TRIBUTE TO SESAN OGUNRO 1952 – 2013
They say to live in the hearts of those that love you is to never die. If this is true, then Sesan isn’t gone.No, he lives on in our hearts. In yours, in mine, in the hearts of friends, colleagues, and most especially in the hearts of his loving family gathered here today. In fact, I can still remember the day he walked into mine, at the old NBC. I was a vacation jobber and Sesan, boisterous and full of life, was an on-the-rise News Assistant. Nobody knew quite how to lighten the mood like he did; irrespective of the atmosphere, without losing his decorum and sincerity. And most importantly, despite the hassle of meeting bulletin deadlines, Sesan made his shift in the newsroom a most enjoyable one for anybody there. So from the get-go it was easy to see that we would soon form a brotherly bond that would last beyond our periods there and into Grant Advertising.
The Grant Advertising phase of his life began in 1977. The previous year he had been really excited and looking forward to making the big switch from radio broadcasting to advertising, and Grant seemed the natural home for him.
The shift from writing news stories and radio dramas to copywriting was one he embraced. He would fluidly fit into the new role and goon to write some of the most memorable ads our generation had ever seen or heard. Even today, who can forget his catchy “Nasco biscuit, king of biscuits” sung jingle, or the several early Maggi, Milo or Vespa ads. He was truly unrivaled in his industry. Calmly bringing words to life like a painter whose brushstrokes are made of vowels, consonants, and metaphors; absorbing the pressure.
And trust me there was pressure. In fact, an incident comes to mind as I later joined him at Grant. He had received a brief to come up with a new campaign for Brytex but had totally forgotten about it. He was as at 4pm pressed to deliver the campaign as I was headed to Jos the next day to present the work to our eager,though impatient client. As a young, active and determined Account Executive I was beside myself as I was so sure he couldn’t meet such a tight deadline. What was I going to travel all the way to Jos to present to the Client? “We would definitely lose the account” I thought to myself. And then there would be Mr. Shobanjo to face, and definitely hell to pay. But once again, in his calm demeanor, he reassured me there was nothing to worry about. “JAW, go home and pack your bags” he said confidently, “you will not go empty handed to Jos tomorrow”.A man of his words, he showed up at my doorstep late into the night with the job done. It was easy to see why when Mr. Shobanjo needed to assemble the pioneer team for Insight, Sesan’s inclusion wasn’t an option.
At Insight, the bond between Sesan, Mr Shobanjo, Richard Ibe, I and the rest of the Insight family grew. Now looking back, those were fun days.
But as they say, change is the only constant in life. And change soon came as sometime late in 1981, Sesan along with late Johnson Adebayo, went on to form Eminent Communications. Eminent became one of the leading advertising agencies in Nigeria under his leadership. His leadership and love for advertising also influenced his relationship with the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria: APCON. Working with the council, his goal to enforce standards have made our profession a better one and influenced the generation of today.
But Sesan wasn’t just a good leader, friend, colleague and brother; he was also a great family man. I fondly remember his relationship with his wife Dupe even back when they were still dating. He would jokingly and lovingly call her “Ayami Dupe”.Hilarious as his tone was, underneath lay a feeling of undying love. The same undying love that marked his emotions on the arrival of his kids.
Undying love, a love that never dies; because to live in the hearts of those who love you is to never die.So good night Sesan,“Ses me; Senn Sound”, you will live on forever in our hearts.
9th January 2014
A truly committed professional and gentleman with finesse!
A senior colleague who will be missed indeed!
RIP and may God continue to give his family & the AAAN Family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Mrs. Bunmi Oke
An Eminent Man among his peers. Serving Managing Director of Eminent Communications, Lagos before that unfortunate dark night. We can only hope that he is resting in the bosom of the most preeminent ONE above!
Adieu, Sesan!! “…….To live in the mind and hearts of those you left behind is not to die.”
-Victor Otabor, Rosabel
Sesan Ogunro. As a “rookie” in the industry I always heard the name: his name seemed to be so “big” – I understood when I finally met him. Mr. Ogunro had a great personality, a beautiful smile, I might just say Mr. Charisma. When we served together in one of the AAAN committees, he’ll talk about everything including family, an indication of his balance between work and family. Unforgettable indeed, adieu Mr. Ogunro. God bless the family you left behind.
– Adelaja Adesina
His laughter was infectious. The twinkle in his eyes, memorable.
He was one of Advertising’s nicest breed.
Sesan Ogunro lives on.
– Kunle Shittu
My last encounter with this gentleman was sometime around 2nd week of December 2013 at the office of Alhaji Kakanrofi at APCON. He came to process the upgrade membership of one of his staff at Eminent. He was the one carrying his staff application form around APCON and we laughed it off that how can CEO of the agency be carrying his staff’s application. He was just that humble a gentleman.
Goodnight bros Sesan
-Chief Odun Fadoju
CEO DP Partnership+DraftFCB
In the very best single-minded messaging traditions of our business, may I say simply:
“ADIEU SESAN – A gracious genial gentleman gone!!