Dayo Olomu is one of the many professionals in the diaspora who are doing so well. He used to live and work in Nigeria before he relocated to the UK in search of greener pastures. He lives in London from where he globe trots to deliver lectures and consult for organizations.
He is a PR guru and a brand specialist. Last week, Dayo spoke to City People magazine Publisher SEYE KEHINDE about his exciting life and how he combines his so many roles. He will be turning 52 in a few weeks time.
You have been very busy of late, tell us what you’ve been up to?
It is indeed very true that I have been busy lately. I started a new role as a board member of Southwark Education Board in January. We are responsible for over 100 schools in UK. Apart from that I have been busy with speaking engagements. I have had over 20 speaking engagements this year. I was in Ghana last week where I ran a workshop for Kogi State House of Assembly members on “Transformational Leadership and Good Governance” at their 2017 Retreat. Next week, I am heading to Vienna, in Austria where I am delivering the keynote address on “Staying Ahead in the Current Business Climate & Digital Age” at the Afro-Austria Business Summit. My foundation, Dayo Olomu Foundation has also been involved in Youth empowerment in the country and last march, we donated soft toys to Heart of Gold Children Hospices in Surulere and we are currently mentoring over 1000 youths in Nigeria.
You seem to enjoy what you do Share with us what tickles you about your job?
What I enjoy most about my work, career and business are: 1) making a difference; 2) inspiring and empowering people and organisations and 3) having fun while making a difference & inspiring and empowering people and organisations. Isn’t that GREAT? When work is a pleasure, life is a joy. I believe in what I do – I am paid to make a difference in people’s life – what a great job. I go to work every day with passion. I am living my purpose and mandate which is to inspire, impact and influence.
What services do you offer?
- Consultancy – PR, Branding, Social Media, Career & Organisation Development
- Design and lead workshops, trainings and seminars – on Leadership, Good Governance, Business Growth, Wealth Creation, Success, Motivation, Branding, Career and Personal Development
- Coaching – peak performance, executive and business transformation coaching by telephone, face to face, email and social media.
- Facilitation – expert in facilitating groups of all sizes from team meetings to chairing large conferences.
- Master of Ceremonies (MC) – for AGM’s, seminars, workshops, conferences, meetings, product launches, press conferences, birthday parties, weddings, banquets and balls, corporate events, civic events and receptions, charity/gala balls and auctions, award ceremonies, anniversaries, official openings and corporate dinners
How did you build up your brand in such a competitive place like London?
In building the brand, I wanted something hard to define but incorporating class, style, panache, integrity, tenacity, character, modernity, vision, directness and a can do attitude. I want my intensity, anything-is-possible and pragmatic approach to inspire others and earn multiple streams of income. Therefore, the brand is built on integrity, authenticity, punctuality, excellence, and my education, the grace of my youthful look, strategic thinking and leveraging new media. To build and maintain a good brand requires clarity of vision, self-analysis, audience analysis, ability to leverage social media, ability to differentiate oneself from the other people, pursuit of excellence and relationship building.
Who is Dayo Olomu?
Dayo Olomu who is an example of how anyone can overcome adversity and become an inspiration to others is a leading human capital development and business transformation strategist, a renowned international motivational speaker, business mentor, executive coach, an award winning event host and a bestselling author based in London, United Kingdom. He is also an International Conference Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer on Transformational Leadership, Good Governance, Entrepreneurship, Business Growth, Human Resources, Career and Personal Development. He is the CEO, Dayo Olomu & Associates UK; Founder, Dayo Olomu Foundation; Vice Chairman, CIPD South London; Member, Southwark Board of Education; Founding President, Croydon Communicators Toastmasters; Founder, African Professional Speakers Academy; and President, Nigerian Trainers & Speakers Consortium (NTSC) UK.
I help to unleash human potential by introducing steps that can turn a dream into reality I am noted for creating momentum in people’s lives by taking them from good to great. An abiding passion for making a positive difference in the world; nurturing people, empowering women and youths, supporting entrepreneurs, transforming businesses, developing transformational leaders and helping clients to achieve extra ordinary result gets him out of bed every morning. I am a consummate faith, family, fitness, friendship, fulfilment, fun and finance adherent. His mandate is to inspire, impact and influence.
When you look back at your career how does it make u feel?
I give thanks to the Most High.
I feel fulfilled because I am living my dream. I am living a purpose driven life of inspiring, impacting and influencing. I am happy that I have been able to restore belief to many people who have lost it, vision to those who can no longer see and cure many people who suffer from possibilities blindness. I am delighted to be a noble warrior who is winning in different aspects of my life. Winning as described by Israel’s ‘Winning Guru Yehuda Shinar in his book “Think Like a Winner” is someone’s ability to maximise his or her potentials even when under pressure and in competitive situation – while demonstrating constant improvement”. The truth is that I have worked harder on myself than my job.
I am now Mentoring and coaching up and coming speakers which is like gaining immortality. If I teach them and they teach others, then what I know lives forever. To me, being successful is not only achieving my goals, but also helping others to strive, win and be successful, which I have been doing for the past few years for people and organisations. I believe that it is important to have long and sustainable success.
How did you transit from an artiste manager that handled big acts like K1 to a big PR practitioner?
After I left artiste management, I wanted a new direction and live a purpose driven life and become a key person of influence. I did a lot of praying and asking God for direction. I read a great book, “Hearing from God” by Joyce Meyer. It really taught me how to listen to know the voice of God. It was then that I realised that God was leading me to working with people and developing people and organisations. And to be able to do that and have a competitive edge I discovered that I must a good educational backed with a good personal brand and network. And that is what I did.
Where were you born and schools attended?
Ekundayo Olomu is from the Ebilewage Royal Family, Ikaro, in Ose Local Government, Ondo State.
I was born in Islington in June 1965 when my parents, (Mr Rufus Ekundayo Olomu and Mrs Florence Olomu now of blessed memory) went to England to study and when I was 2 years-old my parents came back to Nigeria. When they came back to Nigeria, things were good. We were living at 34, Abeokuta Street, Ebute Metta. Life was very, very good.
When I was 8 years old, my father died and life became a challenge. From Abeokuta Street; that was a nice area then, we moved to Orile-Agege. Imagine using a proper toilet and you now move to a place where they use a pit latrine popularly known as ‘shalanga’? Life became a different ball game. I remember my 10th birthday.
I celebrated it at Iyana Ipaja. The bus stop to be precise. 10th June 1975, selling ice water! It’s not just that, I had to go to Ojuwoye market to buy milk, to buy provisions and I put it on my head to go and sell at Iyana Ipaja. And when I was 17, I determined that I was going to make a success out of my life. The two most important days in life are the day you are born and the day you discover the reason you are born. I said what do I want to do with my life? I wanted to become known in the entertainment industry.
So, I gate-crashed the album launch of Terra Kota, Lamentations for Sodom, at Lord’s Club and that’s how I started in the entertainment industry. It is actually about asking; if you don’t ask, you don’t get. I remember a quote by George Bernard Shaw, where he said, and “The people who move on in life look for the opportunities they want. If they can’t find them, they make them”. So, I had to make mine. All my life, I’ve been creating my opportunity.
I never had any godfather up there. That’s also how I started as Artiste Manager. From there, I got a job at Ideas Communications, when I was 21 or 23 years old and from Ideas Communications, I moved to DP Lekki Limited. From DP Lekki, I moved to Polygram Records, before I started my artiste management company. And life was good. I won so many awards. Because of the challenges I experienced when I was growing up, I relocated to England, thinking that being a British citizen would be a roller coaster for me. But I discovered that a crook had stolen my identity; he had used it to open a bank account and even got married with my name – and I wasn’t invited to the wedding! Life became a challenge. I had an option – to raise the white flag of surrender and come back to Nigeria. But I never give up on my goals. I was determined, and I thank God that that little boy that celebrated his 10th birthday at a bus garage, whose identity was stolen when he came to England, is now a success story and a pride of the Nigerian diaspora in UK.
Because of the challenges I experienced when I was growing up, I relocated to England, thinking that being a British citizen would be a roller coaster for me. But I discovered that a crook had stolen my identity; he had used it to open a bank account and even got married with my name – and I wasn’t invited to the wedding! Life became a challenge. I had an option – to raise the white flag of surrender and come back to Nigeria. But I never give up on my goals. I was determined, and I thank God that that little boy that celebrated his 10th birthday at a bus garage, whose identity was stolen when he came to England, is now a success story and a pride of the Nigerian diaspora in UK.
In Nigeria, I had a varied and interesting career. I started my career in the entertainment industry at 17 by gate crashing into an album launch in Lagos. I then managed a band and later worked with Ideas Communication Ltd as Project Co-ordinator in charge of concert in 1989, from there I moved to DP Lekki (the biggest concert promoter in Nigeria then) as Head, Media Relations and Protocol.
At 26 I was celebrated as the youngest Promotions Manager in Nigeria when I joined Premier Music in 1991. While at the company, I was the Executive Producer of Premier Prime Time. I was also involved in the packaging and promotions of big artistes like Ras Kimono, Oris Wiliki, Blackky, Evi Edna Ogholi, Alex O, Alex Zitto, Chief Osita Osadebe and his son Obiajulu Osadebe, Chris Mba, Sandoka and Dele Taiwo to mention a few.
I left Premier Music in 1992 to start my first business, Dayo Olomu & Associates Ltd (DO&A) which managed K1 (then known as King Wasiu Ayinde Marshall 1) for 3 years. During this period the Fuji musician who has never won any musical award in Nigeria won more than 12 awards and he was crowned the King of Fuji Music in 1993. My company also organised the yearly St Florence Concert which was one of the biggest indoor concerts in Nigeria between 1993 and 1995. I also promoted a big concert at Lekki Beach in Lagos in 1993, which featured the late Afro beat king, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.
My efforts in the Nigerian music industry was rewarded with many awards such as Fame Music Awards Outstanding Artiste Manager of the Year 1993; Promoter of the Year 1994 – courtesy The Promoters
Organisation of University of Ibadan; Oyo State Business Award 1994 – courtesy of Students’ Union Government, The Polytechnic Ibadan and Most Versatile Artiste Manager of the Year courtesy Student Union Government of Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti etc.
I continued my entertainment career in the UK when I arrived and was one of the 18 expatriates that left London for Lagos to organise the yearly Benson & Hedges Gold & Tones Concert in 1999. I was the assistant stage manager and the concert interviewer. In 2001, I co-produced and co-ordinated Queen Salawa Abeni‘’s first concert in the UK for Joyful Noise. The Guardian gave the concert, which took place at the Queen Elizabeth Hall of the London Royal Festival on July 18, 2001 a very good review. I also co-promoted the debut UK tours of juju stars; Wale Thompson in 2001 and Dele Taiwo in 2002.
From the Entertainment industry I moved into Journalism. I began my writing career at Ovation Magazine (Africa’s highest selling monthly celebrity magazine) in 1996 as a freelance writer and columnist and later became a contributing editor/motivational columnist at Focus magazine (Nigeria’s 1st international society journal). I started my own publication as the Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of M&M Magazine (the first African music and movie magazine with a CD on the cover) in 2003. The business has since been sold.
“To conquer poverty, which was my greatest fear when I was growing up, I relocated to London in January 1996 thinking that London’s roads are littered with gold and silver. When I arrived I was shocked to discover that a crook had stolen my birth certificate and used it to collect my National Insurance card, credit card, and even opened a bank account. I also discovered I was purportedly married except the crook forgot to invite me. Everywhere I went, I was told somebody was bearing my name. At a stage the authorities did not know who the real Dayo Olomu was.
With a strong desire to succeed backed with action, self belief and his faith, and seeing all I overcame these obstacles and that little boy who celebrated his 10th birthday at a bus garage in Lagos whose identity was stolen when he came back to live in London is now a success story, an agent of positive change, a life changer and most importantly a husband and a father.
The experience I bring to people over the last 10 years has led me to the discovery that if we help people to see themselves as they can, not as they are; then the way they think, the way they feel and the way they act will eventually be altered, thereby resulting in higher performance.”
I started out at St Judes Primary School at Ebute Metta and when my father died in 1973 I ended up at Zion African Church School Alagba Agege. I had a brief spell at IICC School Apata Ibadan. I started my secondary education at Victory High School Ikeja in 1977 in 1978 I went to Epe Grammar School for my O-Levels finished in 1982 and in 1983-1985 attended An-War Islam College for my A-Levels. Afterwards I studied Public Relations at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism and obtained a diploma in Business and Industrial Law at the University of Lagos.
SCHOOLING IN THE UK
I continued my education at the Morris College of Journalism where I obtained a diploma in Freelance Journalism in 1997. I later graduated with honours from the University of East London with a degree in Business Information Systems. I also got a certificate in Web Design from the University of Greenwich and studied Life Coaching at Newcastle College. I did my post graduate studies at University of Greenwich and my masters in Human Resources at London South Bank University. I am also a chartered member of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development and also have an honorary doctorate degree.
Tell us about madam how did you meet? How did you hit it off?
I am married to a lovely woman – Goddess. I call her Goddess, but her full name is Mrs. Sade Dayo-Olomu. We met when I was doing my A-levels at Anwar Ur Islam College, Agege.. When I relocated back to England, she relocated too. We didn’t meet for years, then we came back and we got married. And one of the things I believe is that marriage is the cornerstone of the society. We’ve seen the statistics. Statistics have proven that kids who come from happy marriages have high chances of being successful in life. The gang crime happening in the UK for example, show that a high percent of those kids are from broken homes. So, I am one of those who believe that private victory precedes public victory. That if you are not successful at home, your success outside is meaningless. So, I put a lot into developing my marriage, into working on it. . Marriage is a continuous thing, you have to keep on working on it; and when you look at it, we also need to develop ourselves as men.
You launched Dayo Olomu Foundation in Lagos during Soni Irabor Youth Empowerment Forum at Oriental Hotel on 2 April 2016. Can you tell us more about the foundation and its vision?
Dayo Olomu Foundation was launched on Saturday 2nd April 2016 at the Soni Irabor Youth Empowerment Forum which took place at Oriental Hotel, Lagos.
The vision of Dayo Olomu Foundation is to “raise transformational leaders, mentor professionals, empower youths economically and support the less privileged in the society, especially women and children.’
In our blue-print for humanity titled ‘Project 1000’, we plan to impact 1000 people’s lives in Nigeria by 2020.
As at today, we have:
* Offered mentorship and support to 1500 youths.
* Provided financial support to 100 people – mostly women.
* Reviewed more than 250 CVs and and assisted 25 people to find employment.
* We have donated soft toys the children at Heart of Gold Children’s Hospices in Lagos founded by Mrs Laja Adedoyin
* In the UK, Dayo Olomu Foundation (DOF),’ is involved in feeding the homeless people in Croydon,
Surrey at The Queen’s Gardens through Nightwatch charity.
The DOF is funded with proceeds from the sale of the founder’s fast-selling book: “My 50 Greatest Lessons in Life & Winning Principles for Success” and support from friends.
The Foundation is now partnering with a leading recruitment company in Lagos, Doheney Services Limited with a view to support some of our mentees to secure employment.
Finally, you have just been appointed to the board of the prestigious Southwark Diocesan Board of Education after 20 years of voluntary work in the UK. How do you feel?
I am humbled by the appointment. As an individual, who is passionate about promoting excellence in education both locally and inter nationally, I have a firm belief in continued learning through improving knowledge and skills as very essential in attaining high levels of competence and excellence in life. I am also grateful to have received a letter of congratulations from the presidency.
You are going to be 52 in a few weeks But you don’t look it what’s the secret?
Firstly, it is the grace of God. I also keep myself fit and healthy by running, exercising regularly and doing 60 press-ups every other day. I also go to the gym and eat healthy foods