Dr Dapo Williams, one of UK’s most respected Diaspora leader and socialite sadly died in the early month of August.
Following his passing, the triple Ph.D holder has been described in many beautiful words including a “true leader”, an “honest man” and so much more.
He has rubbed shoulders with President Muhammad Buhari, the King of Saudi Arabia and the Queen.
How this inspirational man made his mark in the UK is revealed with 5 mix of educational and interesting facts.
1. His move from Nigeria to UK
Dr Williams was a proud Lagosian.
Before travelling across the pond to the UK, Dr Dapo was working with well known company, Chevron on an oil exploration rig as an architect.
He had studied Mechanical Engineering at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, Nigeria before beginning his career. His first job was at Volkswagen in the ’80s as an engineering Technical Instructor. He then went on to work for Flour Mills of Nigeria as a Production Technician before landing the Chevron job.
It was during his work at Chevron that he first tasted life in the UK. He was not a ‘Johnny just come’.
Infact, in his speech about his humble beginnings, he mentioned how himself and wife travelled across the world, before officially settling full time in the UK in the late 80s.
2. Family life
Dapo met his wife Tina at gathering when they were young’uns back in Nigeria in the ’80s.
It is thought that Dapo had his eyes on her, having previously heard about her, but at the time, Tina, who was an Edo girl from a very rich home living in Lagos had a boyfriend.
There is no indication when they eventually got together, but Dapo revealed he and Tina travelled the world before settling in the UK together.
The two had been married for 34 years and share a teenage daughter when the Ph.D holder passed.
Dapo also has two older children that is thought that at least of them was born out of wedlock to another woman whilst he was married to Tina.
His oldest child is Tolu in his 30s and middle child is a young lady.
Last year the couple had a triple celebration as a they both took an early retirement, Tina clocked 60 and had been married 33 years.
None of his older children appeared to have been at the ceremony nor did the high achiever, a prominent social media user, ever showed off them off publicly.
3. How he acquired his wealth and became a decorated academic leader
Post-Chevron, Dapo continued his working life in the UK.
Now in property management, he began working as a Building Mechanical Service Project Manager for the company Olympic & York between 1989-1992. It is here he led a team on the Canary Wharf development in London.
Mechanical Service Project Manager’s average salary in this day and age is around £50k – £60k mark. In his time Mr DW, as he was fondly known was already making a good living.
He decided to enhance his skills and went on to study CAD drawing at Newham community college. As a result, he was promoted to a project engineer role.
When he left the company, he went on to acquire more property management skills by studying estate management, business and project management courses. One of his three Ph.Ds was in Sustainability in Built Environment.
He studied all of these at notable universities including Harvard business school, Salford, Cambridge, Oxford and hull. His degrees soon began to pay off as more success came. .
The Chartered surveyor and Architect worked for the King of Saudi Arabia on two successive occasions, managing all of their embassies and properties in the UK. He then worked for multiple organisations including Citizen’s Advice Bureau’s where he managed 11 thousand of their properties.
Citizen’s Advice Bureau is the UK’s biggest independent charity that provides free advice to millions of UK residents.
He eventually decided to become self employed, and as the director of Daptosh Ltd, he began to buy and sell properties, making confirmed connections with people of high society and politics in Nigeria.
His last achievement was opening a fuel petroleum products company in the Kent area.
4. The truth behind that picture with the Queen?
Dr. Dapo took immense pride in meeting the Queen of UK and Commonwealth.
He revealed how he was fortunate enough to meet the Queen during his time as a property manager at a school in 1999. He had raised a substantial amount of money on behalf of the school to enable the re-building of part of the school.
As a thank you, during the school’s 300th year anniversary celebrations, he was presented to Queen, hence the picture.
5. Hugely popular and much loved leader and socialite
President Muhammad Buhari sent personal condolences to Dr Dapo’s family following his demise.
Mr President said of him: “He was passionate about our country, deeply committed to a Nigeria that attains her position in the comity of nations.
”It’s sad to lose such a hopeful, ebullient soul so soon.”
Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the CEO of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission also paid tribute.
Many say he will mostly be remembered for his many community events, initiatives and projects organisers, and for his incredible generosity and encouraging spirit.
He is survived by his wife Tina, a son, 2 daughters and a grandson