Dayo Alabi is an immigrant, a storyteller, an entrepreneur, PR and Communications professional, an outgoing fashion enthusiast, and a dedicated mom in pursuit of excellence.
From the fun city of Lagos, Nigeria where happiness radiates, family all around, stylish outfits welcoming you, not to mention the yummy egusi soup awaiting your presence, pounded yam with Efo riro, and jollof rice. You can’t help but dance to the vibrant music swirling all around. One thing for sure, I really do miss my family.
I had a very happy childhood. I’m the third of five siblings, a visual learner, and I speak the Yoruba language. I was not a straight-A student; I struggled as a child, but my parents got me all the help I needed with a tutor. Little did I know they almost lost me to scarlet fever, a rare and dangerous disease that landed me in hospital for some time. I remember vividly they told me they were really scared. Growing up, I really wanted to learn more languages like French and Italian. I used to play dress up and tell my parents I would be a UN ambassador or a diplomat of some sort, helping people. Their answer: “You have the self-confidence. Do it!” My self-confidence has given me the drive to explore myself; one of the keys to success my parents amplified.
Leaving family and friends, I landed in Canada in 2006, and my survival skills were on full. I volunteered in my community, taught English language classes to new Canadians, served with the homeless, and served at my church reading to children, organizing, teaching, coordinating.
Stepping into your career as an immigrant can be challenging. My Mass Communications degree and credentials were not recognized, and I was placed in a position way less than my counterpart who is in the same trained profession. Foreign-trained professionals come with high hopes, only arriving for them to be shattered. In hopes of manifesting what you once were, you face barriers along the way, and your immigrant story has just begun. Perhaps, the pathway will get better as the years come.
I went back to study special education and worked in schools with special needs children. My credentials have since been evaluated, now comparable to any Canadian institution.
Twenty years of work experience was filled with love for PR, documentary scriptwriting, producing, and media. I produced weekly documentaries along with my colleagues and one of the best experiences of my life. My loving parents were involved in charity. They had the passion to help people. My mom’s favourite was the motherless babies’ homes. Truly am inspired by them to be a blessing to others. Several times, in trying to outrun myself, I realized the present was patiently waiting for me to excel beyond my imagination.
Later, it was me against chronic illnesses, but I never gave it a chance to strip away my happiness. With many hospitalizations, battling my life, and one that left me disabled, I landed me in a wheelchair for months. I have experienced and lived the pain and struggles of people living with disabilities; a long scary road that gave me a major setback. People with all types of disabilities, visible and invisible, face a lot of barriers, opportunities, and sometimes receive an immeasurable amount of criticism and judgment from society. It is impossible to truly understand the realities of the most marginalized group of people. People with disabilities have so much to give, they want to do more, they want you to see them.
My children saw me struggle with my health. As a mom whose children have a massive amount of talent and are highly skilled athletically and academically, I realized if I want them to keep excelling, I have to be here for them. With financial challenges impounding, I had no plan in sight but through pain, I kept going. My strength began to build some momentum and I was able to help them achieve more. They began playing high-level sports and became well known in the community for basketball, track and field, and football. For years, they won school, provincial and national championships, records, and awards while competing in Canada and abroad. My children have been phenomenal. My resilience taught them to be focused, determined, and crave success. They have had a lot and they have also had nothing at all.
To all immigrants everywhere, your success is eminent. Visualize what you wish to become, make your mark, and be optimistic! Perhaps, the path you choose seems rugged or shaken, switch lanes telling yourself Today I RISE!
My passion for style, fashion, music, and dance took me on a ride in the summer of 2020. I felt caged due to the pandemic and I knew some happiness was needed. Then, the global joy of the hit song by Master KG JERUSALEMA was trending worldwide. With an amazing team of talented volunteers, I organized the Canadian version of the JERUSALEMA, and BIV Dance challenge was created. With matching outfits, it was a wonderful time of togetherness in our community.
Canada; a beautiful country of possibilities. Today, I am a co-founder of S2T Communications, a brand-new PR & Communications firm, helping small business owners and entrepreneurs navigate their unique challenges by supporting them to thrive. I am a legal shield associate, empowering people by giving them access to legal advice. My hope is to share remarkable stories of resilience of Canadian Immigrants on DayoCanMedia which is still in the works.
As a single mom, I fight for my life like there is no tomorrow. I became a master multitasker, a doer, a fireball, and a full-blown resilient individual whose eyes are the top to rise.
As a lone parent, you must have a desire to succeed, let there be a shift in your mindset, and see the transformation and difference it makes in your life.
Here I am, celebrating some of my immigrant stories of triumph in Pursuit:365. With happiness, I build my life back, breaking all impossibilities, I hold dearly the power of prayer believing in God as the source of my strength. Today, I RISE! Every time you move ahead in life, improving yourself or accomplish a goal, a different version of you emerges. OWN IT!
Fun fact: My celebrity crush is Keanu Reeves. He has secretly been financing many children’s hospitals. This gives me joy.