Dayo Israel (Temidayo Israel Abdulai), born on 29th
January 1986 in Mushin, to the Abdulai Family, in Olowogbowo (Agboole Baba Eleran/Baba Dudu) and the Banire Family in Ibita Ofin Lagos Island. His grandfather was Alhaji B. S.Abdulai, who owned the Oju Ogunle in Mushin, Lagos and was a manager in the First Bank of Nigeria, while his grandaunt, Alhaja Sinatu Banire, was the then Iya Aro of Lagos.
Dayo grew up on Jebba Street, Oyingbo, Ebute-Metta, Lagos, and schooled at Methodist Boys High School,Lagos, between 1995 and 2001. Sadly, his father died when he was 11 years old and was raised by his mother in the slum of Lagos Mainland. He hawked shoes and African wears to assist his mother.
Journey to Greatness
Dayo Israel decided to make lemonade out of the lemons life threw at him by volunteering with Civil Liberty Organization (CLO) at the age of 8. Shortly after the demise of his father, at age 12, he started the first ever child-led non-governmental organization (NGO) in Nigeria, which he called General Action against the Violation of Human and Children’s Rights. This organisation led the campaign for the promotion of children’s rights in Nigeria.
As a result of his activities in the NGO, he was elected into the Nigerian Children’s Parliament at the age of 14, appointed as the Chairman of the Presidential Summit of Nigerian Children at 16 and rose to the position of its Deputy Senate President – a position he handed over in the year 2005. He was also appointed as a one-day commissioner of Information in Lagos state in 2003.
During those years, he led the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations Special Session on Children, in New York. In 2004, at age 18, Israel and his team of other young people single-handedly hosted the Annual Young General Assembly Annual Session in Nigeria with about 200 young people in attendance from all over the world.
In the same year he retired from being a Deputy Senate President in the Nigerian Children’s Parliament, he was given a scholarship by the then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to study Law – a career path inspired by Late Gani Fawehinmi – at London Metropolitan University between 2005 and 2009. Dayo went further to earn for himself a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the same University in 2010.
While at London Met, he was the first African Student Council Chair of London Metropolitan University from 2007 to 2008.
Dayo Israel is an eco-entrepreneur and advocates for the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). His work promotes and develops child rights, good leadership, access to education, communal harmony, and human rights in impoverished communities.
He pioneered a lot of advocacy towards the enactment of the Child Rights Act in Nigeria and the development of the Juvenile Justice Framework in the Country.
In recent times, Dayo’s United Nations engagements have included the management and coordination of the UNICEF Nigeria/Lagos State Government Launch of the Violence Against Children Campaign and the Visit of the Special Representative of the Secretary General to the Launch in Lagos as a UN consultant. As a Social Entrepreneur, Dayo has been at the forefront of various advocacies for Youth Empowerment, Sustainable Development and Sustainable Livelihood.
He serves as Director of Africa Operations at the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, through which he engages African member states of the Commonwealth family to leverage on their shared heritage for economic prosperity and growth. At the Commonwealth Africa Initiative, Israel tries to involve African leaders at the Commonwealth Week and Commonwealth Africa Summit in London.
As the Regional Director of GLEEHD Foundation, Israel helps drive trade and investment between Africa and the West (Europe and North America).
Dayo Israel has received numerous awards and accolades across the world, some of which are, the Young PEWA (Person Earnestly Working for Africa) Award which he received at the office of the Mayor of London, British Red Cross Humanitarian Citizen Award, PEWA (Person Earnestly Working for Africa) Award, GAB Award, Icon Awards, Icon of Hope Award, Young Achievers Award and many more. He is also a 3 time Finalist for various categories of The Future Nigeria Award – including the Young Person of the Year Award.
Dayo Israel has been an Apostolic Leader at the Rehoboth Ministries Int’l since 1997. He is also the producer and host of a TV show – “Dayo Israel in Conversation With” – which airs on TV stations across Africa and Europe.
Feature Image: londonmet.ac.uk
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This article was first published on 7th August 2018