It came as a rude shock but the reality has dawned on everybody that the founder of DAAR Communications, Chief Raymond Dokpesi is dead. He died on Monday in Abuja. Dokpesi was aged 71.

As the pioneer of private broadcasting in Nigeria, he was the owner of the Raypower FM and AIT media platforms.

Chief Raymond Anthony Aleogho Dokpesi was born in Ibadan, but his parents were from Agenebode, Edo state in a family including six sisters. He entered the Nigerian mass media industry with Raypower FM under his company DAAR Communications and later set-up the Nigerian TV network Africa Independent Television (AIT).

Dokpesi started his early education going through Loyola College Ibadan. After this, he joined the Immaculate Conception College (ICC) in Benin City where he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Play house, a dance/drama group. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Benin Edo State and completed his studies in University of Gdansk, Poland where he earned his Doctorate degree in Marine Engineering.

Dr. Raymond Dokpesi started as the personal assistant to Alhaji Bamaga Tukur one of the general managers of the Nigerian Ports Authority. Dokpesi also served as a civil servant in the Federal Ministry of Transport under Alhaji Umaru Dikko and General Garba Wushishi. The association of Raymond Dokpesi with the likes of the Tukurs and the late Abiola resulted in the birth of African Ocean Lines (AOL).

Dr. Raymond Dokpesi never forgot his first love, showbiz and entertainment. This can be traced back to his early days in secondary school when he was the pioneer member of Ozolua Playhouse, dance drama group. He decided to put his dream to reality when he conceived the idea of starting a radio station during the Ibrahim Babaginda regime when the atmosphere was conducive enough due to the deregulation of broadcasting in Nigeria. In 1994 he launched the first Nigerian private FM radio station RayPower. Two years later, he launched Africa Independent Television.

Dokpesi received awards on behalf of DAAR Communications Plc and had been conferred titles from his hometown in appreciation of his tremendous efforts towards Nigeria. His hometown conferred two chieftaincy titles upon him, both of which are only bestowed on worthy sons. He was the Oghieumua and Ezomo of Weppa Wanno, Edo State, as well as the Araba of Osoroland, Okpe.