YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine, one of the leading and most respected soft sell journals in Nigeria clocked 4 years on Friday, June 19, 2015 – and on hand to celebrate and rejoice with them were 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’.
Dubbed YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine Annual Lecture Series/Cocktail Party, it held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos. Kicking off at about 12 noon, the able master of ceremonies, Gbenga Adeyinka, welcomed everybody first, then cracked a few ribs before inviting Apostle Anselm Madubuko of the Revival Assembly Church for the opening prayer. This was immediately followed by the National Anthem. Then, the welcome address by Azuh Arinze, Esq., Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine.
After Azuh came Mr. Biodun Shobanjo, Nigeria’s advertising czar and Chairman of the occasion. Reading from a text, the idolized Chairman of Troyka Holdings enlightened the distinguished audience on the things needed to excel in entrepreneurship. Next on the agenda was the unveiling of YES 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 are 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’. Holding everybody spell bound for nearly one hour, he went down memory lane recalling how they started small and have succeeded in growing PGA into becoming 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 of Biscon Communications and 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 and Glo ambassador, 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 of NIIA.
Beside Shobanjo, Akinwunmi, Adeoluwa, Oba Abolarin, Madubuko and Onwenu, the 4th annual lecture/cocktail party of YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine equally attracted the likes of Larry Izamoje of Brila FM, Tunji Olugbodi of Verdant Zeal, Muiz Banire of MAB Associates, Kunle Onime of MPC, Toni Kan & Peju Akande of Radi 8, Kunle Bakare of Encomium, Abioun Oshinibosi of Abelinis, Gbenja Adebija of Ashton & Layton, Chude Jideonwo of RedStrat, Bolanle Oginni of Blessed Water, Tai Elemesho-Okesanjo of Montai, Caje Oleforo of DMT Mobile Toilet, Lanre Ogunlesi of Sofisticat, Julius Nwokoro of Ultra Moda, Azuh Amatus of Daylight.ng, Bolaji Tunji of The Sun, Ehi Braimah of Neo Media, Ayeni Adekunle of BHM, Lexy Mojo Eyes of Nigeria Fashion Show, Nneka & Isaac Moses of Goge Africa, Joy & Chico Ejiro of Grand Touch Pictures, Innocent Oboh of Dijo Group, Uche Nnaji of Ouch, Mudi Enajemo of Mudi Africa, Abdul Imoyo of Access Bank, Ramon Nasir of UBA, Kemi Otegbade of Heartlink, 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! Magazine Publisher/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”.