A True Visionary at 60
She has a vision of a community which has everybody contributing positively to its growth and sustenance for she believes that vested in each of us is the ability to make a difference, no matter how little in the lives of others. She believes in the power of a group, no matter how small, transforming a community through its remarkable contribution into that community. Her famous quote is “a child born without good nutrition will die or be ravaged by diseases, and without education will become a liability to the community.……………” Mrs. Dayo Queenolia Keshi was born on the 11th July 1954 to Mr. and Mrs. Claudius Idowu Jones in Oshodi Lagos. She attended St. Agnes Primary School, Lagos; Our lady of apostles’ Secondary school, Ibadan; St Theresa’s College, Ibadan; and graduated from the University of Ibadan. As the wife of a diplomat, she has spent over thirty years of her life traveling the world, being exposed to and experiencing various cultures of the world.
Her passion for philanthropy started over twenty years ago as she volunteered her services to non-profit organizations in various countries she lived in. She gained a lot of experience in the role organizations could play in strengthening communities by her selfless service in various organizations such as African Women Association of Addis Ababa of which she was the Vice President; the Commonwealth Women’s Club and International Women’s Club in Brussels. She was the President of Consular Corps Women’s Club of Atlanta and prior to that she was the Vice President Programs, of GEDE Foundation, based in Washington DC.
With the vast experience that she took with her to Atlanta Georgia, she founded the Nigerian Women’s Association of Georgia (NWAG) of which she was President for three years. The association made tremendous efforts to impact positively on the lives of women and children both in Atlanta and Nigeria. For this she was awarded honorary citizen by the State of Georgia in 2004.
Her efforts to expand the scope of her concern for those in need resulted in the emergence of AfriGrowth Foundation in 2006; a non-profit organization devoted to fighting poverty through access to education and the initiation and support of programs which develops skills for self sustenance. The distribution of over eighty thousand reading books to libraries in Nigeria, Establishing and equipping of 15 School Libraries in underserved communities across Nigeria, thereby affecting the lives of over seven thousand (7,000) pupils is her effort to encourage a ‘back to reading culture’. While the Foundation Learning Center focuses on building the Human capacity especially in the development sector, positive Mentoring she believes is an effective tool to assist young people in facing today’s challenges and so far about three thousand (3,000) youths has benefit from her various youth mentoring initiatives.
As a Career civil servant, she joined the federal civil as a Cultural Officer and in her thirty –one (31) years of service she grew and retired as a Director of the Federal Civil Service of Nigeria. Her passion to contribute towards the development of Nigeria during her years of service became her driving force while in the Civil Service, as she achieved the following:
•Coordinated the successful implementation of African Fashion Reception in Bayesla, Yenagoa 2014
•Successfully ensured the establishment of Nigerian Cultural Centers in Brazil and China
•Ensured the successful cultural embellishment of over twenty Nigerian Missions abroad
•Ensured the successful celebration of Nigeria Cultural Week in Brazil and China
•Successfully coordinated Nigeria’s Cultural Exhibition package in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa (2010)
•Successful coordination of International Troupes in the Annual Abuja Carnival
•Member Planning Committee of Nigeria @ 50 Celebration
•Successfully coordinated cultural linkages and exchanges between Nigeria and several friendly countries
•Successful coordination of Nigeria’s participation in over thirty international festivals
•Negotiating and drawing up of the frame work for Bilateral Cultural Agreements with other countries
•Successful coordination of Nigeria’s first participation in Trinidad & Tobago, Carnival
•Member Steering Committee for the 10th Anniversary of Nigeria – South Africa Bi-National Commission
Her family is foremost in all she does. Spending ten years at home with her husband and children is one of her most cherished period because it gave her the opportunity to connect effectively with being a wife and mother. She gladly recommends this to a new family if they could afford it financially.
Dayo Keshi is often described as very private but remarkable and dynamic woman who has made tremendous impact on the lives of women and children.
She is happily married to Ambassador Joe Keshi, and their family has grown from their three lovely children: Chimy, Oly and Nneka into the addition of a daughter and a son- in- law: Christina and Tunde; and four lovely grandchildren: Temilade, Chi-Chi, TJ and Jojo.
On the 11th of July 2014 at the Congress Hall, Trascorp Hilton Abuja, the dynamic woman of note was celebrated by people from all works of life as she turned 60years.
Indeed, Mrs. Dayo Keshi is a true visionary who delights in getting as many as possible involved in her beliefs and her dreams.