The story of Timi Dakolo could be likened to that of a popular cliché, grass to grace.
Before he won West African Idols in 2007, the soulful singer was just ‘a nobody.’ In fact, at a point in his life, he resorted to menial jobs in order to survive.
Now, his story has changed, Timi now wines and dines with the President, performing with the elite and travelling all over the globe.
But he cannot forget in a hurry his humble beginning.
“Growing up was hard. I grew up with my grandmother and you can imagine what it is like growing up with an old woman. She sold provisions, pure (sachet) water and plantain. After school hours, I used to sell things for her. I grew up in a house where education is important because we believed it was our escape route from poverty. “Whenever my mates were playing, I would watch them from the window but could not join them because I either had to study or work with my grandmother.
“I have sold pure (sachet) water, pushed wheelbarrow in a popular market in Port-Harcourt and I have done many other menial jobs but deep within me, I knew something great would happen to me. I didn’t know if it was through hard work or schooling, but I just knew it,” the singer said.
He told Saturday Beats that it took several months before it dawned on him that he had won Idols West Africa.
“The first time someone gave me N100, 000, I wanted to run mad. That was after the show. Subsequently, someone else gave me N1m, and I could not sleep that night. I couldn’t wait till morning to rush to the bank and deposit it before it disappeared. I thought something would happen to me or even the money. To us, it was big money. Growing up was not easy; it was an experience and a preparatory phase of my life. It taught me to work hard. I believe more in hard work than talent,” he said.