The day I fell in love…

I still remember the day, I was about 12 years old and in secondary school (or high school as some know it). I was visiting London for the first time with my family for the summer holiday. It was an overnight flight from Lagos, and so we arrived Heathrow Airport the next morning at about 6am. I remember it was rainy and a bit chilly, but the dreary weather couldn’t dull my excitement, I was so excited. It was the first time I had ever traveled outside Nigeria.

We finished with immigration and walked into the airport proper, and it was then I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. The stores, the lights, the restaurants, the adverts and posters on the walls, everything boggled my 12 year old mind.

Now you have to imagine this, because I grew up in Northern Nigeria, with my closest experience to this being the foreign movies we could get our hands on back then. This was like those movies but in real life! I was blown away.

Little did I know, that experience and whole summer would change my life forever, my love for design was activated.

Many people have asked what DODO means or even why it came to be. Simply put, that summer I witnessed first hand, what design and design thinking could do for people, for a society. I later went on to university in the United States and every time I discovered a new product, process, or system, I would think to myself, why can’t we have this in Nigeria?!, why can’t this product be made to function this way, or why can’t it look and feel this good to use? This frustration or should I call it expectation was one of the main reasons I didn’t really hesitate to come back home when I was done with school.

I believed then and still believe now that design is powerful enough to improve people’s quality of life. Design and design thinking really do have the power to improve lives and businesses. If you are in doubt, think of why you decide to vacation in Dubai or Europe instead of Yankari or Obudu Cattle Ranch (both key landmarks in Nigeria).

The proof is in the product you choose to buy or the place you prefer to hang out at, more than the other. It’s the reason why we Nigerians prefer to travel to other countries to shop and spend our holidays.

But it’s very possible to have those kinds of businesses, products and experiences in our country. And that’s one main reason why I started DODO, because I believe that every product, every business, every experience, even government systems can be well thought out and developed that the people that experience them live a better quality of life as a result.

Through DODO, I truly hope to recreate the experience I had for every business we work with and in turn for every client they eventually serve. This drives what we do everyday.

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