On Friday, February 19, 2016, Lagos stood still as media mogul and Common Sense advocate, Senator Ben Murray Bruce marked his 60th birthday in pomp and ceremony at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was indeed a gathering of the crème-de-la-crème in politics, media, entertainment and fashion world.
ENCOMIUM Weekly presents happenstances at the exciting event…
ABOUT THE CELEBRANT
Ben Murray Bruce was born 60 years ago to Ijaw parents, Williams and Margaret Murray Bruce from Akassa, Bayelsa state. He attended Our Lady of Apostles, Yaba, Lagos, where he completed his primary education and St. Gregory’s College, Obalende, Lagos where he obtained the West African School Certificate before he proceeded to the University of South Carolina in the United States of America.
He has served in various pubic positions. He served as Director General of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). Prior to starting Silverbird Group, he promoted the Miss Universe Nigeria pageant, Miss Intercontinental pageant and to date, he promotes the annual Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant.
In 2011, he ran for the govenorship of Bayelsa state, later he declared his intention to represent Bayelsa East Senatorial district at the National Assembly under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party which he went on to win. He’s married to Evelyn Bruce.
GATHERING OF POLITICAL GIANTS AND MEDIA MOGULS
Former governors, senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria came to support their own. Those who couldn’t come sent representatives. The media too was not left out. The likes of Ovation magazine boss, Bashorun Dele Momou and Bisi Olatilo were in attendance.
The duo of the media gurus were garbed in traditional attires. They mingled and chatted with politicians. They had a nice evening from their faces.
FORMER PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO COULDN’T MAKE IT
The special guest of honour, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo couldn’t make it. He was away in Uganda but sent his representative in the person of former governor of Cross Rivers state, Donald Duke. He came with his beautiful wife, Onari. They both waited till the event ended.
A GATHERING OF BEAUTY QUEENS TOO
Beauty queens from 10 African countries were also in attendance. The tall, elegant ladies in different sizes and shapes added colour to the glamorous event. They all matched into the hall with smiles on their faces, exchanging pleasantries with dignitaries who were already seated.
Being the originator of Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN), Ben Bruce showed his appreciation to all the beauty queens in attendance.
BEN BRUCE’S LOVE FOR NIGERIA MADE PRODUCTS
Senator Ben Bruce’s love for Nigeria made products cannot be over emphasized. He bought tree made in Nigeria car at Innosan Motor at the rate of N3.6 million each. He also got the bow tie he wore for his birthday from a Nigerian designer, David Lawal.
MOSE MOSZINSKY DONATED HIS WRISTWATCH
The book reviewer, Michael Moszyski, founder and CEO of London Advertising also supported the celebrant after the book review. He took off his expensive wristwatch and handed it to Ben Bruce Foundation in support of the good cause the Senator has been pursuing.
THE UNVEILING OF THE COMMON SENSE REVOLUTION
The Common Sense Revolution book was unveiled by the representative of the special guest of honour, Donald Duke. The book was dedicated to the next generation of Nigerians that they may do better than we have done.
The proceed of the book launch was donated to charity especially towards the war against gender based violence and empowerment of widows through Ben Murray Bruce Foundation.
30 SECONDS OF SILENCE FOR BEN BRUCE’S DAD
In the course of the book launch, a 30 second silence was observed for Murray William Bruce, the late dad of the celebrant who passed on years back. It was stated that the Senator’s father never wanted him to venture into politics.
BEN’S MOM WAS AROUND
Senator Ben Bruce’s mom, Mrs. Margaret Murray Bruce was in attendance. The old dame is sure shining with grace as she sat quietly throughout the event, smiling once a while to guests who exchanged pleasantry with her. She was well acknowledged at the event.
HOW IK AND BOVI LIGHTENED UP THE SHOW
The duo of talented OAP IK Osakioduwa and comedian Bovi lightened up the venue as they took over the show after the book launch. They both kept the guests entertained while they were on the stage.
Guests laughed endlessly to the jokes dished out by the duo.
HOW THE EVENT TURNED TO A CARNIVAL
Ben Bruce got a lot of support from the entertainment industry. A lot of A-list artistes performed without earning a dime from the Senator. The first to take over the stage was Adewale Ayuba.
Timi Dakolo gave a good account of himself with the sonorous rendering of Iyawo Mi, one of his hits song. Ras Kimono also left the guests wanting more with his reggae oldies. It was obvious guests present enjoyed his songs.
The event turned out to a carnival as each artiste took turns to sing on the stage. The likes of Wizkid, Reekado Banks, 2Face, Alariwo, Yinka Davies and Jeffery Daniels and a host of others graced he stage with their hit songs.
Life has taught me humility at 60 says Ben Bruce
I am grateful. I am happy.
What are you most grateful to God for as you turn 60?
The family I came from – my late father, beautiful wife and my four children.
Do you have any regret as you turn 60?
No, I don’t have any regret.
What is the greatest lesson life has taught you at 60?
Humility! I have learnt to be humble.
Why did you patronize Innosan Motors, why are you so concerned about Nigeria?
I love my country. I love everything Nigerian. I am a very arrogant Nigerian. I will always support Nigeria and patronize Nigeria made products.
What inspired the book, The Common Sense Revolution?
I have been talking about common sense all my life. For the past 35 years, I have been talking about common sense.
- Otunba Gbenga Daniel ‘
- Donald and wife, Onari Duke
- Ike Ekweremadu
- Nuhu Ribadu
- Tee Mac
- Hakeem Rahman
- Grace Egbagbe
- Bisi Olatilo
- Jimi Agbaje and wife, Biola
- Dele Momodu
- Opral Benson
- Dino Melaye
- Lanre Ogunlesi
- Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde
- Jim Ovia
- Pat Utomi
- Godswill Akapbio
- Gani Adams
- Aliko Dangote
- Iretiola Doyle
- Toke Makinwa
- Korede Bello
- Reekado Banks
- Shina Peller
- Timi Dakolo and wife
- Dare Art-Alade