A man who has been described as someone that comes across as that friendly neighbor that you have conversations with on a calm Saturday evening, our aspiring candidate for today is someone who fought against the odds to discover his purpose and become successful and a role model for young Nigerian youths today.
Born in Accra, Ghana to a Bayelsan father and a Ghanian mother, is this soul singer, Timi Dakolo. He was born on the 20th of January, 1981. He decided to pursue a singing career though he lost his mother at the tender age of thirteen. Though born in Ghana, he moved over to Nigeria to stay in Port Harcourt, Rivers State with his grandmother and aunty who raised and helped him develop his voice. Strong was his love for his grandmother that he refused to move back to Lagos State with his father. He joined the church choir and started singing at the age of twelve. He went on to join a music group named “Purple Love” in 2003 and was the founding member.
He had his education in Nigeria and in 2005 gained admission into the University of Port Harcourt to study Communication Studies. While in school, Timi auditioned for a number of talent hunt including G.E Facto, a popular talent contest held in Port Harcourt. In 2006, He went on to audition for West Africa Idols with a beautiful rendition of Lemar’s Time to Grow and Commissioned More Than I. His remarkable voice impressed the judges who selected him into the main competition. Timi was never in the bottom 3 as he was determined, knowing the background he was coming from; thus he was quite determined to excel: He grossed the highest number of votes each week and indeed made it to the finals. While in the competition, he got news that his grandmother had passed away. Timi turned to God for strength through that tough period and also to pull through the competition. He emerged as the first winner of West Africa Idol in 2007 and in addition to the cash prizes, he got a recording deal with Sony BMG.
On January 1, 2008, during the incessant attacks of the Niger Delta militants, he was shot at the Presidential Hotel Lobby in Port Harcourt while on his way to a church service. According to Timi, God proved his faithfulness as he had only a flesh wound and was discharged that same day although most people died during the attack.
In October 2009, He released his first single which contained only three songs. He attended the Berkeley College of Music. Despite all these struggles with almost a decade down the line, he has pulled through and described his experience so far as “growth and realizing that even when the odds are against you, if it’s yours, it will happen”. He is currently signed to Lone Records/Now Muzik. He is one of the popular artists in the Nigerian Music Industry who still sing meaningful songs. He described his music as not just a melody and rhythm but an experience to cause unity and tell “the truth”. Dakolo also asserts that his music always drives a message towards hard work, avoiding being jealous of the achievements of your fellow man, a good marriage, and various other themes; it tells things from his experience and he wants his music to be here even when he is gone, thus he puts life into the lyrics. When asked about his passion for singing, he described it as a “simple but not so simple experience of connecting with the audience, and not just singing but being the song”.
He married his sweetheart, Busola Dakolo in 2010 and the union has been blessed with three kids. Despite his busy schedule, Timi always makes time for his family and he wants to be the best father for his kids since he suffered a loss at an early age.
He was one of the judges on the just concluded The Voice, Nigeria. He is giving back to the society by holding seminars advising youths on the dangers of smoking and helping youths actualize their dreams of singing. He describes it as “watching people blossom and come into their own; where shy singers under pressure become brave, fearless singers staking their claim in life”. He continues to contribute his little quota to the society and become the change he seeks.
Source: RCCG MPS