What You Need To Know
Ademilola (Lola) Oyewale Odujinrin was born in London England to Nigerian parents (Segun and Elizabeth Odujinrin), and moved to Nigeria as a toddler. At a young age Lola became obsessed with flying; making kites and taking an interest in the mechanics of flight, knowing that he wanted to become a pilot. He studied Aerospace Engineering in Queen Mary (University of London), and currently works as an airline pilot. He is also a motivational speaker and empowers the youths to achieve greatness.
The Early Years
As a child, he was fascinated with principles of flight and fell in love with aviation at the age of 10. When he turned 14, his uncle took him in the jump seat of the cockpit of an aircraft when sitting in the flight deck was not a safety issue.
However, his ultimate goal in life is to be the first of many ground breaking feats and become a philanthropist. He hopes to use his humble beginning as a platform to inspire millions by demonstrating one of his philosophies, which is that if you can imagine it, then it can be done! His natural attributes are his lateral way of thinking, tenacious character and resolute mind-set.
Against All Odds
The second of three children of his parents, Lola was often referred to as the “odd one out” for his approach and determination to succeed. Never shy of challenges, Lola would rather fail at a task than not try at all. He attributed his success to being the result of a unique blend of exposure from growing up in two different cultures i.e. Nigeria and England. Living in Nigeria during his early years made him realise how fortunate he was to be British and opportunities available to him as a young man. He is an avid preacher of Africa providing an enabling environment to its youths.
The Stormy Weather
Life was not always nice to him as he found himself alone most of the time struggling to make ends meets. The thought of not having any money and wanting to become a professional pilot associated with the enormous costs meant that he had his work cut out. He had to endure years of discipline and hardship in order to realise his dream. He worked two jobs while studying for his A’ levels and at age 20 he qualified for his Private Pilot Licence (PPL) in just 19 days in April 1999.
He also had a dream of flying around the world as a child and despite all odds became the first African to have flown around the world Solo in a single engine light aircraft making him one of a hand full of individuals who have successfully flown around the world solo since 1933.
The Man With A Vision
Lola also likes pushing limits of human endurance and in 2010 challenged himself to a solo bicycle ride from Tangier in Morocco Africa to London England in 17 days via Tarifa, Algeciras, Ronda, Cordoba, Madrid, Burgor, San Sebastian, Bayonne, Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Nantes, Rennes and St Malo.
Having grown up in an infamous council estate in South London, Lola is very passionate about leaving a positive legacy to the younger generation by inspiring them to believe “nothing is impossible if you have a vision and act with purpose”.
He aims to continue to break new grounds whilst giving back to his community.