Vodacom mourns the passing of Prof Kole Omotoso – “the Yebo Gogo man”
Vodacom pays tribute to Professor Kole Omotoso, widely recognised as the face of Vodacom’s long-running ‘YeboGogo’ advertising campaign, who passed away on Wednesday 19 July 2023.
Most South Africans know Prof Omotoso as “the Yebo Gogo man” from Vodacom’s iconic adverts which the telco used to promote brand Vodacom in the early 1990s and early 2000s in South Africa.
Vodacom Group CEO Shameel Joosub says:
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Prof Omotoso, who is one of the country’s respected academic and playwrights. At Vodacom, we remember him as an iconic figure who helped put brand Vodacom on the map through the inventive ‘YeboGogo’ advertising campaign that went on to win several advertising accolades. Professor Omotoso leaves behind a rich legacy, having played a significant role in inserting brand Vodacom, a brand with deep African roots, in the national conscience. I would also like to offer my personal heartfelt condolences to Prof Omotoso’s family.”
From the early 1990s as the winds of democracy where blowing in South Africa and immediately after 1994, when Vodacom was issued with a licence to operate in South Africa, Prof Omotoso was the face of its adverts and with his image dominating the advertising media landscape, he became one of the most visible persons in the country, reflecting the changing face of a new South Africa.
Prof Omotoso was born on 21 April 1943 in Akure, Ondo state, Nigeria.
He obtained South African citizenship in 1999. He was married to Marguerita Omotoso, an architect and urban planner, originally from Barbados.
The couple have three children — including actor, director and filmmaker Akin Omotoso and author and architect Yewande Omotoso. He studied at King’s College, Lagos, the University of Ibadan, and the University of Edinburgh. He passed away in Johannesburg on 19 July 2023.
On behalf of the Vodacom Family, Prof Omotoso will always be remembered for a brand campaign that evoked emotions, created nostalgia and fostered deep connections with customers. Those memories will always be cherished.