Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Dolapo, along with his nine siblings, would grow to learn the true meaning of serving others. His parents, both Nigerian immigrants, were molded by the Civil Rights Movement and were advocates for higher education and humanitarianism. Dolapo met and exceeded his parents’ expectations by attending Morehouse College, Kennesaw State University, Harvard University, and Walden University. Through his matriculation at each institution, he earned a Ph.D. (ABD) in Leadership and Organizational Change, two Master’s degrees in Healthcare Management and Business Management, and two Bachelor’s degrees in Business Management and Computer Science. In addition to his educational accolades, Dolapo received a board membership nomination from the Grammy Recording Academy for his exemplary work within the music industry. Furthermore, he has been an active member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. for over two decades.
With a passion for the arts and social entrepreneurship, Dolapo Erinkitola has combined his love for business and philanthropy to create a production company that gives exposure to aspiring artists and entrepreneurs. Dolapo E. Productions has several projects set for release this year, including: Scheme Queens(2022)an official selection of the American Black Film Festival, Sound of Christmas (2022), an upcoming Christmas film starring multi-platinum recording artist Ne-Yo, comedy series Tenishia Wilson: She’s So Funny (2022),documentary I Am John Gabbana (2022),and the upcoming film Waterboyz (2022), a film highlighting the experiences of young Georgia entrepreneurs known as ‘water boys’. Adding to his plethora of roles, he is also an Executive Producer for numerous productions. Notably, he was one of the producers of BET Network’s infamous film, Karen (2021). Now with an upcoming book set for release in 2023, he is adding author to his resume. In a world that is becoming increasingly transparent, Dolapo Erinkitola is on a continuous climb to creatively impact the arts community through philanthropy and film production, and shows no signs of slowing down.
What was the inspiration behind your brand Dolapo E. Productions?
The inspiration behind Dolapo E. production is simply “Love”. It’s all about helping others realize their vision. Seeing a project start out in the mind of a creative and working it to execution gives me joy, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment. I love seeing a creative mind at work, mainly because my lane is more on the business side. I will always position myself to help create timeless art.
What challenges did you overcome to get where you are today?
I had to overcome many challenges to get here today. The hurdles that caused the most bottleneck centered around learning a new industry. How business is conducted in the film industry differs greatly from corporate America. I had to be a quick study.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey?
Without a doubt, the most rewarding part of this journey is helping others realize their dreams; while creating good content.
What tips do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs looking to break into the restaurant industry?
I would say always surround yourself with people who have done it before. There is nothing like having a mentor in this game that can help you navigate around the upcoming pitfalls and there are many. You need a mentor.
What does success look like for you?
There are levels of success in my option. The first level is centered around self-sufficiency, can the business keep the lights on? The second level is centered around impacting others. Are you able to create jobs for the community on a consistent basis and pay them enough to maintain their household? Level three is about being able to run the business without you being in the office.
In other words, are you making money while you sleep?
What is next for you?
I would love to make movies that positively impact the culture. Movies that are still edgy and relevant without it being an oversell of stereotypes
What is your definition of a Man who hustles?
The definition of a man who hustles is simply a man who finds a way. He finds a way to open the doors, he finds a way to get funding, he finds a way to pay his people, and he finds a way to close the deal. He just finds a way!
Connect and Follow Dolapo @officialdolapoe