By Ayo Onikoyi, Entertainment Editor

From east to west, from north to south, the echoes of the giant strides of Chief Mike Adenuga Jnr. reverberate in great measure and they pervade every stratum of human lives.

While he is a colossal enigma, his deeds are much too great and golden to be wrapped up in secrecy. They precede him and speak volumes of the man who conducts a corporate orchestra known as Globacom. He was born Michael Adeniyi Agbolade Ishola Adenuga Jr on April 29, 1953 but has come to mean different great things in the lives of so many people in many great ways.


Apart from making the impossible possible in the art and science of telecommunications in Nigeria by displaying empathy for the welfare of his people through his flagship company, Globacom, Adenuga has also demonstrated that the love of the arts is deeply rooted in his DNA. Since arriving on the scene in 2003, Globacom has touched the lives of more entertainers than any known person or entity, be it corporate or private.


As a conductor of the corporate orchestra called Globacom, Adenuga has created a far-reaching symphony in the Nigerian entertainment space, not only by boosting the industry with a number of initiatives but also by enriching the players and launching them to international prominence.


When Globacom berthed in 2003, the Nigerian entertainment industry was just picking up steam and the players were just beginning to savour the sweet aroma of their labour. Few of them had a notion of what being a brand ambassador was all about. Those who did, didn’t know it could be a goldmine until Adenuga came to town in tow with life-changing prospects that transformed the lives of the raves, the wannabes and even the forgotten veterans, who were living on handouts from families and friends.

Endorsements
Globacom pioneered celebrity endorsements in 2003 with Sunny Ade, Lagbaja, Osita Osadebe, Oliver d’Coque, Nelly Uchendu and others after it launched its operations. It was a new experience for several musicians, Nollywood actors and comedians in terms of finance and boost to their careers. It was a step many soon followed but Globacom continued by taking the game to a whole new level.


Globacomn has come to be regarded as a ‘Network of Stars’, all thanks to the Chairman who has clearly distinguished himself as a patron of the arts. No corporate entity or person has touched more lives in the entertainment space like Mike Adenuga. All through the years, musicians, footballers, literary icons, actors, actresses, comedians and other entertainers have benefitted from the stable of the company.


In 2015 alone, Globacom made history by signing 28 artists as brand ambassadors in what turned out to be the biggest endorsement deal by any corporate organisation in Nigeria. It was also a huge boost to the entertainment industry as the selected artists cut across Nollywood, comedy and music industries.


Apart from the generous financial packages attached to the endorsement deals, Glo as a global brand offers a big platform for the artists to further promote their careers through the company’s heavy marketing communication activities in local and international media.
Some of the 28 entertainers included the Star Boy, Wizkid, popular comedians Ayo Makun (AY) and Bovi Ugboma, award-winning actor OC Ukeje, Patience Ozokwor (Mama G), Odunlade Adekola, fast-rising Marvin Crew of Koredo Bello, Reekado Banks and Hadizah Blell (Di’ja).


Other ambassadors included Nigeria’s leading music stars D’Banj, Peter and Paul Okoye (PSquare), Chinedu Okoli (Flavour), Jude Abaga (M.I), Wande Coal, Omawumi Megbele, Bez Idakula, Burna Boy, Ego Ogbaro, Sammie Okposo and Sani Danja who had their contracts renewed.

READ ALSO:


Other ambassadors who made a return as Glo brand ambassadors are comedian Basketmouth, actresses Ini Edo, Funke Akindele and Helen Paul. The rest are Ime Bishop Umoh, John Okafor (Mr. Ibu), Chiwetalu Agu and popular newscaster, Bimbo Oloyede.


It is almost impossible to think of any artist worthy of note that has not drawn from the water chest of Adenuga’s Globacom. Ebenezer Obey, Prof Wole Soyinka, Yusuf Maitama Sule, Onyeka Onwenu, Rita Dominic, Ini Edo, Juliet Ibrahim, Matter Ankomah, Davido, Flavour, Gordons, Basketmouth, I go Dye, Teniola, Brother Shaggi, Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Osaze Odemwingie, Joselyn Dumas, Michael Essien, Anthony Joshua, Don Jazzy etcetera have all done business with the telecom giant at different times.


The advent of Globacom has really been a blessing to celebrities in the industry and beyond. The most interesting factor is that Glo is still very much in the game of investing in the entertainment industry despite unfriendly and stifling economic realities across the world. Not even the Coronavirus pandemic has been able to stop the Bull (Mike Adenuga) in his tracks.

Sponsorships
Glo has changed pretty much every aspect of entertainment in the country. Some of its profound achievements are in its sponsorship of talent hunt shows. With his love and passion for entertainment, he didn’t remain on the surface, he also reached down to the underbelly of the country’s treasure which abound in its raw talents.

The Bull was instrumental to discovery of new talents through sponsorships of talent hunt shows


Glo has sunk billions of naira on shows like Rock ‘n’ Rule, GloNaiga Sings, Laffta Fest, and the world number one music singing talent reality TV show, X Factor, which aired in Africa for the first time in 2013. Others are Slide and Bounce concert, an entertainment tour which went round all the geopolitical zones of the country as well as Glo Mega Music Show; another platform through which Globacom develops the music industry and entertains Nigerians.


Globacom’s resilience and push is relentless as it continues to seek new ways of developing entertainment in Nigeria and indeed Africa. Recently, it launched the sponsorship of the world’s biggest dance reality TV show, ‘Battle of the Year’ in Nigeria.


Globacom, stated at the unveiling of the show that the competition was set to redefine entertainment in Nigeria. It explained that the show would offer unlimited opportunities for Nigerian youth to pursue their passion.


“In line with our commitment to promoting the Nigerian entertainment industry and youth talent development across the country, we are excited to unleash the unlimited potential of Nigerian dancers and provide the platform for them to showcase their abilities on the world stage,” says a statement by the company


N84 million prize money and a chance to represent Nigeria at the international Battle of the Year contest, are all up to be won by dancers and dancing crew across the country.


Globacom, in 2010, announced that it was taking over Naija Sings, the music talent-search reality show being organised by MNET, which ‘aimed at discovering, developing and rewarding Nigeria’s brightest and boldest musical talents.


In 2013, Globacom announced that it would be sponsoring the Nigerian version of the British music reality television show, X-Factor. The auditions were held in Nigeria and Ghana with the ultimate prize being a $150,000 cash reward as well as a deal to be managed and produced by Sony Music to record an album.


The company also collaborated with MTV on The Big Friday Show in 2012, an alliance that made the show more interactive and gave viewers the opportunity for live appearances on the show.

Indeed, more than any other Nigerian company, Globacom has, over the years, supported the industry through corporate endorsements of practitioners from various genres by providing massive platforms for Nigerian and other African entertainers to practise their trade through direct sponsorship of concerts such as Glo Campus Storm, Glo Rock ‘n’ Rule’; Glo Slide ‘n’ Bounce; Glo Laffta Fest; Glo Mega Music Nationwide Tour, Dance with Peter, Glo X-Factor, Glo Naija Sings and the popular sit-com, Professor Johnbull featuring among others Kanayo O. Kanayo, Yomi Fash Lanso, Bidemi Kosoko and Bishop Umeh.


In fact, Globacom pioneered the idea of putting several movie and music stars on its payroll at the same time by engaging them through mouth-watering contracts as ambassadors. It would take a painstaking research of several weeks to come up with figures of exactly what Globacom has spent on the Nigerian entertainment setting in total.

And even that would not cover the exceptional instances of sheer generosity by Mike Adenuga towards a number of older entertainers. These include a reported BMW X5 gift to Paul Play Dairo some years ago, the decision to bankroll the entire process of Ebenezer Obey Fabiyi’s eye surgery and significant welfare packages for several others.

Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.