How A Nigerian Academic Scholar Set The Pace Of TV/Radio Media In Africa And Built A Multi-Million Dollar Conglomerate In The Process
It is easier to be successful when you can solve a problem a lot of people face. This has been the mantra of success for millions of entrepreneurs through history and has continued to be the same till today.
This is the success story of Raymond Dokpesi, an entrepreneur who understood this principle and went on to setup a successful media company in a time when TV stations and more media outlets were almost non-exitent in Nigeria.
Here’s how he did it.
Early Life And Education Of Raymond Dokpesi
Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi was born in Ibadan, Nigeria, on October 25th, 1951 to a family of Edo state origin which were a total of 9, including 6 sisters.
Dokpesi had his early education at Loyola College in Ibadan and his undergraduate studies at the University of Benin, Edo State. He later proceeded to the University of Gdansk Sopot, Poland where he earned a Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering.
From his young age, Raymond Dokpesi was a bright student. He graduated with a distinction and award of the best graduating student in Marine Transport Engineering; which was the first in the last 50 years of Gdansk university’s history at the time.
While at the University of Gdansk, he participated actively in various activities, including serving as the president of The Nigerian Students Union and the African Students Union, Gdansk University, Poland within 1972 and 1974.
His primary, secondary, and tertiary education was sponsored by a general manager of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur.
Raymond Dokpesi’s Journey To Entrepreneurship
After graduating from the university, Raymond Dokpesi started his career as the personal assistant to Bamanga Tukur at the Nigerian Ports Authority. He also went on to work as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport.
Despite his active service in his field of study, Dr Raymond Dokpesi never forgot his first love, showbiz and entertainment.
His passion for showbiz dates back to his early days in secondary school. He was a pioneer member of Ozolua Playhouse, a dance-drama group. Raymond decided to take a step further and put his dreams into reality. However, he was unable to start his entertainment platform due to the National Broadcasting Commission Decree, as then, the law allowed only government-owned broadcasting companies to control Nigerian broadcasting; prompting Raymond to wait till the time was right.
The Start of DAAR Communications
Fortunately, former Head of state, General Ibrahim Babangida, eventually passed a law that allowed private broadcasting in Nigeria. Raymond saw this as an opprotunity to launch his own broadcasting company, and in 1994, started the first Nigerian private FM radio station, RayPower.
Two years after that, he founded the Africa Independent Television (AIT), and in the process, set the pace of the Nigerian media industry for the likes of Galaxy TV, Silverbird TV, Rhythm FM and a host of other radio and TV stations that have gone on to become local successes.
Rayond also started DAAR Communications Plc, which was established on August 31, 1998. DAAR Communications became one of the leading media and broadcasting firms which provided excellent news and information to the global audience.
On September 20 2003, Africa Independent Television launched her signals in the United States and now broadcasts throughout Africa and via cable TV to the rest of the world.
Raymond Dokpesi’s Impact On Society
Raymond Dokpesi has built schools for several Nigerian communities and also provided scholarships to prospective students into tertiary institutions.
He has given various donations to foundations and organisations involved in human development.
Just as his education was sponsored, he has also done the same for many students across the country.
Awards, Recognitions And Achievements
On behalf of DAAR Communications Plc, Dokpesi won awards to his name and was bestowed with titles from his hometown in recognition of his tremendous efforts in Nigeria. In his homeland, he was confined with two titles, two of which are only conferred on worthy sons. He is Oghieumua and Ezomo of the Edo State Weppa Wanno and the Osoro Land Okpe Araba.
In 2004, he was given an accolade during the Foundation for Excellence in Business Practice in Geneva Switzerland. He also got recognition at the Kwame Nkrumah Leadership Award ceremony in Accra, Ghana for his contributions to Radio and Television media which have continued to put Nigeria on the world map.
Raymond Dokpesi also has to his credit, the following establishments and achievements:
- Established the first indigenous shipping line in Nigeria.
- Founded Raypower FM; the first private-owned radio station in Nigeria.
- Pioneered Nigeria’s First global TV, which was Africa’s first-ever Satellite TV station.
- Established the first TV station to run 24-hour broadcasting in Nigeria.
- Launched the AIT signals in the United States.
- Contributed to the formulation of the Nigerian Shipping Policy Act (Decree) of 1986.
To Sum It Up
Too much formal education is not terrible, but it is also not a pre-requisite for success. While Raymond may have the educated at very great heights, it’s his tenacity, eye for opportunities, loyalty, and a knack for building and sustaining great relationships that has helped him build a successful business.
By using these same principles, whether you’re educated or not, you too can someday become a success story for others to learn from.