"Yebo Gogo": South Africans Mourn the Passing of Beloved Vodacom Madala Bankole “Kole” Omotoso, Dies at 80

"Yebo Gogo": South Africans Mourn the Passing of Beloved Vodacom Madala Bankole “Kole” Omotoso, Dies at 80

  • The familiar face behind Vodacom's "yebo gogo" adverts, Nigerian professor Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso has died
  • The father and learned academic died at the age of 80 after a long period of illness in Johannesburg on July 19th 2023
  • Messages of condolences have poured from South African netizens who had only good things to say about the late madala

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Many South Africans can picture the friendly face of the old man behind the affectionate "Yebo gogo" catchphrase.

Vodacom madala
Nigerian professor, Bankole Ajibabi Omotoso will be missed by the many South Africans who enjoyed his Vodacom ads. Image: Vaal Times/Facebook, @akinomotoso/Instagram
Source: Instagram

That explains why many were rocked by the sad news of the passing of Nigerian professor Bankole ‘Kole’ Omotoso, who had become the popular face behind many of Vodacom's adverts in the early 2000s.

According to IOL, the family confirmed Omotoso's death.

“We are mourning the loss of our father, husband and grandfather, Prof. Bankole ‘Kole’ Omotoso, who passed away after a long period of illness in Johannesburg on July 19, 2023,” his son, Akin Omotoso, wrote in an Instagram post.

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The eventful life of Kole as a passionate academic

Kole was born in Akure, Nigeria, in 1943. He attended King's College in Lagos and the University of Ibadan, earning a bachelor's degree in English. He then earned a PhD in Arabic Literature from the University of Edinburgh and the American University in Cairo.

Kole later returned to Nigeria, where he taught at the University of Ibadan and the University of Ife. He also wrote extensively, publishing novels, plays, and essays. His work often explored the themes of social justice, politics, and the human condition.

In 1989, Kole was forced to leave Nigeria due to his political activism. He moved to Cape Town, South Africa, where he continued to teach and write. He also held professorships at the University of the Western Cape and Stellenbosch.

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Condolences pour in for Vodacom madala from South African netizens

Judging by the heartfelt messages that have poured in across various social media platforms, it is clear to see that Kole will be deeply missed by not only his family and friends but all those who were captured by his friendly smile, "Yebo gogo" saying.

Judy Macbeth responded:

"How sad. His ad will live on so clever!"

Lisa Vermaak Warwick wrote:

"My condolences to his family and friends. Will always be the face of Vodacom for me!"

Pulane Mabea reacted:

"Rest well, sir!"

Fudley Bez commented:

"RIP was my neighbour at one time in Kenwyn."

Saidie Jaftha replied:

"He will always be remembered!! MHDSRIP."

Bongani Bonga Bucs responded:

"The nostalgia. Back when things were simple ."

BI Phakathi gives hungry grandpa money for food in viral video

In another story, Briefly News reported that kindness is doing what you can, where you are, with what you have. BI Phakathi is the gift that keeps on giving. In one of his most recent acts of kindness, the good Samaritan blessed a less fortunate grandpa that he bumped into along the road.

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A now-viral video shows Phakathi approaching the madala, who is seen carrying an axe and a long stick. Phakathi asks where the man is headed and whether he has eaten, to which the man says he hasn't.

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Source: Briefly News

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