Abiodun Akinfenwa

Abiodun Akinfenwa BSc Business Executive and Financier Executive Adviser and Patron Yoruba Cultural Center, Dallas

Born in Ibadan, Western Nigeria, to Yoruba parents, Biodun, as he is popularly known, was educated at Methodist Boys High School and the Polytechnic, Ibadan. He pursued further academic studies in the United States including securing a Bachelor’s degree from Davenport University in Deerborn, Michigan, from where he went on to specialize in the fields of Business and Finance. Over the years, Biodun has made his mark in the Dallas-Fort Worth area as a business executive with special interests in Finance, Tax preparation and Real Estate development.

For the past two decades, Biodun has cultivated a deep appreciation for his African, especially Yoruba, roots and heritage, an attribute which he has seamlessly blended into a lifetime of achievement in several successful entrepreneurial pursuits and community endeavors. Thus, beyond his many business interests, Biodun’s heart lies in nurturing and propagating all aspects of our rich Yoruba culture. As the former President of the Ibadan Descendants Union in Dallas, and now, a worthy Patron and Executive Adviser of the non-profit Yoruba Cultural Center, Biodun remains deeply committed to fostering a sense of belonging and pride among members of the Yoruba community, especially young people, both in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and throughout the Diaspora. Chief among his goals as a Patron of the Yoruba Cultural Center is to seek the collaboration of dedicated individuals from all ethnic backgrounds and walks of life who share his enthusiasm for inspiring and educating young people to value and preserve their cultural legacy, thus securing its dynamic richness for future generations. His ultimate aim is to help advance the prestige and influence of Yoruba arts and culture worldwide through the various programs and activities of the Yoruba Cultural Center, Dallas.

Biodun is married with children, and lives and works in the DFW metropolis.

Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon

Prince (Dr.) Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon Bsc (Hons) Engr, MBA, LLB(Hons), BL, D.Litt, F.loD, FNSE, FCS, FNIM, FCIM, FNIMN, FEPHM, FCIAN, COREN Patron, Yoruba Cultural Center

A notable philanthropist and contributor to the development of art in Nigeria, Prince Yemisi Adedoyin Shyllon studied Engineering at the University of Ibadan, followed by degrees in Law from the University of Lagos and Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ife. Over the years, Prince Shyllon has set himself apart as a distinguished expert and innovator in art, business and public service. He worked at top managerial positions for corporations such as Caterpillar, Nigerite, and the ETEX global Group; and has served on the Board of several corporate and public institutions including OGBC, OGTV, Raigate Investment Company of the Ogun State Government, Gateway Tourism Corporation of Ogun State, several states governors’ transition committees, Statutory Councils, the National Think Tank, and the Ogun State Economic Summit.

Prince Shyllon has sponsored several professorial chairs in notable universities all over Africa for the study of art. He has written and coauthored several books on the traditional art and sculpture of the Yoruba people; and he has given lectures and presentations around the world on business management, public affairs and visual arts. To cap a lifetime of achievement, Prince Shyllonsinglehandedly financed the establishment of the first privately funded public museum of art in Nigeria, with a grant of 1,000 works from his private art collection to the Yemisi Shyllon Museum of Art at the prestigious Pan Atlantic University in Lagos, Nigeria.

Dr Saheed Lawal-Solarin

Dr. Saheed Lawal-SolarinDoctor of DentistryPatron, Yoruba Cultural Center

Dr. Saheed Lawal-Solarin was born in Sagamu, Ijebu-Remo, Nigeria, where he received his early education. After a brilliant career at the Remo Secondary School, Sagamu, he proceeded to the United States to further his education in the health care field. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Texas Austin, before attending the School of Dentistry at Howard University, Washington DC, graduating as a Doctor of Dentistry (DDS). He then did a post-graduate residency at the VA Hospital in Temple, Texas. Skilled in restorative Dentistry and Orthodontics, Dr Solarin has a vibrant dental practice in the Desoto and Dallas area.

He has lived for the past 2 decades in the Dallas area with his wife and children. He has a passion for youth education and has sponsored several scholarships awarded under the aegis of the Omo Yoruba organization of Dallas Fort Worth. He was appointed a Patron of the Yoruba Cultural Center, Dallas in 2021 in recognition of his support for programs that promote the appreciation and understanding of Yoruba language and culture among young people, both Yorubas and non-Yorubas, in the Dallas area. His hobbies including reading, travelling and playing soccer.

Dr Abraham Ariyo

Dr. Abraham AriyoMD; Interventional CardiologistPATRON, Yoruba Cultural Center.

Abraham Ariyo was born in Ilesha in the Yoruba heartland and was educated at the College of Medicine of the University of Ibadan where he graduated with Distinction. After proceeding to the United States, he obtained a Master’s degree in Public Health from Harvard University and completed a Residency training in Cardiology at Howard University in Washington DC. The recipient of several honors and awards including the National Research Service Award, Dr. Ariyo served as a Cardiovascular Research Fellow at The Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, and completed a General and Nuclear Cardiology Fellowship training at the University of California. He was then appointed an Interventional Cardiology Fellow at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Ariyo is the owner and founder of Heart Masters Cardiology in Dallas. He is also an Interventional Cardiologist at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in Sunnyvale, Texas. A prolific medical author, Dr. Ariyo has written chapters in medical books such as the Modern Textbook of Medicine, and articles in professional journals such as Annals of Medicine, Archives of Medicine, Circulation, Journal of Cardiovascular Risk, European Journal of Cardiology, and The Journal of The American College of Cardiology. As a researcher, he led the NIH-funded Cardiovascular Health Study that has impacted the lives of many Americans.

Dr. Ariyo, as a leader of the Yoruba community in Dallas, Texas, has used his position over the years to support initiatives that help individuals and their families, including providing funds for college scholarships for high school seniors, supporting the first annual Yoruba Fest cultural festival – and now as patron of the Yoruba Cultural Center, providing monetary and other support for the programs of the organization. He has a passion for promoting the progress, solidarity, and self-determination of the Yoruba people in their homeland.

Dr. Ayodele Osowo

Dr. Ayodele OsowoMD; GastroenterologistPatron, Yoruba Cultural Center

Dr. Ayodele Osowo finished medical school at the University of Benin. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Rochester in New York. He did an advanced fellowship in Hepatology and Liver Transplant Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and completed his Gastroenterology and Hepatology fellowship at the University of Texas and the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. After this, he joined Gastroenterology Practice Associates in Arlington, Texas.

Dr. Osowo is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology with a sub-specialization in Hepatology and Liver Transplant Medicine.

He is a passionate supporter of efforts to preserve the Yoruba language, arts, and culture for the next generation, for which reason he was chosen as a worthy patron of the Yoruba Cultural Center, Dallas. He was the Special Guest of Honor at the Official Opening of the Yoruba Cultural Center and Yoruba Art and Heritage Museum on March 6, 2021.

HRH Sooko Alani Gbadebo Opeloye

HRH Sooko Alani Gbadebo Opeloye SOOKO ONIJARA OF IFE, Patron, Yoruba Cultural Center

Professionally, he has worked in various architectural, engineering, construction and manufacturing companies before venturing into real estate practice. Along the way, he owned and operated a security company as an ADT authorized dealer in the United States. His professional memberships include Associate Member, American Institute of Architects; Member, Project Management Institute and the Metroplex Association of Realtors. A community leader with a passion for cultural issues, Sooko Alani was the pioneer President of Egbe Omo Ife, Dallas 2001-2007. As a philanthropist, he sponsored scholarships, donated medical supplies, and organized the 2005 annual fundraising in Dallas. He has also procured land for members to build homes.

A hereditary royal prince of Ile-Ife, he became the Sooko Onijara of Ife in 2021. As a Royal Highness and Sooko, Alani is a crown prince of Ile-Ife. In this position, he is a member of the Ife Traditional Council of Sookos, representing the Ijaroa Onijara Royal Compound of the ancient Obalufon Dynasty.

As a Patron of the Yoruba Cultural Center Dallas, Sooko Alani has dedicated his services to the promotion of the programs of Yoruba Cultural Center in the United States and abroad, particularly in liaising with the Ife Traditional Council of Sookos (Crown Princes and Princesses) and His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, the Ooni of ife. He will also be involved in fundraising and membership drives, acting in an advisory capacity to the President and Board of Directors.