Society Diary interviews... Fola Komolafe

26 Apr 2024 Interviews

World Vision UK's first female CEO speaks to our light-hearted columnist about her favourite dessert and what advice she would have given herself 20 years ago...

Fola Komolafe is the incoming CEO of World Vision UK.

Dearest reader, welcome back to another interview from your very own Society Diary. This columnist's latest interviewee is Fola Komolafe, World Vision UK's first ever female chief executive. 

During our chat, Komolafe explains why summer is her favourite season and when she met King Charles...

You can read our exchange below. 

How are you?

“So, you asked how I am, I feel blessed and privileged to be World Vision UK’s CEO and to continue the good work of ensuring fullness of life for every child. I am British of Nigerian descent, married with three children and I am absolutely thrilled to be able to use all my commercial, social and local experience to date for World Vision UK. Stepping into this role, I have gotten to know the teams more, so spending this time with them is precious and important.”

Are you a dog or a cat person?

“A dog person. I have a dog and his name is Tyson. He is a boxer and adorable.” 

What is your favourite time of year?

“Summer is my favourite time of year, it gives me time to not only spend time with family and friends, but also in summer, I take a moment to reflect on things. To remember what my mission is, but also to take that time to take a lookback on things and cherish some moments. From this, I can often think of other ideas or simply appreciate that experience.”

What has made you smile recently?

“Many things make me smile, but I recently met with King Charles III at the Buckingham Palace reception to celebrate the Disaster Emergency Committee's 60th anniversary and it was an honour to meet him but also to meet many other people who work within the charity area because to know that we are working together for the same ambition – to raise awareness and much needed funds – together, we can do good things.

“World Vision UK was also part of a Guinness World Record for the largest line of cans, organised by MK Food Bank. This involved many other communities and businesses in Milton Keynes so to have so many people come together and achieve the Guinness world Record put a smile on my face. It’s good to see people come together as a community and make things happen a grand total of 102,447 cans of food was donated from the Walk the Line record breaker.”

What advice would you give yourself 20 years ago?

“I always try to take time to reflect. Whether it is to fondly remember something funny or good, to relive a memory or simply to just acknowledge what has happened and reflect on it. I think it is good to be grateful for every life’s challenge because if you learn from it then that is precious. No failure is a failure – it is just learning.

“I think I would tell myself to stand tall, be your true self and to trust because it is not just hard work and commitment that is needed but also patience. Timing is very key, and I am a believer that for the most part, good things happen at the right time.”

What is your favourite book?

“Michelle Obama’s book Becoming. Michelle is a strong, passionate, out-there role model, and she's always posed and conducted herself with integrity. She's from a less than privileged background and rose to power from very humble beginnings.”

Do you have a favourite album?

“I love CeCe Winan’s album Believe For It and there are so many great songs on there but my favourite song in that album is #Worthy of it all. Simply beautiful. It’s a powerful reminder of the worthiness to our Lord.”

What is the best dessert you have ever eaten?

“I’m not a dessert person. But if you mention cheese and biscuits , then now you’re talking. Cranberry Wensleydale on a buttery cracker.” 

What is your favourite film or TV show?

“The Sound of Music. It’s a classic film, easy watching, uplifting, family orientated and an easy watch for all ages.”

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