•How cult member, drug addict turned Pastor
•Spent 12 years for 4-year-degree
Olakunle Soriyan, by all means, is a
silver spoon kid. But he became a refuse collector, house to house
fumigator and eventually the Chief Executive Officer of a money spinning
venture. What could have led this uptowner into ventures usually
associated with the dregs of society?
But for Providence or self determination, Olakunle Soriyan might have
become a street urchin despite being born with silver spoon. Though,
Soriyan, had taken many decisions in life which he has lived to regret,
his being a Principal Transformation Strategist of the Olakunle Soriyan
Company and a Pastor at Fountain of Life Church, now has told another
For a man who spent his youthful days managing social vices ranging
from gang-violence to drug addiction, tasting everything from chewing
gum to cocaine and embracing the lowly status of a refuse collector and
road-side local fumigator; as well as a cheap barbeque man, despite
being born with the proverbial silver spoon, Soriyan has really come a
long way. “I was born very well in a very good home.
In 1982, when I was in Form 3, I had a Mercedes Benz car that took me
to school every day. If you had a regular Mercedes Benz 230 taking you
to school every day at that time, you were a very rich man. In those
days, people who were upcoming drove Volkswagen Beetle cars while
successful people drove Mercedes Benz.
Volvo was driven by middle class and it was only comfortable people
that drove Mercedes Benz. “OG 1415 R, yellow car, was a supreme machine
respected everywhere took me to school every day and brought me back.
So, I was born with something like silver spoon. But my father
managed a polygamous system, which had inbuilt capacity to
self-destruction. If I have enemy and I can know the enemy, I will not
advise him to marry a second wife.
It is one of the greatest exercises of futility. But that was my own
story,” he began his story. “I gained admission into a secondary school
at the age of nine. I passed common entrance while I was in Primary Four
because I was extremely brilliant and I got to secondary school as the
youngest in my class; I was nine years old.
I finished secondary school without any discipline because I was
young and in boarding house, I could not appreciate discipline. So, it
wasn’t long that I finished secondary school that I couldn’t gain
admission and I ventured into many social vices, from drug addition to
all many vices.
“By the time I gained admission, I joined a cult and it was not an
interesting life. By the time I was in 400 Level as Economics student, I
was not in my final year because I was doing seven to nine carryover
courses per semester from Year 1. I had tasted everything from chewing
gum to cocaine.
So by the time I was in 400 Level, I could not talk normally because I
always salivated and my words would drop and I was a cult member. “I
got to a point where my nuisance value on the campus had increased so
much and I had become something close to a virus. And on campus the only
way to deal with virus is by rustication. I left the university proudly
because I felt that academic was good riddance to bad rubbish.
I was convinced that academic could not define my own future and I am
still correct. But I have also learnt that while academic cannot make
anybody, it can support and that support is worth getting. I left the
school two months to final exams. My decision was a heart break for my
But I left.” Having wasted four years at the Lagos State University
(LASU) without anything to show for it, Soriyan rather than sitting down
to think about how to pick up the pieces of his life continued with his
deviant behaviour. His words: “One year after I left school I gave my
life to Christ and that was the point of change in my life. If I had
given it to Sango or whoever, I would have said it proudly.
My story was that I gave my life to Christ and the only way I can
define my life from that point is that I went mad and by that madness I
have done a lot of great stuffs.
“First of all, I returned to the same school I had left to start from
the scratch. again; same faculty, same course, same lecturers but
children for classmate and I did another four years making eight years
for a four year degree and yet the school did not give me my
certificate. I remained in that school pursuing my certificate for 12
About four years ago or there about somebody committed suicide in
UNILAG for having extra year, then it dawned on me that extra year could
kill. I had eight extra years, which means I must have died eight
times. But how did he spend 12 years for a fouryear- programme? “I did
12 years on campus studying one course in the same school because I
needed to get my degree.
For eight years I was trying to get my degree, after the first four
years, I left and did another four years. In fact after the first four
years in a lot of the courses I did, I didn’t know whether it was a
conspiracy or not but there was no even trace that I did those courses.
So, I had to do them again the third time.
“So tactically speaking, it is like I did 100 Level three times, 200
Level three times, 300 Level three times and 400 Level three times. It
was in the 12th year that the school gave me my degree, which was Third
Class. If it was even a Pass, I would still rejoice and give testimony
because at that point what I want was a degree. I got that degree and
Sharing more light on his success story, the Principal Transformation
Strategist of Olakunle Soriyan Company, revealed that his journey to
greatness in life was very rough but he was able to achieve his present
status through the help of God and hard work. His words: “I was a refuse
collector in Lagos State. Before pushing cart from house to house
became popular in Lagos State, I am the one that started it; nobody
pushed cart and refuse before me.
When I did refuse collection and saved some money, I began to
fumigate from house to house; carrying fumigation machine as an
undergraduate in LASU. I moved from there and began to sell barbeque at
Charley Bus Stop in Gbagada. “The night I started I was arrested by
Operation Sweep for illegal hustling, which is understandable.
They brought me back the next day and everything was burnt. So, I had
to start all over again. Doing that barbeque, I made my first N1
million. That is history now. By God’s grace today I am married to a
queen and I am not doing badly.
“If you read my profile you are going to see nothing but my story and
my journey of pains and struggle and how I have come through because
the truth is that what role has providence played? Is there any human
being that can delete providence from his success? Providence is the
difference between me and the pepper seller on the street.
I can tell you that I am a planner and strategist but I have made
most of my biggest breakthrough not thorough strategic planning but by
error, trial and Providence. “So, I understand the limit of the human
brain that he doesn’t deliver so much human value.
It helps us to think and talk in a particular way that gives us
attention but in the final analyses our opportunity are in the hands of
providence.” Having tasted what life is all about, the cult member
turned Pastor who is fondly called PK can confidently talk about shame,
failure, transformation, renaissance, success and greatness.
His passion for a better society was the brain behind the
establishment of Olakunle Soriyan Company, a researchdriven
nation-building and total management firm single-mindedly focused on
using original and home-grown methodologies to solve complex problems
peculiar to businesses, government, families, youths and individuals in
Africa and the so-called Third world.
Soriyan, despite graduating with a ‘Third Class’ in Economics is a
voice to be reckoning with in some sectors in the country, especially in
the corporate world has become critical to the interest of very
intelligent business and corporate leaders, opinion leaders, top
government officials at various consulting and training intervention as
well as cabinet retreats.
Today, credible people from profit and non-profit organisations from
diverse sectors and industries consistently engage Soriyan as Speaker,
Facilitator, Trainer, Negotiator, Mediator and even a Preacher.