I am Emmanuel Damilola Osoteku, a 23 year old God addict, a passionate speaker and the author of the book titled; YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES: Unveiling the Power Within. I am so committed to making people’s and organizations lives better than the way I met them. All I live for is to helping people Discover, Develop and Deploy their Gifting and Capacities in other to be a blessing to Humanity.
Meanwhile, I presently serve as the founding president of one of the fast growing NGO in Nigeria, Global Impact Generation widely known as GIG which recently led to the birth of The Emmanuel Damilola Osoteku Foundation with her core project of FEED A FAMILY INITIATIVE.
Also, I presently serve as the Director of Program at Global Leaders Leadership Academy(GLLA),a social Enterprise oriented Leadership Development Schoolwith the aim of empowering individuals in various spheres of life on leadership development, which will in turn help them take up leadership responsibilities that will transform their lives, family, society, nations and world at large.
Story that inspired you to start your FEED A FAMILY initiative:
One of the biggest dreams God gave me during my encounters few years ago when it all started was to run a Foundation that will cater for underserved and underprivileged Children and Aged parents.
The initiative was finally birth as was touched deeply while I was traveling to Lagos, Nigeria.
I was seated somewhere close to the window of the cab I boarded from Oshogbo, Osun State and while the car was moving, when we got to IWO ROAD in Ibadan, I gazed through the window of the car and felt dejected as I saw old women and children hawking the streets selling petty things.
I have always seen such virtually everywhere but this one was different. I was touched like never before as I saw a particular small child not up to 5 years or so trading petty goods that aren’tup to #200 Naira in total sales… She was looking tired and hungry. I felt so bad and I asked myself, why? God! Why?
Then, it dawned on me, in my spirit that hunger and poverty has made many children become slaves out there because their parents couldn’t afford to guaranty a single day meal for them.
As we approached Redemption Camp along Ibadan Express way, I don’t know what came over me, I just screamed Yes! Thank You Jesus! Everyone in the bus thought something was wrong with me because the car was going well but they never knew what i received from Above that moment.
While seated there at that moment, I heard God speaking to me through my spirit, “EMMANUEL, FEED FAMILIES FOR ME! PEOPLE NEED YOUR HELP. THEY DEPEND ON YOU!” there and then, I made up my mind to start the initiativeThe Emmanuel Damilola Osoteku Foundation(TEDOF)and I less than one month we have been able to feed 23 Families and still counting.
What is the one thing you find to be true that most people would disagree with?
If you want to go FAST, go alone but if you want to go FAR go with others.
Lessons that have impacted the way that I work: The two lessons that have impacted my work over time are;
God first and other things can follow.
It takes TeamWork to make the DreamWork.
If I was to do some ventures again, what would I do differently?
I will learn to manage people effectively/ efficiently and learn how to solve their problems faster…
What was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Believing in myself even when others don’t.
I could remember when I wanted to start out 5 years ago, precisely 2012; I was discouraged by many people. Some felt I was too young and can’t attain any height because I lack the resources, support and finance. I was from a poor family and barely do we even have what to eat each day and here am I talking about reaching out and impacting lives… it seems impossible and unrealistic. But glory to God, today, the story has change and I am now an inspiration to hundreds and thousands of individuals in my country Nigeria, Africa and world at large.
Which is more rewarding? Making your start up a success, or being able to continue keeping it successful?
Being able to continue keeping it successful is far more rewarding for me.
Anyone can grow a business or venture to be successful but not all can sustain and maintain it. It is just similar to the saying that your talent can get you to the top but only your charactercankeep you there. For me, maintaining and sustenance have been key and more benefiting to me.
How did you develop key partnership?
If truly everything rise and falls on leadership, then, I personally strongly much more believe that everything in leadership rise and falls on communication.
I have grown over time knowing how to relate and create partnership because I have learnt how to build effective communication skills which in turn help me create long and lasting mutual benefiting relationshipswith people and organizations.
How did you get funded or what creative strategies did you use to collect fund?
Surprisingly, I rarely write letters and pleading for help here and there. First and foremost, it is important to know that I didn’t just start this by myself but God called me into what I am doing and having that mentality alone keeps me going daily.
What I focus on majorly is impacting people and spending time investing in their lives and in turn, when a need arise for me to raise fund for any project or so, these individualsin different parts around the world voluntarily donate and contribute without me even asking. Most time, some of them run online campaigns to raise funds and believe me, there is nothing more fulfilling that seeing lives you transformed carrying out your own personal project voluntarily.
What habits helped make you successful?
Humility, Integrity, Discipline.
What mind-set helped make you successful?
Being BLACK doesn’t connote LACK. Meaning, irrespective of the colour of my skin or nationality,I can attain any heights of greatness in life. Having this mind set blew me up into a new dimension.
What was your biggest mistake?
Not starting what I am presently doing early.
How did you deal with failure?
I learn from them. Failing forward has always been the key.
What was Unexpected?
What did you learn?
Never give up. Tough time don’t last, tough people do.
What would you have done differently?
Believe in people but don’t trust with all your heart.
If you could time travel back to day one of your start up and have 15 min with your former self to communicate any lessons you’ve acquired with the intention of saving yourself mistakes and heart ache, what would you tell yourself?
Firstly, put God first andsecondly get a mentor or a role model who can guide you through the rough and tough situations and give you timely advice for each seasons of your life.