by Simon Utsu
Any young man/ woman who gloated(or is still gloating) over Senator Ben Murray Bruce’s political travails in the hands of AMCON, is a young, wicked sadist.
Before I’m called me an extremist, let me throw some more light on the above. Long before Kennis Music (the Ogungbe brothers and D1) came on board, Ben Bruce and his brothers were the first Nigerians to delve fully into the entertainment industry, as investors. Back in the early 80’s, they formed their Silverbird conglomerate which started the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) competition and also pioneered bringing in big stars to perform in Nigeria. They promoted concerts that featured international stars like Kool & the Gang, the whispers and opened the Fantasy Night Club which hosted the live talent hunt show THE GONG SHOW, which discovered Artists like Majek Fashek and Ras Kimono amongst many others. The silverbird group has grown in leaps and bounds since then and prides itself as the only Nigerian owned entertainment company which has stood the test of time climbing and remaining on top for as long as three decades.
Back in 2007 whilst I was still a corper, a live program was being aired on Silverbird Rythm 93.7 radio that featured comedian Gordons. OAP ‘Big Time’ was the host. It was promoting an Airtel (then Celtel) sponsored concert which Gordons was to star in. They had some give-aways and I was one of the two winners after calling in and answering a couple of questions correctly. I was told to get to the studio to claim a 5,000 Naira Airtel call card and a VIP ticket to the show. I got to their studio in Lekki Lagos all the way from my Surulere base but couldn’t claim my prize due to some hanky-panky from the OAP. I’ve since held a soft grudge for the Silverbird group due to what transpired back then and I’ve protested by avoiding their cinemas as much as I can. That notwithstanding, I was very pained when the news broke earlier today that their facilities had been shut down. Shutting down Silverbird means depriving over 10,000 direct/indirect employees of their means of livelihood. It also means closing down a franchise that has been responsible for the generation of (from my rough estimate) over 1 trillion Naira or about 10 Billion US dollars worth of revenue over the years. This figure might sound bogus but if we consider the fact that they’ve given a platform to many, now A-list artistes and celebrities to come to the limelight through their various media, we can also add the incomes earned over such artistes careers to this revenue stream. I’m not talking about the Majek Fasheks and the Ras Kimonos alone, I’m talking about the Wizkids, the Tufaces, the PSquares and all the artistes who got massive airplay when they started out. Not forgetting the Bianca Ojukwus (nee Onoh), the Regina Askias, the Nike Oshinowos, the Agbani Daregos, the Adaeze Yobos (nee Igwe), the Anna Banners and Isabella Ayuks who all went on to attain global success and fame in their various fields after winning their coveted and well packaged Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) contest.
So any youth that went ahead to celebrate or gloat over the attack on such a stable brand earlier today for a reason as mild as defaulting on a loan should know deep inside that he or she was celebrating the ‘downfall'(hopefully, temporary) of a brand that has brought so much glory to Nigeria over the decades and therefore, such a person is a ‘YOUNG AND WICKED SADIST’ in my humble, modest opinion. On an advisory note, such people should repent.
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