*Former Media Adviser to late Gov Abiola Ajimobi, Bolaji Tunji; celebrant, Steve Ayorinde; Proprietress of Emu Oguro; Titilola; Managing Director, Proumou Media, Semiu Okanlawon; Head of Digital Marketing, First Bank, Yinka Ijabiyi at the evening in honour of Ayorinde
With the exception of paintings that adorn the tip of the upper floor of the blocked building, Block 120, Plot 2 Bosun Adekoya Street, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos does not give itself away as a fun spot.
But come in and find the moderate taste that is organized to give you a most welcoming evening if you choose The Gradeur as your place of relaxation.
Friday July 9, one after the other, friends of culture enthusiast, writer and lately television analyst and presenter on Arise TV, Steve Oluseyi Ayorinde, were coming in for an evening in honour one of their own.
*Guests all seated for the evening of fun
What was the occasion? Steve’s birthday is not one to go without that ambience of culture, arts and entertainment.
And that was why you found a mélange of bigwigs in the entertainment industry, media, corporate communications and political circles on hand to make a beautiful evening more memorable for Eleniyan as he is fondly called by friends.
Gbenga Adeyinka, one of Nigeria’s most sought after MCs and comedians, was on hand to welcome former members of the cabinet of Governor Akinwumi Ambode, under who, Ayorinde served as Commissioner for Information (first) and later Tourism and Culture.
Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem (SAN); his Energy counterpart, Mr. Wale Omuwo, Habib Haruna, Chief Press Secretary, were some of those from the Ambode cabinet present to catch the fun of the evening with others.
Others who graced the event include Mr. Uyi Akpata, Regional Senior Partner, PwC West Africa; Mr. Ayo Ella, Managing Director, Tequila Nigeria; Mr. Bankole Bernard, Managing Directo, Finchglow Group; Mr. Deji Popoola, Managing Director, Finatrust Bank and Ms. Nana Sonoiki, President, The Art Pantheon Gallery, Lagos and a host of others spent the evening making Ayorinde feel grateful for the blessing of another year.
*Ayorinde, with some of the guests
And of course, age-long friends of Ayorinde and media personalities like Semiu Okanlawon, Managing Director, Proumou Media Consulting and Founder, NPO Reports; Mojeed Jamiu, Editor-in-Chief Upshots Reports; Yinka Ijabiyi, Head Digital Marketing of First Bank; Eze Anaba, Editor, Vanguard Newspapers, Steve Nwosu, Editor-in-Chief, PMExpress; Bolaji Tunji, former Special Adviser on Media to late Governor Abiola Ajimobi; former Editor of Guardian on Sunday, Jahman Anikulapo; Editor-in-Chief, Metro News, Otunba Femi Davies; Entertainment writer, Shina Oyetayo; Managing Director of New Telegraph, Mr. Ayo Aminu; Editor of New Telegraph, Mrs. Juliet Bumah; Head of Digital & General Administration, NPO, Idowu Quadri; President and Executive Producer of Africa Music Award, Mike Dada, Media Adviser to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Tunde Rahman.
*Evening of fun! Former CPS, Habib Haruna, grabs former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem (SAN) while ace comedian Gbenga Adeyinka cracked a joke
Of course, on hand was the chief server, the man behind the grand idea of The Grandeur himself, Mr. Afolabi Oke who was eager to let the guests have a first hand taste of what event place has in stock for its patrons.
Same time last year, Ayorinde clocked 50 but it was in the anxieties created by the global pandemic. A golden anniversary that was restricted to Zoom had no place in the hearts of fun-seeking, groove-loving friends of the former Commissioner.
“This is an evening put together by a few friends,” said Ayorinde while appreciating the presence of the guests who made it to the evening event.
*Ayorinde with Editor-in-Chief, Metro News, Femi Davies
In ample supply was music by one of the top DJs in town who, perhaps, inspired by the link between Ayorinde and many of the popular Nigerian musical acts of the early 90s and till date, went ‘haywire’ with old tunes from 9ce, TuFace, Olamide, Tony Tetuila, Wande Coal, Jesse King, D’banj and a host of others.
Here is the link! Ayorinde, as a celebrated award-winning journalist with the highly respected The Guardian’s Arts Desk and later, The Comet (now The Nation) and PUNCH newspapers, promoted, analyzed and gave deep insights into the works of many then upcoming Nigerian artistes who have now ruled the world of entertainment beyond Nigeria.
Ayorinde was very much at home writing about music, arts, stage performance, film, and other forms of popular arts. No wonder he has served as jury at many award and festival events including the highly rated Toronto International Film Festival, Cannes Films Festival, Berlin International Film Festival and AMAA.
When he ‘popped’ up on Arise TV last week as one of the new anchors, not a few have rated Ayorinde’s latest foray into broadcasting as just another confirmation of his versatility in the media and culture industries.