Veteran Journalist, John Ajayi Receives Double Awards From NUJ, BJAN

By NewsBits

The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Brand Journalists Association of Nigeria (BJAN) have recognised and honoured John Ajayi, the veteran journalist and Publisher/CEO of Nigeria’s leading brand, marketing and advertising magazine, Marketing Edge.

The conferment of the BJAN recognition award, christened Industry Torchbearer – Brand Journalism, was done at the association’s 10th Anniversary Annual Marketing Conference and Awards, which was held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos, on Friday, November 25, 2022.

According to BJAN, Mr. Ajayi was honoured in recognition of his pioneering, pace-setting, and continued torch-bearing credentials in birthing and nurturing the genre of journalism which is now recognized, respected, and celebrated as brand journalism.

Other distinguished professionals so recognized like Ajayi, for their indelible footprints in their spheres of endeavour by the Association included Kelechi Nwosu, CEO, TBWA/Concept, who was recognized and honoured with Industry Torchbearer – Creative Advertising; Otis Ojeikhoa, CEO, Brands Optimal, Industry Torchbearer – Experiential Marketing; Tokunboh George-Taylor, CEO, Hill+Knowlton Strategies, Industry Torchbearer – Public Relations; Emmanuel Oriakhi, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Industry Torchbearer – Marketing; Emmanuel Ajufo, CEO, Opportunity To See Limited, Industry Torchbearer – Outdoor Advertising; Rotimi Bankole, GMD, SBI Stagwell, Industry Torchbearer – Media Buying; Omobolanle Victor-Laniyan, Head, Sustainability, Access Bank Plc, Industry Torchbearer – Sustainability; Eniola Bello, MD, ThisDay Newspapers, Industry Torchbearer – Media; and Anthony Chiejina, Chief Brand Officer/Communications, Dangote Group, Industry Torchbearer – Brand Management.

Adding more feathers to Mr. Ajayi’s cap, the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), under the leadership of Chief Christopher Isiguzo, MFR, National President, and Comrade Shu’aibu Usman Leman National Secratary has chosen to honour him their forthcoming Milestone Recognition of Media Icons in the country. A 10-man committee headed by a veteran journalist, Gbenga Onayiga, deemed it fit to honour Mr. Ajayi with the “Young Entrepreneurs Award,“ as one of Nigeria’s fast rising professionals in Public Relations.

The Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu will be the Chief Host/Guest Speaker of the event and is expected to deliver a lecture on “The Role of the Media In the 2023 General Elections”. The event is slated for Thursday, December 8, 2022, at the Muson Centre, Onikan, Lagos, by 6:00p.m. prompt.

Commenting on the recognition award by both NUJ and BJAN the veteran journalist and publisher thanked the organizers for his selection.

According to him, “these two recognitions and awards of honour are least expected, especially given the fact that we never thought we are where we thought and felt we would like to be”, but observed that so far, so good, the journey has been exciting and at the same time challenging.

Recalling his earlier days as a start-up, Ajayi said “it was tough and tedious, as initial efforts to get sponsors and investors failed woefully when the few who were keen were reluctant to part with their money on media enterprise. “At the point when we thought we had an investor ready to invest in our business, no sooner did we kick off after business registration than they pulled out. It is certainly a story for another day.

The publisher who attributed the phenomenal growth of Marketing Edge to determination, passion and doggedness said he braved all the odds to prove nay-sayers wrong that the enterprise will collapse within one year.

“To God be the glory today, here we are impacting positively on the Nigerian media landscape with innovative and brilliant ideations ever unimaginable in this clime. In the past nineteen years of our operations, we have redefined brand journalism, a new genre of journalism which I co-pioneered in the annals of journalism practice in Nigeria.

Continuing, he said “even at Thisday newspapers which gave me the opportunity to venture into this brand of journalism, not all my bosses believed in what I was doing but I give kudos to my publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, himself a genius, innovator and avant-garde creator who will never discard with any new idea. He gave me and my other colleagues enough space to try out our new idea, and it worked.

“I also appreciate some other bosses like Dr. Tony Onyima (Former Deputy Editor, Daily) Mr. Ayo Arowolo, (my former Business Editor) and Mr. Eniola Bello and Dr. Niran Malaolu amongst others.”

Mr. Ajayi further stated that he hardly enjoys being in the limelight, but the fact that these two awards indicate that the professional body of Nigerian journalists, (NUJ) has taken due cognisance of the little contributions by him and his media group since it started operations some years back.

“I feel so proud and happy today to be enlisted alongside my former bosses/employers and professional role models like Mr. Bayo Onanuga and Chief Segun Osoba to be given a Media Icon’s award. I am very grateful to God. This award will no doubt spur me and my team for further exploits while contributing to the growth and development of media enterprises in Nigeria. As the saying goes, The Nigerian media industry isn’t seeing anything yet”, God willing.

Mr. Ajayi, it would be recalled, has put 30 long years into journalism practice. He was a pioneer reporter on the advertising and marketing beat where he gained his legendary reputation as an authority in reporting the multi-billion-naira marketing communications industry.

A graduate of English Language from the University of Lagos and a Master’s degree holder from the same institution, Mr. Ajayi worked with some of Nigeria’s renowned media organizations including TheNews magazine, Thisday newspaper, and The Comet.

His devotion to the growth of the marketing communications industry inspired him to start Marketing Edge almost 20 years ago, a publication that has now become the most authoritative voice of the industry, and the leading advertising and marketing publication in Nigeria, with the company itself having metamorphosed into a multi-channel media group that cuts across print, online, broadcast and OOH; and with a subsidiary, Media Edge, that is into 360-degree marketing communications offerings.

In further pursuit of the vision, Mr. Ajayi, in 2013, signposted the 10th anniversary of the company with the flag-off of an annual two-in-one event: the National Marketing Stakeholders Summit and the Brand and Advertising Excellence Awards, an event which, on the one hand, galvanizes the industry to rub minds on a contemporary and topical issue in an effort to extend the frontiers of knowledge in the business of brand management and the management of the brand business as well as provide the environment for stakeholder engagement to chart the way forward for the industry.

The awards event, on the other hand, is a platform that honours outstanding product, corporate, institutional, and personality brands across marketing communication and other sectors.

The two-in-one event has since grown to become another pacesetting and torch-bearing initiative from Mr. Ajayi and which, over the last ten editions, has enjoyed a consistent rise in profile and equity, both locally and internationally.Source: Marketing Edge

Related posts