By Eric Elezuo
Like the biblical Timothy, who from his youth was able to search the scriptures, apply it and did exploits, Prince Dapo Adelegan, has, from earliest of his childhood, shown signs of potency in human endeavours. It is therefore, not by accident that he is the proud product he is today; a product laced with determination, competence, achievement and visionary leadership.
Born Adedapo Oluwaseyi Adelegan on April 20, 1962, the man who has come to be known as exponent of many firsts, had his primary education at Ladi-lak Institute in Yaba, before proceeding to the prestigious CMS Grammar School for his secondary education, and obtained his O’level certificate.
Keen to thrive for higher honours, Dapo, as he is fondly known, proceeded to the School of Arts and Science, Ikare, Ondo State for his A’level honours. He was thereafter admitted to the University of Ilorin where he stayed between 1984 and 1987, and graduated with a BA (Hon) in English Language. It was his intention to go back to school and study Law, but instant fame, which he inadvertently engineered during his youth service days put paid to the ambition.
Between 1989- 1990, he attended the MBA Programme of the University of Lagos. He followed it up in 2002 when he attended the Owner Manager Programme of the Lagos Business School and cap it up in 2012 with the Chief Executive Programme of the same institution.
Constantly developing himself, Dapo has had Executive Management trainings in South Africa, Spain, United Kingdom, United States to mention but a few.
Far from his primary course of study, Dapo is a prolific Marketer, communicator and Public Relations Consultant per excellence, whose vision include to positively influence and impart the world with the investment of his personality. Through sheer ingenuity and demonstration of professionalism, coupled with a passion for the advancement of Africa, he has distinguished himself in the area of public relations. His first bit of success came to the fore when at the age of 25, he staged what entertainment gurus admitted was standard. It was the Lekki Sunsplash Concerts where A’list artists of the time fell head over heels to perform in. He hosted famous artists such as Majek Fashek, Charly Boy, Sunny Okosun and many others. Lekki Sunsplash was an identity, and Dapo created it.
This marked the beginning of his foray into entrepreneurship as the concert became Africa’s biggest musical event from 1988. According to his personal profile, “This concert led to a radical re-engineering that changed the Nigerian musical scene. The concert was created as a podium and vehicle for introducing and harnessing the abundant talents in the nation’s music industry.” And he achieved that objective to the fullest. A well crafted entrepreneur was born thereafter.
Leveraging on the success of the Sunsplash annual fiesta, Dapo established in 1995 Celtron Group, a PR/Marketing Group, now in its 25th year, and followed it up with PR African International Limited. These companies have carved a niche for themselves, occupying prominent positions in the industry.
An event promoter of repute, in 1999, he conceived the Made–In Nigeria Exhibition in the UK in held in 1999 and 2000. He replicated the feat in South Africa in 2005 and 2006 in partnership with the Nigeria Export Promotion Council.
In 2002, Dapo pioneered the Introduction of Electronic Outdoor Advertising in Nigeria through Benjamin Black & Co, a revolution that launched the OOH Media to prime position in the marketing/communication industry in Nigeria.
His work has continually made a way for him as he is recognised as one of the top 50 marketing experts in Nigerian Marketing Memoirs, a landmark marketing publication authored by two Nigerian editors. His love for his country, Nigeria, continues to propel him to spread the message of ‘Made-In-Nigeria’ as well as providing leadership and entrepreneurship training to Nigerian Youths through his “Life in the 21st Century” lecture series.
Dapo is a rare breed by every standard and has combined entrepreneurial skills with strong corporate leadership and political acumen. Little wonder, he has thrown his hat in the ring to become the next governor of Ondo State come October 2020.
He is not a stranger to awards and honours, as his achievements continue to push him to the fore. Between 1989 and 2007, he received the PMAN Music Promoter of the year award, as well as the Success Digest Nigeria Entrepreneur of the year 2007.
He is a Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Direct Marketing; Fellow, Institute of Directors; President, Abuja Business Club; Council Member, Lagos Chamber of Commerce; Member, Lagos Business School (LBS); Alumni Council, Member of Metropolitan Club, Member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA) and Public Relations World Alliance (PRWA); Chairman of Ondo State Lawn Tennis Association; Member, Island Club, Lagos Lawn Tennis Club.
He is also the 14th President and Chairman of Council of the Nigeria British Chamber of Commerce.
Dapo Adelegan is married to his beautiful wife, and they are blessed with three children.