OTUNBA GHADAFI: How one man turned shit into big business.


An Igbo adage says, “Ego di na Ogwu”. This literally means that “money is in thorns”. This is one way of saying that money is not easy to come by, but another way of interpreting it, is that money is in unpleasant places.

I like the last interpretation better, because I have discovered that truly, money hides in unpleasant places. This is the very reason why it is more difficult for  “Ajaebo” people to find money. Real “Ajaebos” are clean people eating money that someone else found in the dirt. It could be their parents wealth, or their spouse.

But primary wealth comes from unpleasant places (Secondary wealth on the  hand, comes from primary wealth. Example, banks that use primary wealth made by business men to make secondary wealth etc ).

Agriculture is a source of primary wealth, and it is not pleasant to many. Even extracting minerals form the ground, is a very dirty and messy business. Whether it is Diamonds, Gold, Tin, or even crude oil.

No wonder the great Thomas Edison said that opportunity come dressed as work, thus many people miss it.


And what can be messier than shit ? But one great entrepreneur Mr. Isaac Durojaiye Agbetusin aka Otunba Gadafi proved once more that money can be found in unpleasant places.


Otunba Ghadafi made his millions as the founder of Dignified Mobile Toilet (DMT), with over 19 branches in Nigeria, and 7 in West African sub-region.

Otunba Ghadafi was born in lagos, he had his early education at Ipetu-Ijesa Grammar School, Osun State.  He later attended Accra Polytechnic, Ghana, briefly before proceeding to Eastern College of Technology, United Kingdom.

In the UK, he worked as security personnel. After a while, Mr Isaac was not satisfied with life in the white man’s land, believing that he could offer more to his fatherland, he returned back to Nigeria.

Things got bad for him, to the point that he had to sell his car stereo to feed, but he preserved, until he was hired by the late Chief Moshood Abiola as  his Chief security officer.

Otunba Ghadafi did not gain much financially in his new position, but he gained wisdom from the late business man,

“…In terms of financial gains, I would say I did not make much. But I learnt some virtues in him. When you are so close to a man like that, you shouldn’t look at what you gain from him financially. You should avail yourself of the ability to learn what makes him tick. Chief was humble; he commands humility and respect……..Another thing I learnt from that man was that he doesn’t give up; he never believes in impossibility. He was hardworking and passionate about it………”

Otunda’s opportunity came in 1991, while planning the wedding ceremony of his bosses’ son, Kola. Having been charged with handling security, he discovered that only two toilets were available for the anticipated 10,000 guests.

So with three containers, he constructed 18 toilets, six toilets in each container and the result? And that was how the idea of Dignified Mobile Toilet (DMT) was born.

Shortly after 1993, the election saga cut short his employment with MKO, and so in 1996 Otunba Ghadafi set up DMT. For the next 4 years, Otunba Ghadafi did not get a single order for his mobile toilet ! At this point, many people would have given up, but not Otunba, he was convinced of the opportunity in shit business.

Eventually, his mobile toilet was hired, and from then the business grew in leaps and bounds. DMT went on to construct over 3000 mobile toilets, and became the official toilet in some states in the country.

In an interview, Otunba Ghadafi said,

“….pride is a disease, a barrier. It is what does not allow people to see business opportunities open in an environment where there is so much suffering and so much problems. It is only pride that would make a graduate to say; ‘I am a graduate; I have a degree in so and so, therefore, I cannot go and learn tailoring; I cannot go and learn carpentary; I cannot go and learn welding; I cannot go and acquire a skill’. It all boils down to pride. You see, the moment we can learn to take pride out of our lives, we’ll see so many business opportunities open to us. ….(Remember what I said in my earlier article about young people who claim they are unemployed? www.register.millionaire.ng )……”

He went on to say,

“…….It’s not all about oil, and it’s not all about banking. It is about creativity and entrepreneurship. You see, all these micro and small businesses are the things that build an economy……………  Yes. Integrity has been bastardized. People want to get rich quick…….I was talking to a young lady very recently; she just graduated last year.

She was telling me categorically that she couldn’t take a job that pays less than N100,000 a month. It means that she might end up a prostitute……….And when her type gets to the position of authority tomorrow with her thinking, she’ll start embezzling. You must start from somewhere, building experience and establishing yourself. And when you start your own business, you need a minimum of about five years for it to stabilize………..”

Undoubtedly, Otunba Ghadafi is a great entrepreneur, but this was not all, he had bigger plans, he wanted to turn the waste into BIO-FUEL. Hear him agagin,

“…….Ever since people have been evacuating ‘soak-away’, they have all ended up inside the lagoon, whereas this thing can be a source of material. We’ve been talking about lack of electricity, lack of energy. This thing can be converted into electricity, and you can imagine if, today, we decide to convert all the shit that end up in the lagoon into electricity, we would not be talking about lack of electricity in Nigeria by now. Again, this is creativity………”

He said his greatest desire, was to be the Bill Gates and Dangote of Shit in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, before the great Otunba Ghadafi could carry out his plans, he was cut short by the cold hands of death, at the relatively young age of 47 years

He will be remembered for his famous slogan,


The life of this great entrepreneur, is a lesson to every young man today. Please stop saying there is no job, in a country of 180 million people with many problems. Any problem you can solve, will create income for you. And the market is so big that you can’t even satisfy the demand.


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