By Damiete Braide

•Azu Arinze recently unveiling the two books at NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos


On a day tinged with fervor and bliss, Azuh Arinze, the esteemed publisher of YES International magazine, commemorated his birthday alongside the launch of not one but two books at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) in Victoria Island, Lagos. With the launch of these two books on Monday, Arinze has nine books in his oeuvre.

Chairman of the occasion, Dr Dakuku Peterside, former Director General, NIMASA, in his address of welcome, said, “We are here to celebrate Arinze Azuh’s birthday, because he has come a long way. He is one of the revelations in the journalistic trajectory of the country. Also, he has set the boundaries of journalistic integrity which is one of the vehicles of a good journalist.

“He epitomizes the spirit of excellence. Excellence and professionalism is a habit that you can form a culture that you can develop. He has trained under mentors; he has unlearned, learned and has been learning; and he is among the best that we have in the country.

Peterside added, “The books that he has written are stories that inspire, and I believe that people will take advantage of his documentation, learn and read these stories that inspire us. Arinze is a good example of a man who has learnt the rudiments of journalistic excellences.”

Uche Nworah, who reviewed the two books, told the audience, “My Story Of Many Colours, is a compendium of the author’s reflections on his professional encounters and near encounters with very prominent personalities in Nigeria, in the course of his very eventful 30-year journey as a practising journalist.

“The book draws the reader in with a beautifully designed cover. The name of the book, and text graphics, combined with the image of the author in his well-cut suit, not coat, plays with the reader’s emotions and reminds of Dolly Parton’s ‘Coat of Many Colours’.

“In attempting to tell other people’s stories, the author has actually told his own story in the book. The reader is left with the impression of a kind and hardworking man, who loves his Rotary International, cherishes and appreciates friends.

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In his second review, Nworah said, “Anything & Everything Journalism, as the name suggests, is truly about anything and everything journalism. The book, which has 37 chapters, positions itself as containing the success secrets, styles and strategies of the masters – masters of journalism.

“In an era of citizen journalism, where it does appear as if everyone with a smartphone, and who can make a post on social media has now become a journalist, it is encouraging and inspiring that the author, Arinze, has dedicated his time and committed his intellect into studying the journalism masters spanning several eras and genres of journalism for posterity.

Anything & Everything Journalism serves as an encyclopaedia of sorts. It is a journalist’s worthy companion, filled with knowledge and wisdom from men and women who have pushed the pen for decades. Not just journalists, every professional wishing to add to their repertoire of knowledge in media, leadership and related fields will find the book very useful.”

Chairman of Copyright society of Nigeria (COSON), Chief Tony Okoroji, said Arinze was someone he admired, “ You cannot have a better person than Arinze. I read everything that Arinze writes and he reads everything that I write, because he comments on everything religiously.”

Lady of songs, Onyeka Owenu, added one of the important things that the book should do was getting to schools and institutions, for,  “We are lacking that kind of training that defines the kind of experiences that he has gone through. His experiences, endurance, commitment, focus to his purpose. He is committed to his area of purpose and this is what we need to teach our young people.”

Speaking on why he wrote Anything And Everything Journalism, the author said, “It is simply the ‘Bible’ of journalism. I read Mass Communication for my first degree, and, while in school, the bulk of the books we used then were written by foreigners. So, I felt there was a need for us to also ‘Nigerianize’ the profession.

Secondly, I wanted to equally democratise the profession. That was the reason I interviewed some of the best and brightest journalists that Nigeria has produced in the book. I convinced them to share their success secrets so that the young ones and even some of the old hands in the profession, who are not making any headway, can learn and then become better. The book is dedicated to two unforgettable journalists, Dele Giwa and Dimgba Igwe.”

For the second book, he explained, “My Story of Many Colours is basically a collection of some of the best encounters I’ve had as a journalist with the high and mighty and the lessons I took away from them. The lessons from both books are enormous. But the greatest one is that it can always be done, provided there is a will and a way.”

Dignitaries whp graced the occasion included Oba Michael Odunayo Ajayi, the Elerinmo of Erinmo Ijesha Kingdom; Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, Chairman, Odua Investment Company Nigeria Limited; Mr Udeme Ufot, Prince Bisi Olatilo, Mr Femi Adeshina, former Special Adviser, Media & Publicity; Funke Egbemode, former Commissioner in Osun State; Eze Anaba, President, Nigerian Guild of Editors; Kunle Bakare, Mrs Omotunde, among others.

Photo: Azu Arinze recently unveiling the two new books at NIIA, Victoria Island, Lagos.