Warri Boy Chris Doghudje, loves advertising, hates to worry!
You can catch Chris Doghudje, 75, smiling, chatting and sometimes reflecting on life as a Warri boy.
He can even be seen quite stern-looking when he needs his students and team workers to turn in assignments on deadlines. But never will anyone catch him do something very many people do— worry! “I have never been worried and I will not learn to do so now,” he says.
Shaped by an exceptionally graceful nature and educated in two great Universities in Nigeria, he is proud to have been taught at the Mass Communication Department of the University of Lagos.
Among his teachers were Sam Epelle, the first President of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, who taught Public Relations; Christopher Kolade, who was with the Nigerian Television Authority, taught Television Broadcasting; Uche Chukwumerije, an erudite writer for the Daily Times Newspaper then, taught him International Relations, and Victor Badejo of Radio Nigeria, taught him Radio Broadcasting and Production.
|With some of his grandchildren|
|Doghudje on his 75th birthday|
Doghudje found fulfillment in his advertising profession, where he was recognised and elected to serve as chairman of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) from 2007 to 2010.
He left a legacy of integrity as APCON chairman when he established the APCON Special Committee on Media Debt Issues (ASCOMDI) to resolve a long time allegation by media owners that advertising agencies owed them huge sums of money over a period of time.
He spent his years of active service working for two very outstanding advertising agencies; Ogilvy, Benson and Mather, and LINTAS, where he rose to become managing director, the second Nigerian to attain that position, after one Mr I.S. Nwemeke.
After his stint at LINTAS, where he excelled in operations management and training, Doghudje established ZUS Bureau in 1992, with focus on training of students for professional exams in advertising. He also publishes ADNEWS, an advertising industry review.
Born on July 8, 1939, Doghudje hails from Udjewhe clan in Ughelli South Local Government Area of present-day Delta State. At an early age, he left his village for Warri, where he was raised by an uncle who was a teacher and a catechist.
He grew up under a strict and disciplinary culture, which did not permit rascality to be a part of him. “I was rather too quiet and too churcheous,” he says, “I could not even talk to a girl all through my secondary school days.”
During his secondary school days at the United College of Commerce Warri, which is now known as the United College, sporting activities and music which other boys enjoyed did not appeal to him; he rather remained with the school band and enjoyed picking up tennis balls for players at the Warri township stadium. And this usually earned him three kobo with which he bought ‘guguru’(popcorn) regularly.
After secondary school, he taught for some years at the catholic model school Warri, before moving on to the University of Nigeria (UNN)Nsukka in 1964. But as a teacher, he spent his free Saturdays visiting the courts, according to him,” Just to see the Lawyers in action and enjoy their spoken English.”
Life as a student in UNN was eventful, filled with treasured moments for Doghudje, who is proud to be a student of the Jackson College of Journalism, which metamorphosed first into the department of Journalism, and then, to the department of Mass Communication, University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
The journey of Doghudje and five others; Tony Momoh, a former minister of communication in Nigeria; Tunji Oseni, a former special assistant to one of Nigeria’s Presidents; Solomon Aghedo; Uwamen Enaholo and Sam Eguavon, to become graduates of the University of Nigeria, took a twist in 1966.
“We had to leave the Eastern Nigeria when Odimegwu Ojukwu said he could no longer guarantee the safety of non-indigenes,” he says, “the atmosphere was too tense for comfort, so we left for Lagos.”
Providence brought the six to the University of Lagos, where they became the pioneer students of the Mass communication department. Here, they did their final year study and graduated. “We actually came to finish, we didn’t come to start, what an irony,” he says laughing.
According to him, they enjoyed their short stay, though the department was just one room in the library building.
Upon graduation in 1967, he got a job with LINTAS that same year. He was with LINTAS from 1967 to 1972, but moved to OBM, where he practiced advertising from 1972 to 1978. In 1982, he retired to LINTAS where he was until 1992.
Married to a teacher in 1973, he said his choice of a teacher for a wife was inspired by the fact that teachers had long holiday periods and usually closed early from work to take care of their children.
Away from the stereotype of an Urhobo man, Doghudje enjoys a treat of salad and chicken, Ukodo(yam porridge)and Amiedi(palm kernel soup)with eba, not with the popular ‘Usi and Owowri’(an Urhobo delicacy).