Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti on Tuesday commiserated with the family of late ace broadcaster, Chief Kunle Olasope, an indigene of the state, who passed on in Ibadan last Sunday at age 81.
Olasope is said to be the first African man to appear on the television screen in 1959.
A statement in Ado Ekiti by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Olayinka Oyebode, described the late Olasope as a front-line broadcaster, who did Ekiti proud in his lifetime.
It stated that late Olasope made history as the first person to appear on television in Africa during the maiden broadcast of the Western Nigeria Television Service (WNTS), established by the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, in 1959.
Fayemi said he was particularly saddened by Olasope’s death and described him as a true patriot who served his fatherland, state and community diligently.
“ There is no doubt, our highly respected Olasope lived a life of selfless service. He gave his very best in the various capacities he served during his remarkable public service life.
“ He made history in 1959 as the very first face on Television in the continent, and thereafter continued to distinguish himself as a man of great intellect, thorough bred professional and a public servant of repute.
“ He served with distinction as Chief Press Secretary to the then Ogun State Gov. Olabisi Onabanjo between 1979 and 1983 and later as Chairman of Ekiti State Broadcasting Service under former Gov. Adeniyi Adebayo.
“ We shall miss the wise counsel of this illustrious son of Ekiti, who never stopped making useful suggestions to the government until he breathed his last,” the governor said.
Fayemi urged the children of the late Olasope and people of Efon Alaaye, in Efon Lical Government Area where he hailed from, to be consoled by the fact that their father and son lived a good life and left a legacy of service.
“Our prayer is that God grants him eternal rest and comfort the family,” the statement added.
NAN reports that the late Olasope, on Oct. 31 , 1959, alongside Anike Agabje-Williams were the first Broadcasters to appear, and read scripts on any Television in Africa, when the first TV in the continent, the Western Nigeria Television, (WNTV) Ibadan, was established by the western regional government of Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
He joined the then Radio Organisations of Nigeria, (RON) led by Ishola Folorunsho and Earnest Okonkwo to cover the National Sports Festival tagged ‘Oluyole 79’.
Olasope was a veteran presenter of Evergreen Music, where he featured his favorite Roy Chicago.
Former President, Ibrahim Babangida’s government honoured him with the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).
Before his death, Olasope was one of the veterans expected at the Diamond celebration of Tv in Africa expected to take off in Ibadan on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the sleepy ancient town of Efon Alaye in Ekiti, his country home has since been thrown into mourning following his demise.