I had resolved never to leave Encomium Weekly with any of the staff. I had also been advised against that by one of my mentors – which I am so grateful to God today.
Now, amid trying to get my acts together, I chose to visit my church one day to pray. And at Akute bus stop, I ran into Tokunbo Ibikunle, who used to work with us back then. He greeted me warmly, and afterwards said he heard that I had resigned as the editor of Encomium Weekly. I nodded in the affirmative, but without giving me an inch to utter any word, enquired what I intended to do next.
Immediately I informed him I would be coming out with my own magazine, he shouted that he was in. Thus becoming our first staff. I am so happy that Toks or Fabregas, like I affectionately call him, is still with us. Thanks so much, Toks Baba. Your loyalty will surely be rewarded.
Our second staff was Desmond Ike. I still do not know how he found out, but he put a call across to me. We hooked up later and the rest, like they say, is now history. Desmond, by the way, has since moved on. And here’s wishing him all the best in his new endeavour.
The next person, if I can remember correctly, was Yetunde Sijuade. Our paths first crossed at Encomium Weekly. But like a ‘candle in the wind’, she left abruptly. I later learnt that it was Joshua Shobiye that hinted her about what was in the offing and that was how we reunited again. Thanks so much, Ibukun, her middle name, for believing in our dream.
Closely on her trail was Uwem Umoh. He had traversed Encomium, Ovation and so on before berthing at YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine. I don’t know how he chanced on the information, but I got a call from him some day, saying he would like to see me. I gave him an appointment at the office, which we had just secured then and was still trying to renovate and bring to our taste. He came and at the end of the day agreed to work on a commission basis as our advert consultant and that was it.
Our next staff was a perfect gentleman. He goes by the name of Monsuru Shodimu, our accountant. He was recruited for us by our auditing firm, GBC Consulting. Forever calm and always maintaining his lane, we are so, so grateful to him. Especially for his efficiency and effectiveness.
This list, of course, will be incomplete without the name of our computer whiz kid, Gideon Ajayi. Industrious and ingenious, we are exceedingly delighted to still have him as a member of the YIM family.
I could go on and on remembering all those that added value to YIM at one time or the other. But most importantly would be committing a big crime if I fail to acknowledge others like Lilian Azuh, my younger sister, Dumkenenna Odera Nnadi, now in Abuja, Gbenga Shaba, who I fondly address as Alaye mi Gbengulo, Azuka Mordy, now a pastor, Juliet Ikoku, currently in Canada, Michael Irabor, a great guy, Korede Bello of I Don Get Alert fame…
You guys rock. You are also hugely appreciated. Thanks so much and God bless all of you.
To be continued…
– Azuh Arinze is the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine