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OSOBA'S MEDIA BIOGRAPHY FOR LAUNCH TOMORROW

By NBF News
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The Muson Centre in Lagos will tomorrow morning witness a star-studded gathering of publishers, media practitioners past and present, all coming to honour one of their own, Aremo Segun Osoba, whose media biography would be unveiled in what has been dubbed as the 'father of all book launches.'

As a newspaperman who veered into politics to become the two-time governor of Ogun State, it won't be an all-media affair as politicians from different ends of the political divide would bury their differences to honour a man who rose from the media to become a political leader and a statesman with influence and a powerful network of friends in Nigeria.

Dignitaries that have indicated intention to come include former heads of state, top Federal Government officials, governors from across the political divides, top corporate leaders, various statesmen, national leaders and members of the intellectual community.

Also coming for the book launch are a strong team from the Senate, the Speaker and members of House of Representatives and legislators from various houses of assembly.

As a media man, Osoba is the celebrated reporter with chain of exclusives and a turnaround manager who repositioned and made profitable three newspapers namely Herald, Sketch and the Daily Times where he cut his tooth as a newspaperman and manager under his mentor, the legendary Alhaji Babatunde Jose.

The biography entitled, Segun Osoba: The Newspaper Years was written by Mike Awoyinfa and Dimgba Igwe, two celebrated journalists and authors who themselves pioneered three successful newspapers in Nigeria namely Weekend Concord, The Sun and now Entertainment Express and Sunday Express.

Segun Osoba: The Newspaper Years is a 22-chapter book, which features all the big names in Nigerian journalism of the last 50 years who in telling Osoba's story and his impact in journalism also captured their own journalism memoirs as well as defining some journalism concepts in a way that would benefit journalism practitioners and students of journalism in particular.

The book, according to the publishers, 'covers the era often described as the golden years of Nigerian journalism-from the '50s to the '90s.  It is an era that saw Nigerian print media soar to its highest heights, giving birth to media patriarchs like Alhaji Babatunde Jose, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Peter Enahoro, Adamu Ciroma, Segun Osoba and so many others.

'While Jose was described as Nigeria's greatest turnaround media mogul, Osoba the great reporter and turnaround media manager, emerged as his beloved son who inherited his large shoes and valiantly strove in diverse ways to sustain the grand legacy.

In doing so, Osoba blazed many trails in the country's media history, which this book tries to capture.'

But the book goes beyond Osoba's biography to fan out into the multiple biographies of all the media giants interviewed in the book such that 'nobody who wants to succeed as a journalist or scholar can afford to ignore this riveting treasure trove of media memoirs laced with tales of intrigues, professional techniques, political power play and battles that define Nigerian print media.'

Other journalists featured in the book include from the academia, Prof. Olu Obafemi, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, Dr. Doyin Abiola, the late Prof. Femi Sonaike and Dr. Idowu Sobowale.

Another section has Osoba's lifelong friends, Felix Adenaike and the late Peter Ajayi, friends so close that they were called the 'three musketeers'.

Part four features Ray Ekpu, Mohammed Haruna, Ajibade Fashina-Thomas, Lade Bonuola and Kunle Elegbede.

The last section has the friends of Osoba who are non-journalists but shared their individual perspective on Osoba they grew up with. They include schoolmates like Rasheed Gbadamosi and Dr. O. O. Finnih.

Titus Sokanlu, the friend whom Osoba carried on his scooter on his way to Sango Ota to discover the body of the assassinated Nigerian Prime Minister, Tafawa Balewa, ends the book with his recollections of the day Osoba got his biggest scoop and the defining story of his newspaper life.