The hall was packed and every invited dignitary turned up from marketing communications gurus to actors, actresses and music artistes, comedians to publishers and even royalty. Everyone turned up to say yes to Azuh Arinze, former editor of National Encomium and now publisher of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine, one of the leading and most respected soft sell journals in Nigeria which clocked 4 years on Friday, June 19, 2015.
The list included business moguls, top government functionaries, showbiz stars, renowned men of God, friends, families, well-wishers, readers and advertisers. They all came dressed to the nines, ready and happy to say YES! with the celebrity journal which prides itself as being ‘More Than Just A Soft Sell’.
DubbedYES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Annual Lecture Series/Cocktail Party,it held at theNigerian Institute of International Affairs,on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Kicking off at about12 noon, the able master of ceremonies, Gbenga Adeyinka, welcomed everybody first, then cracked a few ribs before inviting Apostle Anselm Madubuko of theRevival Assembly Churchfor the opening prayer. This was immediately followed by the National Anthem. Then, the welcome address by Azuh Arinze, Esq., Publisher/Editor-in-Chief ofYES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine.
After Azuh came Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, Nigeria’s advertising czar and Chairman of the occasion. Reading from a text, the highly respected Chairman ofTroyka Holdingsenlightened the distinguished audience on the things needed to excel in entrepreneurship. Next on the agenda was the unveiling ofYES CLASSICS!,an annual publication by the organisers. The48-page, all-colour, no-scandal, no-gossip magazine is usually a compilation of their best interviews for the year under review. And among those featured were Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode, ex-Gov. Emmanuel Uduaghan, Sir Steve Omojafor, Onyeka Onwenu, Richard Mofe-Damijo, 2Face Idibia, Mikel Obi, Mandy, Apostle Anselm Madubuko, Zeb Ejiro, Sammie Okposo, Kola Oyeyemi, Chico Ejiro, Debbie Ojo, Ayo Animashaun, Femi Aderibigbe, Jimmy Jatt, Tee A, Senator Jim Nwobobo and Bishop Isaac Idahosa. The elegant Stallion and DG,National Centre for Women Development, Onyeka Onwenu handled this.
Thereafter, the Guest Speaker, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, GMD,Prima Garnet Africa, took to the podium to deliver his lecture on ‘Running A Successful Business In Nigeria – My Experience’. Harping on ethics and interity, Akinwunmi held everybody spell bound for nearly an hour as he went down memory lane recalling how they started small and have succeeded in growing PGA into one of the biggest in their sector today.
Enter the Special Guest of Honour, Barrister Taiwo Adeoluwa, who is the Secretary to the Government of Ogun State. He too spoke eloquently on the need for all of us to embrace entrepreneurship. From there, he veered a little into governance in Ogun State, commending his principal, Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, for distancing himself from state governors who currently owe civil servants. Short takes were taken from friends of the house like Prince Bisi Olatilo, Chairman ofBiscon Communicationsand also the event’s Chief Host; Oba Dokun Abolarin, Oke Ila of Orangun and Royal Father of the Day; Rev. Fr. Chijioke Azuawusiefe, SJ, a scholar par excellence and Zeb Ejiro, OON, a renowned film maker and Nollywood veteran. Multiple award winning gospel star andGloambassador, Sammie Okposo, stepped in here, bringing down the roof with his electrifying performance. In fact, Sammie was so good that everybody was on their feet all through his performance.
Additional entertainment came from gifted comedians, Okey Bakassi and Seyi Law, who took over from him. And after that came the cutting of the anniversary cake. Then, the closing prayer and vote of thanks. Followed by the cocktail at the foyer ofNIIA.
Beside Shobanjo, Akinwunmi, Adeoluwa, Oba Abolarin, Madubuko and Onwenu, the 4th annual lecture/cocktail party ofYES INTERNATIONAL!Magazineequally attracted the likes of Larry Izamojeof Brila FM, Tunji Olugbodi ofVerdant Zeal, Muiz Banire ofMAB Associates, Kunle Onime ofMPC, Toni Kan & Peju Akande ofRadi 8, Kunle Bakare ofEncomium, Abioun Oshinibosi ofAbelinis,Gbenja Adebija ofAshton & Layton,Chude Jideonwo ofRedStrat, Bolanle Oginni ofBlessed Water, Tai Elemesho-Okesanjo ofMontai,Caje Oleforo ofDMT Mobile Toilet,Lanre Ogunlesi ofSofisticat,Julius Nwokoro ofUltra Moda,Azuh Amatus ofDaylight.ng,Bolaji Tunji ofThe Sun,Ehi Braimah ofNeo Media,Lexy Mojo Eyes ofNigeria Fashion Show, Nneka & Isaac Moses ofGoge Africa,Joy & Chico Ejiro ofGrand Touch Pictures,Innocent Oboh ofDijo Group, Uche Nnaji ofOuch,Mudi Enajemo ofMudi Africa,Abdul Imoyo ofAccess Bank, Ramon Nasir ofUBA,Kemi Otegbade ofHeartlink,and many others.
Likewise Saint Obi, Segun Arinze, Arinze Okonkwo, Ifeanyi Dike, Emeka Ossai, Ejiro Okurame, Alex O, Collins & Francis Onwochei, Azeezat & Seyi Allen, Jennifer Eliogu, Fred Amata, Vivian Metchie, Helen Sosu and husband, Henry, Ralph Nwadike, Mandy, MC Dannie B, D’Lectura, Alariwo of Africa, Cally Ikpe, Koffi, DJ Gosporella and Cornel Udofia.
A gathering of the best and the brightest, and in an atmosphere of fun, but laced with knowledge,YES INTERNATIONAL! MagazinePublisher/Editor-in-Chief, Azuh Arinze, had this to say about the hugely successful event: “Our gratitude, first, goes to the Almighty God for making that day a reality. Next are all our guests, particularly the Guest Speaker, Mr. Akinwunmi, the Chairman, Mr. Shobanjo and the Guest of Honour, Barrister Adeoluwa. We also thank the Kabiyesi, Oba Abolarin, Uncle Bisi Olatilo, the Chief Host, Apostle Madubuko and Aunty Onyeka. The list is just too long.
“Everybody that came. Initially, I had this fear that it might rain, but the Almighty God gave us a clement weather. So, I just can’t thank God and everybody enough for what happened that day. God will bless all those that came and even those that didn’t. God willing, next year will be better. But for today, I’m just so, so excited. My joy, in fact, can’t be summed up succinctly”.