Name: Horatio Agedah
Born: July 24, 1929
Died: October 31, 2007
Aged: 78 years
Horatio Agedah – Profile
Foremost broadcast journalist, writer, administrator and lawyer, Horatio Nelson Oyenke Agedah was born on the 24th day of July in 1929. His father, Chief Thompson Nengi Agedah popularly known as Mallam De Tara and his mother Madam Osoloba Agedah lived in Odi in modern day Kolokuma/Opokuma local government area of Bayelsa state where he himself was born.
Horatio Agedah began formal education at St. Stephen’s School, Odi in 1935 at the age of 6. In school, Horatio displayed a high level of smartness and brilliance. This prompted his family to send him to the then federal capital – Lagos for further education.
In Lagos, Horatio Agedah attended Baptist Academy for his secondary education. He wowed the school administrator so much that he was awarded double promotions which was known then as grade-skipping or acceleration. With this, he was able to complete his secondary education at a shorter time.
Horatio Agedah forged ahead in his education and went on to obtain a first grade in the University of Cambridge Overseas School Certificate Examination. He was the best student to graduate from the school in the year 1947 at the tender age of 18.
He also studied privately to bag a law degree as an external student of the University of London in 1970. Horatio thereafter attended the Nigerian Law School and was called to the bar in 1972.
Horatio Agedah’s Career on Radio
In 1956, Horatio Agedah joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation as an Assistant News Editor. He was able to quickly distinguish himself as the first Nigerian to broadcast a daily report of proceedings in the Parliament. He soon replaced the head of the news department Mr Norman England, who was so impressed with his work; so much that he wrote a glowing tribute to him in the ‘Radio Times’ – a weekly British magazine on Radio and Television listing.
Very brilliant, eloquent and knowledgeable, Horatio became famous as a political analyst and commentator. He delivered election campaign supplements which was the regular feature of broadcasting during electioneering periods in the country. He created a signature concluding statement for himself which was; ‘and so the campaign continues.’ In no time, this signature statement became a pattern for imitation by other broadcast journalists at the time.
At some point, Horatio Agedah was attached with the British Broadcasting Corporation for a working assignment. During this working attachment, he was requested to join the Nigerian Olympic contingent during the 1960 Olympic Games held in Rome. All thanks to his versatility, he became the first Nigerian journalist to cover the Olympics for the broadcast media.
Horatio Agedah: From Sports Lover to Sports Correspondent
As a lover of sports, Horatio not only played football for his secondary school Baptist Academy, but also participated in the prestigious J.K. Randle Memorial Swimming Competition where he won several swimming prizes.
He also had a sort of special love for boxing and was the captain of the Baptist Academy boxing club. Later he became an amateur boxer. His sense of humour, skills of presentation and outstanding ability to give a good speech, made him the natural choice as Master of ceremonies at big boxing tournaments.
This included the match in Ibadan where Dick Tiger retained the World middleweight crown, which the Ghanaian president Dr Kwame Nkrumah described as a ‘testimony to the ability of the African to scale the highest ladder of human achievement’.
It was the first of such tournament to be held in Black Africa and the honour of moderating the event only befits someone with a superb approach at humour, outstanding presentation skill and oratory prowess in the name of Horatio Agedah.
His journalistic involvement with Sports started as a freelance contributor to the ‘Young Nigerian’ and later he started writing the ‘Football Post Mortem’ for the ‘Daily Service’. He also reported for the Daily and Sunday times which were the most widely circulated papers at the time.
His articles and reports were so popular that he would have another article in the same publication. Therefore had he had to start using several pseudonyms. For boxing he would use T.K.O., for Football he was Goal Kick. In addition he had a weekly Sports talk on Radio Nigeria. He made Sport journalism sociable on Radio at the time.
Horatio Agedah as an Administrator
In 1962, Horatio was appointed as the first Nigerian Director of News and Current affairs of an independent Nigeria. He served diligently devising new ways of information dissemination from the government to the public. Thirteen years later, he was elected as the President of Nigerian Guild of Editors in 1973 and returned unopposed in 1975. He was also conferred with Fellowship of the Guild in 1998.
Horatio left the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria when was the Deputy Director General Programme services and acting Director General of the corporation. He eventually retired from the Civil service in 1978 after serving as the first Executive secretary of the News Agency of Nigeria.
He was among the political office holders of the second republic who were detained by the Buhari government but was released without charge after extensive investigations and the conclusion he had no ill-gotten wealth. Tragically his father passed on during this period. However, he was neither allowed to attend the funeral nor see the corpse.
Notable Roles, Awards and Recognitions
- First Indigenous Chairman of Lagos Amateur Boxing Association in 1961
- Council Member of Nigeria Football Association
- Honorary Life Member of the National Olympics Committee
- National Sports Award for contribution to development of Sports in Nigeria as a Writer, Journalist, Commentator and Administrator
- Certificate of Merit of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control in 1992
- Chevalier de la Medaille de la Reconnaissance Centrafricaine Central African Republic in 1972
- Officier de l’ordre National Sénégal Senegal in 1972
- Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (OFR) in 1983
Chief Horatio Nelson Oyenke Agedah OFR,JP.LL.B Hons(London)B.L.FNIM;FNGE;FNBS died on October 31st of 2007 at the age of 78 years.