola is the people’s darling for this very reason.
From UniUyo lecturer, Inih Ebong, to Super Eagles coach, Christian Chukwu, to Tinsel actor, Victor Olaotan, to former Super Eagles goalkeeper, Peter Fregene, to reggae icon, Majek Fashek, and actor, Sadiq Daba, the number of those who have received life-saving help from Femi Otedola continues to grow. As a reference, Otedola donated $50,000 (19 million) for Chukwu and exactly double that amount (38 million) for Olaotan.
It’s so not unexpected that the world is standing on its toes to wish Femi Otedola a happy 58th birthday and many merry returns. As ThisDay’s Philanthropist of the Decade award has shown (alongside myriad others, including the South African 2019 African Philanthropist of the Year award), the man has earned it.