Timi Dakolo Reflects on Childhood


Nigerian singer Timi Dakolo, known for his soulful voice and hit songs like “Iyawo Mi” and “There’s A Cry,” has rarely shied away from sharing his personal experiences. Recently, he opened up about a pivotal aspect of his childhood: being raised by his grandmother, Ateni Dakolo, instead of his biological parents. His story offers a glimpse into the resilience and formative influences that shaped the artist he is today.

Born in Accra, Ghana, to a Nigerian father and Ghanaian mother, he spent the majority of his childhood in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. However, when he was only 13, his mother tragically passed away. This deeply affected the young Dakolo, forcing him to rely on his grandmother for love, support, and direction.

Dakolo credits his grandmother, fondly referred to as “Mama Iyabo,” with playing a crucial role in his upbringing. She instilled in him strong values like discipline, hard work, and a deep appreciation for music. It was also under her guidance that the singer discovered his musical talent, starting to sing in church at the young age of twelve.

Challenges and Opportunities

Growing up without his biological parents wasn’t always easy. Dakolo has spoken about experiencing moments of loneliness and longing for a more traditional family structure. However, he also recognizes the unique lessons his grandmother taught him. She fostered his independence, encouraged his artistic pursuits, and provided him with a strong sense of identity and belonging.

Music became Dakolo’s outlet, a space where he could express his emotions and aspirations. He honed his skills in church choirs and local bands, eventually forming the group Purple Love with fellow aspiring musicians. This period served as a crucial stepping stone in his musical journey, leading him to participate in talent shows and gain valuable performance experience.

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From Port Harcourt to the National Stage

Timi Dakolo’s talent didn’t go unnoticed. In 2007, he rose to national prominence after winning the inaugural season of Idols West Africa, a reality singing competition. This victory propelled him onto the national stage, opening doors for collaborations, hit songs, and numerous awards.

Today, he is a celebrated musician, husband, and father. He often speaks about the profound impact his grandmother had on his life, dedicating songs and expressing his immense gratitude for her unwavering love and support. His story serves as an inspiration, demonstrating the power of resilience, the transformative influence of loved ones, and the ability of music to heal, uplift, and propel individuals towards achieving their dreams.

Who is Timi Dakolo?

In the rich tapestry of Nigerian music, Timi Dakolo stands as a formidable force, known for his soulful voice, emotional depth, and captivating storytelling through music. From winning the inaugural West African Idol in 2007 to becoming a household name, he has left an indelible mark on the Nigerian music scene.

Early Life and Musical Beginnings

Born on January 20, 1981, in Accra, Ghana, Timi Dakolo spent his early years in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. His love for music blossomed at a young age, influenced by the diverse sounds of his environment. The church played a pivotal role in shaping his musical journey, where he honed his vocal prowess in the church choir.

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His breakthrough came in 2007 when he won West African Idol, a singing competition that propelled him into the limelight. His victory showcased not only his remarkable vocal abilities but also his innate ability to connect with audiences emotionally.

Debut Album: “Beautiful Noise” and other songs

In 2011, the singer released his debut album, “Beautiful Noise,” which featured a mix of soul, R&B, and gospel influences. The album’s lead single, “Heaven Please,” became an instant hit, earning Dakolo widespread acclaim for his heartfelt lyrics and soul-stirring delivery.

His music often revolves around themes of love, relationships, and the human experience. His soulful ballads, including hits like “Iyawo Mi” and “The Vow,” have become timeless love anthems, resonating with listeners across generations.

Beyond matters of the heart, Dakolo has used his platform to address societal issues. His song “Great Nation,” released in 2012, stands as a poignant commentary on the state of Nigeria. The powerful lyrics tackle themes of unity, hope, and the collective responsibility to build a better nation.

Awards and Accolades

Timi Dakolo’s contributions to the music industry have garnered numerous awards and accolades. According to Naijassador, he won the Headies Award for Best Recording of the Year in 2016 for his song “Wish Me Well.” His authenticity and commitment to creating music with substance have earned him the respect of both fans and industry peers.

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Family and Reality TV

In addition to his music career, Timi Dakolo has invited fans into his personal life through his participation in the Nigerian version of the reality TV show “The Voice.” His genuine and relatable persona has endeared him to a broader audience, solidifying his status as not just a singer but also a relatable figure in the entertainment industry.

The soulful singer is married to his beautiful wife, Busola Dakolo and together they have three adorable children. The names of Dakolo’s children as gathered by the Naijassador are; Zoe, Alexander and Hallel.

In Conclusion,

As Timi Dakolo continues to evolve as an artist, his impact on the Nigerian music landscape remains significant. With a voice that can convey both vulnerability and strength, his music has a timeless quality that transcends trends. In a world of ever-changing musical tastes, the singer’s ability to blend soulful melodies with meaningful lyrics has secured him a lasting place in the hearts of fans.

Whether belting out emotional ballads or addressing societal issues, Dakolo’s music continues to be a powerful voice in the Nigerian music scene, reminding us of the enduring power of soulful storytelling through song.


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