The first Person to appear on Television in the Africa, Olasope, is Dead

A veteran broadcaster and the first person to appear on Television in Africa, Otunba Kunle Olasope is dead.

Dr Olasope, the eminent journalist passed on Sunday at a private hospital in Ibadan, Oyo State capital at the age of 81, few days to attain 82 years.

A former member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly,  Afolabi Akanni, who confirmed the demise, said Nigeria has lost a vital asset and media statesman.

A native of Efon Ekiti in Ekiti State, the late Olasope made history in pre-colonial Nigeria as the first person to appear on television in Africa, the Western Nigeria Television Service (WNTS),  established by the then Western Regin’s Premier, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in 1959.

His contemporaries were Mrs Anike Agbaje Williams,  Ambassador Segun Olusola and Dr. Christopher Kolade. His elder brother also retired as a journalist.

He was the Master of Ceremony (MC) at the state burial of the assassinated Military Governor of defunct Western State,  Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, in Ibadan and Ado-Ekiti.

Between 1979 and 2003, Olasope was Chief Press Secretary to the then Ogun State Governor Olabisi Onabanjo.

He was also the Chairman of Ekiti State Broadcasting Service under former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo.

A community leader and socialite, Olasope was also a devoted member of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Efon Alaaye.

He was conferred with the Member of the Order of Niger (MON) by the Federal Government.

He  is survived by Dipo Olasope (SAN),  other children and grand-children.

Biography

In January 1951 about sixty boys were admitted into Igbobi College. One of these boys was Kunle Olasope from Agbeni Methodist School Ibadan. At Igbobi College young Kunle Olasope was a member of School cricket team and the table tennis Captain. He was also a School Prefect. It was at Igbobi College that Kunle Olasope’s potentials as a presenter, news reader/caster was developed for he was a member of the School literary and debating society and he represented the school in various debating competitions.

Kunle Olasope later studied at the Nigerian College of Arts, Science and Technology, Ibadan branch and also at the evening law classes of University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife between 1957 and 1967.

In his over 52years in broadcasting, Otunba (Dr) Kunle Olasope exhibited great versatility and intellectualism. He was a presenter newsreader/caster producer, writer, ceremonial and sports commentator. He won commendations, bonuses, and accelerated promotions.

Kunle Olasope made history in his a career where he recorded remarkable achievements and a number of first. He was the first to appear on television in Africa when WNTV First in Africa TV. Station was commissioned in Ibadan in 1959.

He was the first Director of Commercial Services in broadcasting in Nigeria at WNTV/WNBS Ibadan (1968-75). He was the pioneer Chairman and so far the first and the only Executive Chairman of Broadcasting Services of Ekiti State. (2000-2006) and was the first Chief Press Secretary of Chief Bisi Onabanjo, Governor of Ogun State. (1980-82)


Kunle Olasope’s unforgettable contribution to broadcasting include his influence in the writing of Commercial Codes of Ethics and Practice for radio and television in Nigeria.

His contribution in forming the body responsible for the control of advertisement on radio and television in Nigeria and the arrays of prominent broadcasters past and present whom he inspired and or recruited and /or trained. They include Late Bonkole Balogun, a former Director General of radio Nigeria, Late Yomi Onabolu former General Manager OGTV, Olusesan Ekisola pioneer general manager Ray Power 100.5 FM. Bode Alalade, former General Manager NTA Channel 7, John Momoh Proprietor of Channel Television, Late Yinka Craig, Uche Coker Professor Mike Egbon, Professor Akin Oyebode Former Vice Chancellor University of Ado – Ekiti for mention but a few.


1. Nigerian National Honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) in 2000.
2. Ekiti State Government Honour in 2004,
3. The Distinguished Veteran Broadcaster’s Award by the National Broadcasting Commission, (NBC) in 2000.
4 Two doctorate degree awards, honoris causa by two American Universities.
(i) Doctor of Divinity by Shalom Bible University of Iowa in 2004
ill) PhD in Management/Public Administration by Mercy International University of Maryland in 2006.

Otunba Kunle Olasope retired to his home in Ekiti State where he is very active in religious matters and the development of Efon Kingdom, his home town where he has bagged the Chieftaincy title of Otunba Agunsoye of Efon Kingdom.

Members of the Board of Trustees Igbobi College Old Boys Association, distinguished ladles and gentlemen. May I present to you a distinguished Old Igbobian an accomplished broadcaster, a trail blazer, a mentor and astute administrator an a perfect gentleman Otunba Kunle Olasope, to collect the Award in the category of “Service to the Nation

He  is survived by Dipo Olasope (SAN),  other children and grand-children.

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