Vanessa Obioha and Ugo Aliogo
Chairman of THISDAY Newspapers and Arise Media Group, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, and Chief Executive Officer, Sliverbird Group, Ben Murray-Bruce, Sunday joined others to celebrate the outgoing Managing Director of ViacomCBS Networks Africa and BET International, Alex Okosi, for his contributions in Re-imaging Africa and transforming the entertainment industry after 15 years of leadership.
Also, the cream of Nigeria’s media and entertainment industries pooled at The Wings in Victoria Island recently to celebrate Okosi, who is one of Nigeria’s creative exports.
Okosi will leave his position as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of VCN Africa and BET International at ViacomCBS at the end of February 2020.
The company announced Okosi’s departure in January as well as his replacements at the international arm of the company.
Okosi took over leadership of BET International in 2017 and has continued to advance the value of the brand internationally, delivering double-digit distribution growth and improving profitability and margins.
Under Okosi’s leadership, BET International elevated its presence at the BET Awards by incorporating the ‘Best International Act’ award into the live broadcast, which simulcasted live in Africa for the first time. In addition, BET International expanded its presence during the BET ‘Hip Hop Awards’ by launching a new category to honour artists from around the world.
“I am proud to have had the opportunity to build our Africa business from the ground up. This has played a pivotal role in transforming the music and content space and changing the narrative on Africa. Leading our Africa and BET International businesses to success is a testament to the extraordinary teams, colleagues and partners that I have worked with throughout my tenure,” said Okosi in a statement.
At the grand event hosted by Bovi and Tolu ‘Toolz’ Oniru-Demuren, well-wishers as well as celebrities who have benefited from Okosi’s push for African entertainment since he joined Viacom Africa 15 years ago were in attendance.
They include THISDAY Newspapers publisher, Nduka Obaigbena, Silverbird Group founder, Ben Murray-Bruce, MultiChoice Nigeria’s Chief Customer Officer, Martin Mabutho, Nollywood actors Rita Dominic, Michelle Dede and Nse Ikpe-Etim, musicians 2Baba, M.I., Dr. Sid, D’banj, Flavour, Falz; comedian Basketmouth, among others.
It also had in attendance captains of industries who had collaborated with Okosi and his team over the decade such as the Chief Executive Officer, Megalectrics Limited, Chris Ubosi; and Chief Executive Officer, Livespot360, Deola Art-Alade and wife.
Since launching MTV Base in 2005, Okosi had spearheaded the development of the ViacomCBS Networks business on the continent.
Okosi bade farewell to ViacomCBS after almost two decades at the helm of different roles including BET International at the global company.
Detailing his journey from an intern in 1998 to Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Okosi who is moving to YouTube EMEA to take on a new role, said: “What began as a vision and a passion 15 years ago has been realised even beyond my initial expectations when we first pressed play to African Queen in February 2005.
“It’s taken a number of committed and hardworking people over the years to bring this dream to life and I’m immensely grateful for the industry trust and support as we forge forward to achieve the impossible.”
The Nigerian-born US-educated media stalwart chronicled his journey from launching MTV’s 100th channel in Africa to traversing the challenges and highlighting the achievements that have contributed to his Africa Reimagined vision.
Monde Twala and Craig Paterson who both took on the reins as co-General Managers for ViacomCBS Networks Africa in March as Senior Vice President for Editorial VCN and Senior Vice President VCN, respectively, also joined in the commemoration.