The years of innovation and doggedness in the Nigeria media industry of Thisday Newpapers was applauded and celebrated by Nigeria’s best and brightest in Lagos at its Silver Jubilee ceremony themed ‘A Gala Evening to Celebrate Africa’s Most Authoritative Media and Technology Group’.
Held at the Eko Convention Centre, which had been creatively transformed to a heavenly, convivial venue, guests on arrival had to go through a walk way that had a hall of fame with names of every staff who ever worked at Thisday from inception, they were dubbed, 1,250 Visionaries and Ovation’s Publisher, Bashorun Dele Momodu, who was the founding Editor of Leaders and Company, the parent company of Thisday, and recruited its pioneer staff, was there too.
As they walked gingerly into the impressive venue, guests were first hosted to a cocktail before being allowed into the bowels of the main hall which had an intimidating stage.
The evening kicked off on a glorious note with the World Premier of Africa’s First Global Streaming Service, Arise Play. Billed to kick off on March 27, 2020, Arise Play, according to Chairman, Prince Nduka Obaigbena is a unique platform that will shape the future of African broadcasting.
Prince Obaigbena, the charming ultimate showman, then took centre stage to personally compere key segments of the event. With some jokes and comments, he did a very good job in giving the event a touch of spice.
He used the opportunity to commend all 1,250 visionaries who helped him build the world class media brand that Thisday has now become.
With Naomi Campbell stepping forward to say a few words, and Chris Aniogolu and Laila Johnson-Salami of Arise TV handling proceedings, it was soon time for the award segment.
Awardees included former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, who won Governor of the Decade (People’s Choice) while former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, received the Editor’s Choice award for Governor of the Decade.
While the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, won the Banker of the Decade (People’s Choice); the Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, won that of the Editor’s Choice
Emefiele’s award was received by Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, CBN, Aisha Ahmad. Entrepreneur of the Decade was won by Alhaji Aliko Dangote (People’s Choice), while Mike Adenuga won that of the Editor’s Choice. Also, Dangote’s company won the Company of the Decade (People’s Choice) while NIGERIA LNG Limited was the Editor’s Choice.
Philanthropist of the Decade (People’s Choice) was won by Femi Otedola (who revealed that he was able to donate N5billion to Save The Children Foundation after he received interest from his investment). Meanwhile, Tony Elumelu Foundation was the Editor’s Choice.
Minister of the Decade (Editor’s Choice), went to Rotimi Amaechi and that of People’s Choice, Ngozi Okonji-Iweala. Bank of the Decade was between Zenith Bank (People’s Choice) and Access Bank (Editor’s Choice).
Brand of the Decade was between Glo (People’s Choice) and GTB (Editor’s Choice), while Woman of the Decade (People’s Choice) was won by Amina Mohammed while Chimamanda Adichie won that of Editor’s Choice.
Institution of the Decade was won by Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) won People’s Choice and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFFC) won that of the Editor’s Choice. Finally, the Person of the Decade (People’s Choice) was won by President Muhammadu Buhari and the (Editor’s Choice) was won by his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan.
Meanwhile, the CEO of the Decade (People’s Choice) was won by Aliko Dangote, while that of Editor’s Choice was won by Segun Agbaje of GTB.
It was a very glamorous and glittering evening, which was fitting for an upscale brand like Thisday.