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Remembering Oluwasegun Akpata (May 24, 1957-June 1, 2008)

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Oluwasegun Ogbemudia Akpata was born on May 24, 1957 in Abakilikii, Ebonyi State and died on June 1, 2008 in South Africa. He was the first son and child of Igbinoba Akpata and Mrs. Morinat Akpata (nee Bashorun Adewusi – Shomoye). He attended Ikoyi Nursery School, Lagos.

He later went to Corona School, Ikoyi, which he attended till his diplomat father was posted to England in 1964. There he attended Broad Water Primary School, London S.W.17 and was an avid sportsman at Broad Water. He became a cub scout, making him acquire another disciplinary dimension to what he already inculcated at home.

His parents returned from England in 1968 and their desire to have Segun in a more stable scholastic environment saw him writing the entrance examination to his father’s Alma matter at Igbobi College, where he graduated in1976.

After his experience at Igbobi and short stay in Benin City, he joined his parents in Dakar, Senegal, where he briefly studied French at the Dakar University before he went to complete his A-levels and university degree in England at Cheltenham College of Technology and University College of Buckingham.

After his father’s death, Segun returned to Nigeria in May 1981. His first job was with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), as a news reporter: a window, which opened his persona to the nation as “that oyibo” correspondent with the fast delivery. He was later promoted to become the State House correspondent. A beat he loved and cherished, for it offered him foreign trips and direct interviews with global dignitaries.

In 1987, Oluwasegun Akpata married Mrs. Lola Akpata (nee Cole), his long time sweetheart, whom he met in England. She is now the proud and devoted mother of his four children: Joseph, Olumide, Omowunmi and Omolade.

Arguably, his most fulfilling journalistic beat came with Tony Ede on Newsweek, a hard hitting, well researched topical documentary programme never afraid to lay bare the truth behind seemingly no-go areas.

After the programme seemed to lose its edge for Segun, he left. He later set up public affairs department of Chase Bank (later known as Continental Merchant Bank).

Having exemplified himself there, he bowed out as manager, public affairs, to head and run the independent weekly newspaper, a nationally distributed journal for three years. It was during this period that he set up his own private media consultancy company, OJ&T, which he headed and ran till his sudden demise in South Africa on June 1, 2008.

In between, he was a Zonal-Head and Principal Consultant, Zone 6 to the Petroleum Special Trust Fund (PTF); he later returned to NTA as an external co-producer, with a weekly production called ‘’Late Edition’’ shedding an incisive and penetrating light into the most tropically engaging matters of the day; acted as a CNN international sales agent in 2006, before being made CNN international country representative Ad-sales Nigeria in early 2008. His hope and vision was to repair the undeserved negative in Nigeria’s foreign image and instill in her people a more deserved and greater sense of pride in the country.

Eleven years after; your family members, who are still recovering from the shock, recall your life and times, their experiences with you and how you impacted their lives. The vacuum you left behind has been so difficult to fill. But by the grace of God, those you left behind are coping well.

You made your family to learn that “life is not a bed of roses and that they should always put their best foot forward, taking chances, exploring, and living life to the fullest.”

Oluwasegun Akpata will be remembered by his wife: Mrs. Lola Akpata, siblings and children.

 


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