THE story of Brila FM, Nigeria’s first all sports station as told by the CEO, Larry Izamoje is that of determination, passion and the God factor. Now, a world brand, many can recollect how the man popularly called player/coach used to shuttle Lagos and Ogun presenting sports programmes on the then OGBC. Larry Izamoje spoke on how he built the brand, Brila with branches all over Nigeria.
The Brila Group, is no doubt a world recognized brand. How were you able to build the company to this level?
First, God Almighty and then people, very good people around me. Our workers have been wonderful that’s why we don’t call them workers ordinarily, we call them members of the Brila family.
Recently, you celebrated your 50th birthday, what has been the motivating factor in your life?
To live life every day, don’t get unrealistic goals. To know what your potentials are, try and work on those potentials. I found out very early that I was gifted in the area of sport and everything I have been doing have been towards that. So, passion becomes work for me and that’s why anytime people think I am in the office, I am just enjoying myself, anytime I am somewhere talking even if they are not talking sports, I find myself gravitating towards sports. Sports has really helped me, it’s a passion.
Being 50 this year, will you say age has slowed you down in what you used to do on radio?
Age has not slowed me down, what I have done is what I keep doing to teach people. We have built a legacy and that’s why if I present in Lagos those in Onitsha will not hear except it’s recorded. So, what we do now is to empower young men, people who can run with our vision and so I do a lot more work now than I did before. In those days, it was just Brila Lagos, now it has become like a network everywhere. So, we do a lot of teaching, bringing boys to follow the trend.
When was the defining moment in your career?
The defining moment in my career was when we did the Bournvita World Cup Special in 1994. I didn’t even feel it travelling from Lagos to Abeokuta. What I saw every morning was the opportunity to bless the people of this country with the voice God has blessed me with, with the capacity to get information that God has given to me. So, I didn’t see the long trip to Abeokuta. I must confess, I made a short trip to Abeokuta recently and I saw how far it was, I didn’t see it in those years.
We learnt you are plotting your own TV station, when should we expect that?
Leave that to God, we are consolidating on our four stations. The newest of them is Brila FM, Onitsha, which is just eight months old. So, let’s see how these four stations would go and then we determine whether there are places in Nigeria we can still take the radio to.
- FOLUSO SAMUEL
This story was first published in Encomium Weekly edition of Tuesday, July 3, 2012