about me

dayo-portraitI’ve survived for years without a blog, so why start one now? The main reason is that I seem to have accumulated multiple lives over the past twenty years or so, and I simply wish to have all my digital selves in one place.

My interests continue to grow and diverge, yet again. I come across some incredible people and intriguing titbits of knowledge that I wish to explore, in words, data and pictures. Some of these uncovered gems may best be left buried in my consciousness, but some might be of use to others. If so, I welcome feedback, by comment or tweet or wall post.

Meanwhile, in the full expectation that there will henceforth be a constant steam of prose in various varieties, I present below, a potted history of myself:

Childhood: on the coast of West Africa, where waves clash against tough rock one minute and tug away sand the next. Loved books (for example: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Famous_Five_(series)). Hated housework. Learnt to sew, sort-of. Learnt to touch type, reasonably well.

Education: from Catholic primary school where I was exempt from holy communion and anything that looked remotely intriguing, to a state funded school where I was taught how to say ‘vilidz’ for village (more here: www.oxforddictionaries.com/-definition/english/village), to a British university to study the rudimentaries of statistics.

Medical research: wherein I deployed my skills of logistic regression modelling to determine which factors were most likely to indicate severe paediatric malaria. For the masochists, see an example here: www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejm199505253322102. Plus a few other technology related things when I took IBM computers apart and fixed stuff (in the days before the internet really was the internet).

Web-development: employed some wonderful people, and together developed software for applications as unrelated as horse racing, reinsurance broking (back in the day: www.firstre.com), and microfinance. Some better than others.

Novelist: first novel, Reading the Ceiling, published by Simon & Schuster, did receive a smattering of praise when it was released. Still available online, for the eager: www.amazon.co.uk/Reading-Ceiling-Dayo-Forster/dp/1416527648

Financial sector research: my finest, longest stretch of work in one particular area. Bequeathed (together with a team of course) the name FinAccess and associated fine logo to the first national level survey of financial service use in Kenya (www.fsdkenya.org/finaccess). Same-ish stuff in Nigeria (www.efina.org.ng/our-work/research/access-to-financial-services-in-nigeria-survey/).

Startup co-founder: deep inside, I’ve always wanted my grandmother’s entrepreneurial veins, which flowed through my mother and my sister, to demonstrate their presence. Despite the lack of confirmation, I have taken the plunge with my brilliant techie friend and co-founder Anu Gupta, to launch www.toghal.com where we research African heritage textiles and patterns and re-imagine them into contemporary versions that add that bit of cultural texture for savvy buyers with A Design Eye.

That’s it: and in-between, I got married and had the kids and bought the house, and a Landrover (the older edition of: www.landrover.com/gb/en/lr/defender) which I loved but then had to sell and still miss.

More on Reading the Ceiling