…Obey, Emeka Mba, Tuface, others shine

It witnessed a full house with the trappings of an A-class event. Although a bigger space would have best suited it, things still went smoothly, thanks to the matured minds that present who were quite orderly all through its duration.

It was the fifth anniversary edition of the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) and Roll of Honour Ceremony which attracted many of the movers and shakers of the showbiz world and its stakeholders.

In the words of its boss, Tony Okoroji, ”no one ever believed that what we are here gathered for here today will work in Nigeria but here we are today…”

Stars of different shades, expectedly, stormed there for an event that will be remembered for a long time to come. Name them, Tuface Idibia, KSB, F.E.M.I. Ras Kimono, Bright Chimezie, Sunny Neji, Majek Fashek, and a host of others.

Several Nigerians who had distinguished themselves greatly in the promotions and defense of the rights of creative people in Nigeria were also celebrated and their names entered into the COSON Roll of Honour. Such individuals include veteran broadcaster, Mr. Mac Emakpore; Director-General, Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Dr. Afam Ezekude; multiple award winning music icon, Tuface Idibia; show biz impresario, Mr. Edi Lawani; renowned saxophonist, Pa Chris Ajilo; music icon and Chairman of the COSON Advisory Board, Evang. (Dr.) Ebenezer Obey-Fabiyi; COSON front liner, 89 year old Pa Emmanuel Ntia; music artiste and politician, Kenny St. Brown (KSB); renowned Chartered Accountant and member of COSON Advisory Council, Mr. Toju Ejueyitchie and the first Chairman of the then Nigerian Copyright Council (NCC), Prof. Egerton Uviegahara. Others are the Managing Director of MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe; Highlife super star, Sunny Neji; Business man and President, Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA), Engr. Ekong Onofiok; renowned broadcaster, actor and director, Mr. Patrick Doyle; President of the Hotel & Personal Services Employers Association of Nigeria (HOPESEA), Chief Samuel O. Alabi; renowned Intellectual property lawyer and Professor of Law, Prof. Bankole Sodipo; veteran broadcaster, Mr. Lekan Ogunbanwo; Intellectual property lawyer, Mr. Justin Ige; and music maestro, Prof. Sir. Victor Uwaifo, MON.  COSON Licensing Consultant for the FCT, Mr. Segun Awosanya; COSON Licensing Consultant for Lagos state, Mr. Kazie Uko; quintessential Amazon of the Nigerian music industry, Erelu Morenikeji Okunowo; the first Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission and Deputy Governor elect of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Moses Ekpo; renowned journalist, Mr. Justin Akpovi Esade; CEO of Cellulant Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Goke Akingboro and CEO of GreenBee Mobile Ltd. Mr. Nnamdi Agwunobi equally made the list.

The late Amaka Igwe also entered into the COSON Roll of Honour for her exemplary leadership in ensuring that her TOP Radio 90.9FM station paid for the music they broadcast without having being chased to do so. COSON founding staff member, the late Mrs. Patricia Oloruntoba also entered into the COSON Roll of Honour for her dogged belief and unrelenting contributions to the COSON vision even when all looked bleak.

Speaking at the event, COSON Chairman, Chief Tony Okoroji said, “For us at COSON, this is significant. We look back at where we came from and are amazed at how much we have covered in such a short time. Today COSON has over 130 reciprocal agreements with collecting societies all around the world. We practically represent all known music in the world today. We also have music copyright agreements with the broadcast industry, the hotel industry in Nigeria and several other categories of music users in Nigeria today. COSON has become a flagship collecting society in Africa. We couldn’t have achieved all of these without the support of distinguished Nigerians to whom we are grateful. While we look back in thanksgiving at our journey so far, we look forward with determination and great zeal because we are resolved never to let down the creative minds in Nigeria. We want to assure them that they can sleep while COSON works”

Also speaking COSON GM said, “Nobody gave us a chance when this all started but I am full of gratitude to the Almighty God that it’s been five years and we are still standing strong. I can say that COSON is the best run and most reliable organ in the Nigerian music industry today because we put our minds to it. Even though it’s been 5 years for us, this is just the beginning because the vision just got bigger and stronger”.

The well put together fête which was a culmination of the 5th COSON Annual General Meeting held in the same venue earlier in the day had in attendance big wigs of the music industry, the broadcast industry, the hospitality industry, renowned intellectual property lawyers, and friends of the society amongst others.



Crumbs from the event

The hall

Although many of the guests commended the organizers for not taking it to the island as it has become the tradition with today’s events, they however reasoned that a bigger hall would have just been ideal and made the day.

The Airport Hotel, built decades ago, seems not to have another space bigger than the Banquet Hall which was rather too compacted for an event of that magnitude. The result was that guests squeezed themselves inside even with poor ventilation facility. Perhaps the organizers didn’t expect the huge turnout.


Chairman everywhere

Except that was the way he wanted it as the ‘’alpha and omega’’ of COSON, many of the guests observed that Chairman Tony Okoroji was over-ubiquitous during the show.

For instance, he personally picked and almost presented all the awards even before Majek Fashek who was given the opportunity to do it once, addressed him as ‘PMAN’ and not ‘COSON’ boss!

Anyway, I think it’s because he wanted all to be well and he got all well despite the sweat that gushed along the line and exceeded boundaries!


Foreign music

This one shocked everybody. During the awards (roll of honour) presentation, you will think that you are witnessing the Grammy Awards or similar events in America!

I mean, at an event that involved top players of the Nigerian showbiz industry with many hit songs, old and new? In the absence of nothing, all they needed was to commission one artiste to arrange something for the event.  It must be an oversight which the man on the consul did not checkmate too.

It didn’t jell in the system of many.


Jenny the singer?

For me, I thanked God that the opportunity to watch her sing finally came. Jennifer Eliogu, for all I know, is an actress. Even if the jobs have not been rolling in for obvious reasons, it is not enough for her to dabble into the ‘’I Must Sing’’ segment of music.

How can someone mount the stage and for ten minutes you can’t understand the pattern of music being played? Little wonder the crowd started dispersing as if a threatening gas was detonated in the house!

I was the only one that picked the courage to congratulate her thereafter. But methinks she was equally confused.