Media mogul and chairman emeritus of DAAR Communications PLC and a network of other stations/chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, made a shocking revelation yesterday , disclosing that he suffered from speech impediment as a child.
The PDP chieftain who spoke to journalists in Abuja said the beginning of his life wasn’t totally smooth as he suffered a mystery ailment that always sent panic alerts to his poor parents who had prior to his birth buried six sons.
The media giant who added that there was even a doomsday prediction that he wasn’t going to leave up to three years, said they later predicted that he was never ever going to cross age 35.
He said, “The perennial ailment humiliated every cure for years, I couldn’t even talk properly like a normal child, like my age mates but clinically, I wasn’t dumb. In fact, I was just there, riding the waves of uncertainty.”
Dokpesi who shivered while narrating his life ordeal went emotional as tears of victory streamed down his face. He further said, “I will never forget that time when I was too sick to survive. The time when I was far too frail to make it as a human being, I was considered a bag of bones that may not live to see the next day.”
However, the media mogul expressed joy that despite his speech impediment, he won the love of teachers because of his outstanding performance in school.
“Whenever I did my schoolwork, my teachers could well know I would get it all right. I displayed that high level of excellent performance when I wrote the common entrance examination to the secondary and passed all three of them.
“For instance, I was taken to the University College to correct my speech defect which made it difficult for me to communicate properly as a child. In my second year in the college, I was struck by mystery sicknesses and was again taken to the hospital where I was placed under intensive care. Nobody could define the sickness. It wasn’t epilepsy and it wasn’t convulsion either. I was always writhing in pains.”
Unravelling the reason behind the book title, Dokpesi recounted that in spite of the financial situation of his family, he enjoyed considerable attention in the process of trying to fix his health challenges.
The title is in fulfilment of my promise to my late mother that I was going to wipe off her tears of agony. He said, “ It was my promise to offer ‘handkerchief” to wipe every sweat from the face of my mother who ate pain and sorrow as her daily meals that issued a challenge to myself , to set the bar of achievements so high that only I could afford to surmount. “
While expressing appreciation to God Almighty for making him; the once little sick boy that didn’t have any hope for survival , become the mighty tree giving shelter to many .
He said the book, Handkerchief, tells the story of his life , particularly the circumstances of his birth in present day Oyo State.
“I am proud that Dokpesi, a marine engineer by profession and a pathfinder in many aspects has today created a broadcast octopus that has become the alternative voice of those who love broadcasting and its capacity to transform the society, for which he is serially in trouble,” he added.
He also spoke extensively on his political tutelage under Bamanga Tukur, the invitation extended to him by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to return to Nigeria, his life as a mariner, his publication on the maritime industry- beginning of forays into journalism, his alluring and disappointments in his voyage into politics his short spell in the print and why he abandoned it.
Other areas he touched include; his brushes with the courts, his regret of venturing into polygamy, his assessment of the state of the nation , his love for music , motivation, laurels and chieftaincy titles among others.