How Dan Foster came to Nigeria, thinking Victoria Island was Virgin Island

DAN Foster, the late African-American, who died on Wednesday of suspected COVID-19 in Lagos was an established broadcaster in the U.S before he relocated to Nigeria in a move he described as “God’s doing.”

Not many knew that he mistook V.I. in a message sent to him by his new employers to mean Virgin Island in the US. But the V.I in the job offer was referring to Victoria Island Lagos.

Foster in an interview with The Punch Newspaper in 2009, said that he never knew he was coming to Nigeria until when he was contacted.

When he was offered a new job based on his tape that he had posted on the internet, Foster said he thought it was Virgin Island where he had worked before but he would later realise it was Victoria Island, Lagos.

“It was Chris Obosi, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Beat FM that contacted me from Cool FM for my tape that I had put out on the Internet,” Foster said in the interview.

“I had got hits all over when I put my stuff on the internet. So I came down in 2000 when I finally made up my mind that this is where I wanted to be. I actually thought it was Virgin Island where I had worked before then. But it was Victoria Island in Lagos. I got it mixed up.”

Despite having a blossoming career in the U.S, Foster said “Well, I like to think it was God because I’m following a dream. I came from Morning Radio in the U.S., and there was a job offer on the Internet with a radio station in Nigeria on a two years contract. I went for it and the Island also fascinated me.”

In the year 2000, Foster moved to Nigeria and joined Cool FM Nigeria, a Lagos-based English speaking radio station with frequencies across four of the six geo-political zones in the country.

Also known as “The Big Dawg”, Daniel ‘Dan’ Foster was credited with changing the face of radio as an On-Air Personality (OAP) at Cool Fm.

Heavily criticised for his constant use of the word “Ikebe” (Nigerian pidgin for derrière), he went on to win an award for Best Radio Presenter of the year.

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He became an instant hit with everybody looking forward to the ‘Big Dawg’ every morning on the radio. Foster won several awards for his exploits and even had a cameo appearance in a Nigerian movie -Face of a Liar in 2001.

Foster re-created the Sunday Gospel radio show ‘Praise Jam’ and was a key organiser for the Cool FM Praise Jam concerts in 2004; with a total of over 22,000 people in attendance.

He then won 2003, 2004, and 2005 Nigeria Media Merit Awards for ‘Best Radio Personality’.



    In September 2009, Foster left Cool FM for a new radio station Inspiration FM; which he played a lead role in birthing, but left in 2014 to join City FM.

    His decision was made on a note that he wanted to grow in order to be able to set up a new radio station, a more inspirational radio station, which is something he has always wanted to do.

    City People Awards known for honouring outstanding individuals had recognised him as one of the outstanding individuals who have touched the lives of citizens in the community.

    He is married to Lovina Foster and they are blessed with three children; Joshua, Danielle and Somtochukwu.

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    Abeeb Alawiye formerly works with The ICIR as a Reporter/Social Media officer. Now work as a Senior Journalist with BBC News Yoruba. You can shoot him an email via [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @habsonfloww

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