He’s My Google – SAN son: YCE’s Olajide, Others Mourn
From Toluwa Agboluaje, Ibadan
The cold hands of death have snatched away the first man to appear on the television set in Africa, Otunba Kunle Olasope. He was a veteran broadcaster.
Olasope who was the Otunba Agunsoye of Efon Alaaye, Ekiti State, died at University College Hospital, UCH, Ibadan, during a two-day illness, on Sunday, aged of 82.
Speaking at the Osun Close, Old Bodija, Ibadan residence of the family, the third child and secretary of the family, Mr. Oladipo Olasope, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said his father had complications from diabetes and went to a comma for two days and died at UCH.
He said: “He had complications from diabetes and went to a comma for two days and died at UCH. He was brilliant. I called him my Google. He was like an encyclopedia. Anytime I am confused, once I called him, he would just laugh and tell me what I wanted.
“When he fell sick and I asked him my phone number the second day, he told me be heart. He did not store people’s numbers in the phone but on his brain. He was the first man to appear in TV in Africa. He was one of those who started Ogun State Television.
“He easily forgave people who offended him.
His kinsman and Secretary, Yoruba Council of Elders ( YCE), Dr. Kunle Olajide , who are both traditional title holders in the native Efon Alaye, said: “The transition of Otunba Kunle Olasope is a great loss to Efon kingdom in particular Ekiti State and Nigeria in general. I as the Aare (Prime Minister) of Efon kingdom will do a befitting tribute at a later date. We have lost a gem patriot and a leader in Efon kingdom and Ekiti State.
“ Otunba Olasope started his working career as a broadcaster in Radio Nigeria proceeding later into WNBS WNTV where his brilliant performance qualified him to be selected as the first face on TV in Africa. He had a most successful enviable career in broadcasting.
“He served Ekiti State as Chairman of the State Broadcasting Service. He died as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Efon Development Love. He is survived by a wife my dear sister Lai and successful children. One of his happiest days in recent times was when his son, Dipo, was elevated to the Inner Bar recently. Efon kingdom is in the mourning mode”.
A former member of House of Representatives, Femi Kehinde said though the death is not a sorrowful one, he would naturally miss him. He described him as a foremost broadcaster and distinguished gentleman.
He attended Agbeni Methodist School, Ibadan and Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos and various courses in abroad.
He was a close friend of the eldest son of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Segun (Senior) .
His mates in school include Ayodele Awojobi, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and others.
He joined Western Nigeria Television (WNTV)-First in Africa in October 1959 where with Anike Agbaje-Williams and Segun Olusola became the pioneer TV personalities in Africa.
Olasope anchored the Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) ’77.
He was the Master of Ceremonies for the burial of the assassinated Military Governor of the defunct Western Region, Adekunle Fajuyi.
He was the Chairman of Ekiti State Broadcasting Corporation, former Chief Press Secretary to the late Governor Olabisi Onabanjo of Ogun State in the Second Republic.
He left behind a 77-year-old wife, Mrs. Olayiwola, and six children. He will be buried November 1,2019 at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Idagba, Efon Alaaye,Ekiti State with a wake keep coming up on October 31.