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Adieu, Fantabulous Fabio Lanipekun –Tribute by Segun Adenuga, Veteran Journalist

Adieu, Fantabulous Fabio Lanipekun  –Tribute by Segun Adenuga, Veteran Journalist

BARELY four days after his 80th birthday celebration on March 2, 2022, Nigeria’s topmost Television Sports Broadcaster, Moshood Fabio Adesola Lanipekun transited after a protracted illness.

Born in Lagos Island on March 2, 1942, Fabio attended Ansar-ud-Deen Primary School, Okepopo in Central Lagos and also went to Methodist Boys High School in Broad Street, Lagos. He was a notable table tennis player and also a soccer star, featuring for the Methodist Boys High School team that defeated St Gregory’s College, Obalende in 2-1 in the final of 1961 Lagos Principals Cup at Onikan Stadium.

I could remember vividly that Coach Balogun alias “4-2-4,” led the Methodist Boys High School team of Salako, Ajibade, Babayemi, Oshodi, Elegbede, Idowu Iwebor, Lidjet Lawson, Okoronde, Adeyemi Carew, Ejiwunmi and Fabio Lanipekun operating from the left flank to beat the red-hot favourite St. Gregory College, Obalende led by towering George Amu and Idoniboye 2-1 after an exciting final.

Thereafter, Fabio started journalism at the instance of Mr. Solomon Babatunde Oshuntolu (ESBEE) who was then in Daily Express at Agbon and lived in the same neighbourhood with Fabio at Evans Street, Lagos.

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The young Fabio, then 20, took up appointment as a career journalist in December 1962. He was transferred to Ibadan in Western Region where he combined news reporting with sports reporting and he became popular as a sports reporter than a news reporter.

From Ibadan, Fabio left for England to study Journalism at the Regency Polytechnic in London in 1964, graduated in 1966 and came back to Nigeria in 1968. On his return, Fabio joined the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at Ikoyi, where he was understudying the likes of Ishola Folorunso, Nigeria’s greater sports commentator.

After a brief stint with NBC in Lagos, Fabio moved back to Ibadan and joined Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation and Western Nigeria Broadcasting Service (WNBS), Ibadan in February, 1969.

A very precocious young journalist, Fabio kept telling his employers that Sports Reporting was a very important arm of journalism that needed to be handled by professionals. After long deliberations, the Management of Western Nigerian Television (WNTV), the first Television Station in Black Africa courtesy of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, asked Fabio Lanipekun to produce a sport dummy, which he did to their admiration – thus becoming the first Sports Editor of WNTV and also the first television sports caster in Africa in 1969.

He was promoted and transferred to Lagos in 1981 to handle NTA which was established in 1976. He later became the first Sports Manager of NTA, making sports reporting more interesting on television. After almost two and half decades of sports journalism, covering events all over the six continents, Fabio Lanipekun voluntarily retired in 1995.

He, however, took an appointment with the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) as Secretary General and image-maker. He was also a regular columnist with TRIBUNE Newspaper of Ibadan, writing under the pen-name, Grandmaster, before ill-health suppressed his vitality.

Goodnight, FANTABULOUS FABIO.

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COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 8
  • pompei 5 months ago

    Fabulous, Fantabulous, Fantastic Fabio.
    A legendary sports broadcaster.
    Brought so much joy and entertainment to fans during his tenure.
    Condolences to his family and friends!

     
  • pompei 5 months ago

    Still recall with much nostalgia his brilliant, animated commentary in the tension-encounter between Nigeria and the then USSR at the 1989 U20 world cup.
    Nigeria was 4 goals down, but then began an unlikely recovery, eventually canceling out the 4-goal deficit and going on to win the match on penalties.
    When Nduka Ugbade squeezed in Nigeria’s equalizing goal, Fabio completely lost it!
    ADEPOJU, A GOOD CHANCE TO NIGERIA…..
    IT IS A GOOOOAL! IT IS A GOOOOOOAAL! IT IS A GOOOAAAAL!
    NIGERIA HAS EQUALIZED! THEY WERE 4 GOALS DOWN, AND THE BOYS CAME BACK!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_EqqElKXURI

     
    • Ayphillydegrea 5 months ago

      That was the day I began to get a good hold of the English language. “This is incredible!! This is unbelievable! This is an effort Induration!! Nigeria have equalized!! From 4 goals down!!!
      Fabio Lanipekun was my favorite Nigerian football commentator of all time. Followed by Mainasara Hilo( don’t know if I get the name right but I used to love them both. How times fly?? Rest in n peace Fabio.

       
      • pompei 5 months ago

        FABIO LANIPEKUN, ERNEST OKONKWO, WALTER OYATOGUN, YINKA CRAIG, AKINLOYE OYEBANJI, MAINASARA ILLO.
        Those were the days when Nigerian commentators rivaled, or even exceeded their British and other European peers in the art of football commentary.
        Passionate, articulate, brilliant commentaries.

         
        • KENNETH 5 months ago

          Yes o, those were the glorious days, even not being present, this presenters will make you feel you watching the game live, I believe mainasara is the only one alive. stand to be corrected

           
          • pompei 5 months ago

            You’re right, Kenneth. Out of these ones, Mainasara is the only one left.

             
        • O'bill Pam'Pam 5 months ago

          These guys where very good but I think Ernest Okonkwo is a step ahead of them. He gives you a vivid picture/ description of play that you don’t feeling you’re listening to a radio. He once described Yisa Shofoluwe and his syle of defending; I so understood it that I adapted it in my defensive game as a right full back. Those were the days, when you can see the intelligence and brilliance of a Nigerian. Rest in Peace FABIO.

           
    • KENNETH 5 months ago

      Thanks pompei for this great video. Still remembered this game and his voice like yesterday. May his soul rest in peace