Monday 20 June 2016


COSON put together a birthday bash party for Benson Idonije who turned 80 recently at their office premises in Ikeja a few days ago. It was indeed a get together event to celebrate the media giant. The man Benson Idonije has been a mentor to all in broadcasting and music.
Born on June 13, 1936, in Otuo, he attended schools in Otuo and Sabongida Ora and later Yaba College of Technology. The Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) employed in 1957, as engineering assistant. He, however, did not move into the mainstream of broadcasting until the 60s, when he became a producer and presenter of such famous programmes, as The Big Beat and Stereo Jazz Club.
The programme, The Big Beats, became resounding success and he anchored it until 1976, when Radio Nigeria 2 started and he became one of the foundation staff. He was a presenter and producer in Radio Nigeria 2 until 1985, when he was posted to FRCN Training School to teach presenting and producing. From there, he retired as the head of production department at the training school in 1992; though he continued to teach in the school on contract.
He started writing for newspapers in 1953, with the Morning Post newspaper. "I was writing about Jazz". Then, I was using it to promote Fela. I would zero in on what he was doing. I wrote for Spear magazine with Tony Mommoh as editor. The most regular one is with the Guardian. "My writing has been that of recalling past experiences and falling back on residual knowledge. Some people have interpreted it to mean that i am a researcher. The truth is that about 10 per cent may be on research; while the remaining 90 are always on something I took part in. They were something I saw, did and listened to".
Present at the birthday party were some prominent musicians like Ras Kimono, Sunny Neji, Azeezat, Tony Okoroji, Kenny Saint Best and Seyi Allen. Other notable people present were Jahman Anikulapo, Patrick Doyle, Kofi, Emeka Ike and members of the press. Benson Idonije was there with his wife Bose and some of his grandchildren.
Benson Idonije is the grandfather of popular musician, Burna Boy and he is also his music director. The climax of the whole event is the cutting of 80th birthday big cake with the celebrant and the photo sessions with everybody present thereafter. Happy birthday to you Beson Idonije. Very many happy returns. Wishing you many more years of good health, strength and wealth.

1 comment:

  1. I read lots of his articles back in the past, though I can't recall whether it was in The Guardian or Vanguard, where he focused on Highlife Music.

    He's a living legend and deserves to be celebrated.


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