“Lack of opportunity, empowered me to build others”………says DCS Founder & Chair
Following a trip to Atlanta USA – shortly after the 1996 Olympic Games - he returned to the UK truly believing that he would never fulfil his true potential living in the UK; but 2018, has proved that above all, miracles really do happen.
Never one to dwell unnecessarily or procrastinate, the reality of becoming ‘an Officer’ is slowly beginning to dawn on DCS Chair and Founder, Bola Abisogun OBE. It all began on 7th Feb 2019, circa 08:30am as he entered the family car and headed off for the day at Buckingham Palace. This was one occasion where nothing could afford to go wrong. He’d meticulously checked everything on the car [again!] and decided to drive to the Palace so that he relied upon no-one else, but himself, so as to ensure that his ‘military’ precision was befitting of the day itself.
The whole morning passed without a glitch and as he got back into his car with his family, drove through the arch, into the ‘infamous’ front courtyard that many have only ever walked past, was slowly waved through the wrought iron gates by the final line of security, he put his foot down as he watched the Palace slowly disappear into the rear view mirror. It was only then that it became abundantly clear that he had just had a conversation with the King in waiting, Prince Charles [aka Prince of Wales] and had been advised by him that ‘an interesting’ journey lay ahead……..
The Investiture Ceremony was a truly memorable occasion and one that Bola has dedicated wholly to his parents and the millions of others who have fought - long and hard - for equality of opportunity and given him a better life chance than their own. However, his own journey in the construction industry hasn’t been easy……far from it, in fact some would say, at its worst, it was a living hell. But, being consistently denied all manner of opportunity simply endorsed and validated his belief that he was simply 'too different'. Bola’s thirst for knowledge was both unfailing and relentless. His desire to excel and be the best continuously put the fear of God in many, including those that held the view that there is/was no superior being. As far as Bola was concerned “No” simply equated to “I haven’t yet convinced you to say Yes” and in those instances he was the one who got to decide whether the intended recipient was worthy or not, of another conversation!
The consistent lack of ‘genuine’ career opportunities in the UK – due principally to the ‘mechanics’ of everyday stereotype and other subjective biases, drove Bola to a point where his raison d’etre was distilled simply to the need to ensure that his existence [i.e. trials and tribulations] didn’t become normalised. He realised very quickly that he had to be the change that he wanted to see [literally, for his own sanity] – and the rest, as they say, was and has been resigned to history.
Today, Bola is one of very few 'Fellows' from a BAME community, an issue that the RICS is keen to address by ensuring that all practitioners with sufficient technical knowledge, industry experience and have made a contribution to the profession, are able to be proposed and elected as FRICS members. Bola is also grateful that he was denied so frequently such that ‘the empowerment of rejection’ became and has become his best friend. He commented, “I also know now that anything is possible – because, if you can visualise it you really can believe in it too. Being in tune with my own purpose has actually been the greatest gift of all and my purpose is to help others have a better life experience than my own, in this wonderful profession. I am both comfortable in my own skin and currently executing on a number of technical innovations that will attempt to level the 'playing field' further from the hill that it currently is for many. My 'lens of focus' remains fixed on improving the life-chances of the #NextGen talent pool as that is what excites me about the future; and from where I’m standing, the future looks great............!”