Dokpesi, the announcer with problems in his bag


Those those who love him love him to the core. Those who hate him hate him with a passion, to the point where the only thing they may be waiting for is just an opportunity for him to turn his back on him so they can drop a knife.

But he has followers, many of them, including those who believe in him and his ways and would probably take a bullet for him. But it is not necessary because the subject here is a survivor who seems to enjoy so much protection from his God that it is safe to say that he is a veteran.

Some people will convulse when they hear the name Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, but many more will scream Raypower for some reasons that will forever be hard to unfairly bury.

When he was 69 on Sunday, Oct.25, 2020, his friends gathered around him for some gloomy celebrations. Dokpesi has his people on the other side of the divisions and no one can do anything about it. Seeing some faces around him on television reminded me of the story of two boxers Barry McGuigan and Frank Bruno.

One day within hours of a major fight, McGuigan told his story, how they grew up in the same neighborhood, struggling to fight their way through poverty to the top, and how Frank Bruno has forgotten his humble beginnings once achieved fame and wealth. , he licked the nobility, while still saving his friends from his younger days.

Dokpesi keeps his friends, regardless of origin, regardless of age, regardless of wealth, and regardless of education, tribe or state of origin. Dokpesi keeps his friends and is loyal to them even in the vortex of danger. So he feels very at home in any part of the country, enchanting people with his exuberant and boisterous nature.

His life is built on a mixed path that was once emotional and equally intertwined with a determination to overcome the vicissitudes of life. When he was still young, he was so ill that his father’s friend had frankly advised him to get rid of this young man who did not have the ability to become anything in life.

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In utter confusion and deathly fear, he looked at a man he would call his second father giving him a death sentence, and that ignited some sand inside him. He vowed never to succumb to illness and the finality of death that accompanied it, although that was a decision beyond his reach.

Dokpesi is a storyteller and he told his life story with some delight and a twinkle in his eyes, like Unoka in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. Born in Ibadan in 1951 in the current state of Oyo, his parents were ordinary people who tried to make sense of life.

His father, William Ayaoghena Dokpesi, was a district nurse who worked in the scattered villages in Etsako before joining the army to fight in Boma, India, while his mother, Aishatu Alice Dokpesi, who came from the popular Garuba Elama family in Agenebode, she was mean. merchant selling fried akara balls and yams in front of Hotel Central, Ibadan. When they moved closer to home, to Benin, much later in life, she sold hot rice.

This is the story that drives Dokpesi, the story that angers him, that if life could give him the opportunity to aspire, to dominate his world and create opportunity, that very life should do more for the youth of today. Unfortunately, the opportunities are fast disappearing and the little cracks that open are reserved for those whose parents have already abused or continue to abuse the system.

The circumstances of his birth enliven his determination. At a very young age, he obtained a grant from the government to read abroad. His political father, Bamanga Tukur, who was the head of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) at the time, told this writer that Dokpesi never failed to justify the government’s investment in him.

“I kept pushing to ensure that the sponsorship continued because Dokpesi was always a winner, an achiever; never disappointed. Therefore, I always had a very good story to tell about him, that the child was an achiever and should be continually encouraged, ”he said.

Dokpesi set an academic record by doing his doctorate at a university in Poland. It’s no wonder that when Bamanga Tukur became governor of the former state of Gongola, the wonder boy became its Chief of Staff. And it was from the old Bendel estate! Juxtapose this with the current Nigerian reality.

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Dokpesi is a world-class naval engineer. But there will be time to talk about this and something else; his life in politics to which he has retired, his life as an avatar of the South-South Peoples Assembly (SSPA), which he used to homogenize the fragmented unrest of a people that needed better living and environmental conditions, for the one still hated by external and native oppressors, his life as an unrepentant patriot and philanthropist who has used his enormous resources to fight battles that threaten the nation; there will be time to talk about Dokpesi, the misunderstood.

My little odyssey here is claiming that Dokpesi is a fighter. When he enters a field, he attacks obstacles, human and official. His arrival in broadcasting in 1993 completely changed the industry forever and infused the kind of combustion energy that a private sector needs to fly and show how high it can go. Daar Communications has become a household word to the dismay of those who claim ownership of the air we breathe.

I remember that fateful night, September 1, 1994, when the duo of Olusesan Ekisola and Kenny Ogungbe hit the All-4-One music, I Swear. I swear it by the moon / and the stars in the sky / and I swear like the shadow that is next to you … It came from a source quite difficult to define but also as a kind of oath to stay with the people forever. .

Welcome to the 24-hour broadcast service in Nigeria and the signals have hardly been broken since then except for moments of official friction. Raypower 100.5 was born; This was soon followed by AIT (Africa Independent Television) and another constellation of stations that make up the Daar family.

People know this and it has remained fateful to Dokpesi’s broadcast effort, to the point that they even started contributing money to rescue the station once, when it ran into a financial storm. It will serve for the good of all to leave out the politics that intruded at that time.

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Dokpesi is not a saint. He will be the first to agree with you. But he has created a broadcast octopus that has become the alternative voice of radio broadcasting enthusiasts and their capacity for transformation. For a country in perpetual crisis, people want to hear something beyond reluctant bureaucracy. Dokpesi provides that voice, so he’s seriously in trouble. If the broadcasting sector survives and does well in Nigeria today, Dokpesi has largely provided the head on which to break the coconut.

He is a pioneer in broadcasting and a television broadcaster without regret. But Nigerians are the happiest about this. They love you as a human being and are willing to adjust to your weaknesses rather than allow your good to intervene.

Evidence. People talk about Nigerian music today and its ability to export potentials without remembering what Raypower, in general, did to unlock the sector. People talk about Nollywood without remembering that, not long ago, only AIT was ready to provide time to stream Nigerian films and, in the process, spur the sector toward explosive growth that has drawn the world’s attention. I am glad that the government has come to recognize the country’s entertainment sector and is ready to build on it, only if at this point it is a mere catchphrase. Someday some reinforcement and redemption will come to the sector in the real sense.

In the meantime, let me encourage Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi to remain unflappable. Only last year he underwent surgery several times, but each time he came out stronger. If those things inside your body could not take you away, it is only appropriate to reestablish that the current tribulations will pass, just like the seawater that beautifies the pebble.

His friends surrounded him with very kind words and good wishes. The current situation in the country is a clear testimony that kind words and good wishes are disappearing as commodities for people who are socially and politically exposed. It is to the faithfulness of God that Dokpesi has this in large volumes. Happy birthday to a detribalized Nigerian.

  • Okoh Aihe writes from Abuja.

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