A Day with Olusesan Ekisola, Raypower FM's Pioneer GM

by Tope Adeboboye

“Would you like to listen to the radio,” he asks, his right hand stroking the mouse, his face fixed on the flat screen. Listen to the radio? You are still exploring how best to courteously reject his offer when you are suddenly jolted by a familiar Islamic chant, the type that proceeds from Lagos mosques at about dinner time. A male voice then summons the faithful, in undiluted Yoruba, to the evening prayer. Then without warning, a burst of Yinka Ayefele’s music suddenly blasts into the room, spewing forth from somewhere around the computer, forcing your head to commence an unwitting but rhythmic nod, agama-style, to the clattering percussion. And then, that familiar refrain: Radio Lagos-i, tiwantiwa amitiiti, rings out as the World Wide Web brings Radio Lagos, loud and clear, live into this office deep inside America’s Midwest.

Olusesan Ekisola. Remember the name? Of course you do. Who wouldn’t remember the veteran broadcaster whose scintillating voice once resonated through the airwaves, dazzling millions of ears from the studios of Radio Nigeria Ibadan, OGBC 2, Abeokuta and Ray Power F.M. in Lagos? How could you forget the pioneer boss of Ray Power FM, whose voice boomed out of your radio, announcing the birth of Nigeria’s first independent radio station, ending government’s long monopoly of the airwaves?

It’s been a decade and a year now since Ekisola’s voice ceased to captivate radio listeners. In late 1995, he had quit his job as the first General Manager of Ray Power 100.5 F.M., and the following year, relocated to the United States. And since then, the rumour mill has been up and busy, spinning various tales, from the probable to the implausible, casting the Ijebu-Ode-born born communicator in a tinted garb of motley hues.

After months of futile search, this reporter had early in July stumbled upon Ekisola’s phone number. A quick call would later earn him an invitation to the broadcaster’s house in the city of Rogers, a serene, sleepy suburb of Minneapolis in Minnesota

The meeting was set for midday. But at 12.30, you are still navigating the roads, lost in the confusing labyrinth of streets and side roads dotting the whole neighbourhood. A particularly winding county road suddenly curves into an intersection, metamorphoses into a narrow, forlorn lane, and after a long drive, swerves abruptly into a dead end in the middle of nowhere. Flanked on every side by thick bushes and a somber silence only interrupted occasionally by the sad chirrup of a lonesome bird, you suddenly realize that you might be getting lost. A little petrified, you frantically fish out your phone and listen as you are led back to civilization by your broadcaster-host.

This sunny summer Tuesday in Rogers, a placid air pervades the atmosphere. On both sides of the road, newly built houses with luxuriant lawns bewitch your eyes. In front of one such house on Jasmine Way, the broadcaster waits, sporting a sporty white vest and shorts, a black, Menards-branded baseball cap sitting on his clean-shaven head. He’s on the phone, a black Motorola V Razr snuggling against his left ear while the right hand gesticulates, swaying up and down, left and right. As you step out of the car, he hangs up, embraces you like a long-sought sibling and leads you into his home and then into his home office, while his young daughter, Feyintoluwa, watches with some amusement.

You can hardly wear a frown in the presence of this vivacious gentleman. “I hope you don’t mind that this office looks rough,” he says jocularly, his right hand making one wide sweep across the room. “That is deliberate. They say if your office is neat and tidy, it is the sign of a sick mind! So I try to keep these papers scattered around. It is just to show you how hard-working I am!”

Ekisola’s office is compact, yet cute, tucked somewhere in the left corner of the exquisite living room. A little white fridge sits by the corner to your right. Behind the crowded table, a huge shelf sheltering an assorted collection of books stands imposingly.

From the walls, several frames shielding sundry pictures gaze at you. There are dozens more beside the computer, inside a big album. You see those featuring him and his family, one of him in a handshake with King Sunny Ade, another with his former boss, Dr Raymond Dokpesi. There are photographs of him with then Lagos State military administrator, (now Osun State governor), Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola. There are others showing him with Fuji star, Adewale Ayuba, with the late Toba Opaleye and Gbenga Adeboye, with Dr Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. There’s a large photograph of him and Miliki megastar turned man of God, Evangelist Ebenezer Obey. And dozens more in this big black album loaded with various images of the past and the present.

The broadcaster surveys Obey’s picture and sighs. “When I am feeling very low, and I listen to any of Obey’s albums, I become transformed immediately. That man is not just a musician. He’s a prophet.”

You may also like


Segun Adeyi August 22, 2011 - 12:27 pm

Where is Alex Conde please ? These guys need good recognition NOW !!!

My favourite DJ…Allllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeex Condi !

Segun Adeyi August 22, 2011 - 12:24 pm

I won LOADS of records too on that same saturday morning program “Write it With Music”. I still have most of those vinyls in my bedroom in Oyo. Sesan was such a HIGHLY TALENTED radio presenter. I think he should be a consultant to State / Federal Government on the establishment of radio communications infrastructures. Yeah, I went on to study in Rivers State, and Radio Rivers FM was phenomenal. OGBC gave them a great run for their money however !

Nicholas Awoyera February 13, 2011 - 12:33 am

I want Sesan to contact me. It has been a long time I spoke with me even during the days of my favorite DJ, Alex Conde.

Olowu September 4, 2010 - 11:36 am


I am sure you know who will pronounce your name like that, out of Chicago.

I am very proud of you Eki and I thank God for your life.

This was very interesting reading to me. It is early 6am Saturday morning and I just googled your name and this article, I mean three of them just showed up, and they were like sweet early morning coffee to me….They woke me up men…………

mike July 23, 2010 - 4:28 pm

On Sesan’s program on OGBC, more than 30 years ago, I used to win records with “Write it with Music”…

I still emember Sesan as being a highly talented presenter. Those were the days of Alex Conde

Mike Taiwo September 15, 2006 - 10:37 am

"Sir Eki" as we used to call him, Sesan Ekisola was two years my senior at "JOGS", Ijebu-Ode Grammar school. All I remembered of him before listening to his voice on OGBC FM2 was how during "literary and debating" he and other seniors would play different roles on what they would like to be when they become men. I am not sure, but I think his role then was that of a night soil man "Agbe po" which was very hillarious. I could hear him say, "when I become a man, a night soil man will I be". Today he isn't a night soil man but a man with a wealth of knowledge and ready to expand on whatever his horizon. This I believe he earned while passing through JOGS. I live in Lakeville, also a surburb of Minneapolis and I have encountered the veteran on many ocassions. I also want to advice brothers and sisters back home to think twice and listen before embarking on relocating abroad, not just the US. It isn't what you think. i have been there and I can relate to it.

UP JOGS!!! Non Nobis Domine

SMJ August 21, 2006 - 3:04 am

Very refreshing. Olu–sesan…Ekisoola. Hmm OGBC news. Gone are those days at the University of Agriculture Abeokuta (UNAAB). Under the tree (Abegi) at the Isabo campus, you listen to the golden voice of Sesan Ekisola and others. Isabo area of Abeokuta city became a bubling part of the town with students from Lagos, Ibadan, east, and the north.

Truly, Sesan Ekisola is one of those that make undergraduate life easy for those of us who like to listen to music. We study listen to Sesan's voice at the UNAAB Annex and at the main campus. When you hear the jingle that says "Olusesan Ekisola" in a feminine voice, be read to enjoy music whether you are at home or at the pepper soup joint at Onikolobo.

When we left Nigeria, some of us still ask about him and heard that he was with Ray Power.When we visit, we change the station to hear Sesan.

It's a surprise to hear that he finally joined us here in the United States, but we wish him all the best. Minneapolis will not be a good place for people of your caliber, New York or California will be a great place to live. There are more opportunities for people like you, all you need is to do some research and link with the right people.

You are a great person and please we want to hear that voice again. Good luck and this is a nice piece.

Femi Olawole August 19, 2006 - 6:14 pm

I must say…at last…this is a wonderful article. I had been wondering when someone would write about or do an interview about this great communicator. Having known his professional antecedents, I was not surprised at all by his down-to-earth responses to questions and his philosophical attitudes to life. I was especially grateful for the candid advises he gave to those at home who see America as another paradise that they must come to at all costs—including quiting good jobs or prospects in Nigeria.

And to the writer, thanks for a good job…please keep it up! You see…there are some of us Nigerians in the diasporas who are fed up with the daily menu of political articles and other balderdash that fill up the many Nigerian-oriented web sites these days. Most times, one can only wonder what's going on with those commentators going by their choices of articles and comments. We need something as refreshing as this article/interview…more so of a man with the type of experience as Olusesan Ekisola.

Again, please keep it up!!


Leave a Comment