Kayode Abraham Passes on at 77


By Bennett Oghifo

There’s something exhilarating about Kayode Alaba Abraham. Even in death, he defies the deceased soul stereotype. Kayode wouldn’t slip into oblivion; rather he exerts a commanding presence in the lives of his beloved family, friends and associates. It hardly matters that he has passed on to join the choir invisible of the immortal dead, fond memories of him persist in lives and minds made better by his presence. Thus Kayode a.k.a Uncle Kaye lives on.

Hardly anyone understands his staying power; perhaps it’s due to his creative genius and enthusiasm in the interests of the collective that his memories live on in the minds of lives enriched by him.

This among many other things makes him a very interesting character in death as he was alive.

Born in Lagos on June 11, 1940 to Adebimpe Abraham Nee Matiluko and Ayodele Babatunde Abraham, the deceased was raised to be virtuous and painstaking in pursuit of excellence.

His father was a proud but reasonable man who never held back in his bid to instill discipline and honest ambition in all his children. It was this same sense of fairness that he instilled in his son, Kayode.

Despite the rigorous discipline that marked his childhood, Kayode was happy as a child. He was the last child amongst six children and in fact the only son. His five sisters are Omotayo Opadare (late), Jadesola Oluwemimo Ibidapo, Feyisetan Taiwo Ero-Philips, Kehinde Olaku Shote (late) and Modupe Idowu Abraham.

As a youngster, Kayode was known for his keen eye, infectious sense of adventure and uncommon intelligence.

Kaye thrived in all that he did and it was with this same drive, passion and spirit of excellence that Kayode left the shores of Nigeria to study in Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States of America. His imaginative genius manifested in his feral creativity and articulateness, his mastery of form, profound and hardnosed attachment to a self-made aesthetic that he expresses through means that are entirely of the moment.

A business graduate from Sir George Williams University, Montreal, Canada, Kayode was well sought after upon his return to Lagos. Thus, his first job was with Mandilas Limited’s marketing department before he went on to establish the business equipment division at F. Steiner Ltd.

He earned his Master’s degree in International Marketing from McGill University College and on graduation, he secured a position as Sales Coordinator within a two-year period. After which he was transferred to their international division in Sweden. Kayode perfected his business skills at the prestigious Harvard Business School, Boston, America.

He speaks six languages other than English, namely, Yoruba, German, Italian, Spanish, French and Swedish, Kaye was truly a citizen of the world.

He was indeed an exceptional breed. He founded his company, Senn Sound West Africa, soon after rewarding stints with the parent company in Germany and an earlier sojourn at IBM Canada. Kayode established Senn Sound West Africa in 1973 thus introducing Nigeria and West Africa to electronic and technological innovations that would change the music, sound and electronics industry in Nigeria. Specializing in the marketing of consumer electronics with after sales services, Senn Sound spanned across Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Kano, the Benin Republic, Togo and the United Kingdom.

Great thanks to him, several technological innovations – such as electronic systems equipped with remote control features, colored TVs, CCTV, the Cybernet Walkman (PS101) became very popular with university student. The four-tract cassette, cassette adaptor, the shortwave adaptor for conventional radio broadcast that enabled users to listen to multiple shortwave stations from all over the world from the convenience of their cars using Becker, Belteck, Voxon and Autosonic products – were also introduced into the Nigerian market through Senn Sound WA.

Soon the company secured the sole agency for Barco Electronics and Grundig Electronics respectively, making headlines in Nigeria and Germany.

The very first Language Laboratory in Nigeria was kitted and set up by Senn Sound (WA) Ltd. It is therefore no surprise that in 1986 Senn Sound (WA) went on to win the prestigious “Africa Award” held in London and other numerous recognitions over decades. He was a strong and influential voice in the audio-visual and electronic sector both home and abroad. The Lagos State Government recognized his contribution to the state’s economy and named a street in Victoria Island after him, “Kayode Abraham Street”, off Ligali Ayorinde Street.

There is no gainsaying Kayode had a great, unquenchable passion for technology but nothing could quell his love for fashion, fast cars and jets. He loved BMWs with unrivalled passion and he was always amongst the top 50 in the world to receive a new model and the first to have the latest model in Nigeria in the first week of its release from the factory in Munich, Germany.

He enjoyed being the life of the party; an infectious and charismatic socialite, he was also incredibly passionate about impacting the lives of people and spared no expense to do so.

As he grew older, his focus and first priority turned to winning souls for Jesus Christ. Kaye had a serious passion for evangelism which he committed a great part of his life and time to in unison with his wife Aisha. In fond remembrance, Aisha says “He was very excited to partake in evangelism, he was down to earth and he would go down to the level of anyone that he met. He was never prejudiced and he was a man who truly and sincerely loved people no matter their background.”