Monday, 18 May 2015

Part 2 of Sun MD’s Exclusive | Why I Love Pastor Kumuyi---Femi Adesina + “What I will do if Buhari gives me an appointment”


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The Sun Publication MD & E-in-C shares a joke with the GDA
In this concluding part of our exclusive encounter with Mr. Femi Adesina, Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspaper cum President, Nigeria Guild of Editors, the dynamic media leader spoke extensively on what makes him a different leader in his sector.
His mentors, books, style, philosophy and way of life all encapsulated in the encounter; at the end of it all, you find in Adesina a leader who comes with a different touch and orientation to leadership. The Sun MD/E-in-C equally shared his opinion with us on the threat of the social media and what can be done to keep the conventional media in business. Enjoy the chat only on your soar away Africa’s number 1 Celebrity Encounter blog Asabeafrika.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'Yes, social media is a threat but the written word can never die'
What does success mean to you as the MD & Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspaper?
Yeah, to succeed, stay focused. Once you have identified where you are going, keep your eyes on the ball. If you take your eyes off the ball, anything can happen. Just stay focused one you know where you are headed to; pay the cost and you will never regret the eventuality.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'When i got converted in 1988 ii read the Holy Bible cover-to-cover and it has changed me'
Yes, Social Media is a threat but…
As a media leader, I am sure you are aware of the presence of the social media. Analysts believe the social media is a threat to the conventional media. Do you nurse the fear that the conventional media will die some day?
No, I believe the hard copy will always be there.

 “I will agree that yes, there is a challenge to the printed word but it is not enough to kill it; and the challenge is serious. Encyclopedia Britannica you don’t see the hard copy again it is only online. At a time Newsweek went only online. Readers Digest that we used to read when we were younger, it is only online you get it now”.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'We tried to move away from full tabloid journalism in order to gain new market and it has worked'

Are you saying this with confidence?
Let me tell you, when radio came; that was obviously over a hundred years ago. It was then noise all over the world that Radio is a death knell for the printed word but radio was there and it has been there running along with the printed words for years. When television came some years after, they said ‘Oh, this is the final nail on the coffin of the printed word. But, see for how long that newspaper and television and radio have been running together. And when internet came they said ‘oh, this is the final of the final’. I will agree that yes, there is a challenge to the printed word but it is not enough to kill it; and the challenge is serious. Encyclopedia Britannica you don’t see the hard copy again it is only online. At a time Newsweek went only online. Readers Digest that we used to read when we were younger, it is only online you get it now. So, many publications have gone online. Even in Nigeria here, TELL magazine has what is called Broad Street Journal, it has gone on online, and even Financial Standards has gone online. Those are the challenges that we have seen with online but it posses a demand on you as a professional to be creative. Be creative! Be creative!! If you are creative, despite the fact that news broke online since yesterday, when you go to town with it tomorrow, creativity will determine weather the market will still buy it or not. For instance, the day the IG was fired. It happened in the afternoon and by early evening the story was all over the country. If you go to town the next day and say “IG Fired” they will return your paper to you unsold but if you put the “Why” element like “Why the IG was fired”, then you can still arouse the curiosity to know why. So, it is the challenge of creativity for those in the industry.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'Real Success is gained by keeping an eye on the ball'
The Sun started as a full blown tabloid but it appears there is a slight deviation right now, why the deviation?
We have modified a little bit, we are a blend now. A blend of tabloid—running human interest stories plus some other routine stories; we have changed direction a little bit, not too much but we have twisted the paper a little bit so that there is something in it for everybody. So, that the paper can’t be dismissed that ‘they are just there like a soft-sell’ no, no and it is working for us.
 “I said before I can take appointment in government I must believe passionately in that government. I said ‘Maybe a Muhammadu Buhari Government’ it is not as if anything is final now. If an offer comes I will look at it, pray about it, consider it critically but then it is a government I consider my own government”.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'My Leadership stride @ Nigeria Guild of Editor was as a result of the good timing of the idea'

Secret of my leadership as NGE President
As the President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors you have achieved so much within a short term in office, with a national secretariat under construction in Abuja and other lofty achievements. How did you achieve all these within a short time as President?
I think like it is said ‘nothing can hinder an idea whose time has come’. The time for the idea just came and we are fortunate that we were the ones in the saddles when the time came. It took courage on our part, me and my executives. We just said ‘let’s press on with this thing’. We did and to the glory of God it just worked. Because we decided to do a fundraising and we put up that program and it worked. The fundraising could have flopped but it didn’t flop, all our people that we invited came from the public sector, from the private sector, from the cooperate world and they supported us. That is why I am sure getting our secretariat now is a matter of months not years again. In a couple of months I am sure we will be able to commission a secretariat for the guild of editors. We may even end up having one in Lagos and one in Abuja that is where we are heading.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'If my father's wall clock rings at 5;45 am and you refuse to wake up five minutes after then be ready for the bruise from the cane'
What I will do if Buhari give me an appointment
A lot of readers and fans who have followed your passionate writing about the candidacy of General Muhammadu Buhari asked that if you are given a role to play in his government, would you take it.
Well, who can say what would happen tomorrow? Nobody. Nobody can say what would happen tomorrow but I recall that in 2007, one of the very, very ardent readers of my column, his name is Jaffet Ogunniyi sent me a text and said ‘can you ever take an appointment in government?’ and you know what I told him?
The calls kept coming and the media guru kept picking intermitently because they are calls from high places
I said ‘maybe a Muhammadu Buhari government’. I said it and that was in 2007 when you didn’t think Buhari was going to be president. I said before I can take appointment in government I must believe passionately in that government. I said ‘Maybe a Muhammadu Buhari Government’ it is not as if anything is final now. If an offer comes I will look at it, pray about it, consider it critically but then it is a government I consider my own government. 
I can see deluge of plaques of awards in your office from global and local organizations, how do you feel when you are honored with an award?It just makes one feel happy that what we are doing is being noticed and being recognized. You know when you wink in the dark, only you know what you are doing others don’t know. But here we are, people know what we are doing and they recognize us. So, it makes us feel fulfilled. 
 “A journalist that stops developing himself will stagnate.  But when you continue to develop yourself through training, through reading, through attendance of conferences and seminars and all that, you will continue to grow on the profession. So, it is important that journalists continue to build their own capacities”.
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'If i am invited to serve in the Buhari-Osinbajo government, i will pray over it'
The Schedule of an MD…. 
How does a day start for the MD of The Sun Newspaper? 
I am an early riser; that was how we were brought up. You know my father was an educationist and a disciplinarian. We had this alarm clock that rings out at quarter-to-five (AM) everyday. God help you five minutes after the alarm went off if you are still in bed, he (Dad) will come and wake you with a cane. So, it is already imbedded in me. I don’t sleep beyond 5am; 5 a.m. I am off. I wake up and pray and then I look at my schedule for the day. When I have external engagements I try to fulfill those engagements before coming down to the office because once I get into this office by the peculiar location of this office I don’t dash out again, I am here till evening when I close. And because I am a hands-on person, I look at all the things I need to look at, if I still need to write I write. 
Do you still edit stories? 
Oh, yes if I need to look at a story I will look at it. It is not as if I still edit as an editor but when editors refer things to me I still look at those things and in the evening when I am sure everything is under control that is when I then close. 
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'I have read several books like Ana Karenina, Mighty Atom & Davinci Code but The Holy Bible made more impact on my life than any other book'
Do you have any leader that is your role model? 
Well, it will depend on different spheres of life. For instance if you talk about media, of course Mike Awoyinfa I grew up under him. He is my journalism leader. When you talk of the Christian faith I am a member of the Four Square Church, my General Overseer, Reverend Felix Medunoye is a role model and you know what? I also like Pastor Williams Kumuyi of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry; I just like his strict Christian comportment, I like his life style. Whatever he is doing, he just focuses on it, I like that and that is what I want to be in whatever I am doing, I just want to be the best of it. I like Pastor WF Kumuyi’s discipline, he combines the rigorous discipline of an academic that went into ministry and you see him just focusing on what he is doing. So, in different spheres of life like that, I have people that I admire. 
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika...'A journalist who stops developing himself will stagnate'
Is there any particular book you have read that has changed your life? 
Now I am slowing down on books but as a young man I read, I was a voracious reader. The greatest book that I read that has changed my life of course is the Holy Bible. When I got converted in 1988 within ten months I read the Bible from cover-to-cover. Just within ten months and the Bible touched my life exceedingly. But I have read great books; Ana Karenina by Torlstoy, it was regarded as the world’s greatest book at the time, I read it and it was great 
A deluge of throphies & awards in honor of the wordsmiths' achievement in media business
(Cuts in) Was it as great as The Davinci Code? 
Well, the Davinci Code too, I read it years later but Ana Karenina was then regarded as the greatest book in its time; and there is one book I read as a class two student, it is called “The Mighty Atom” by Mary Corelli, it is a book that also touched me and I read that book many, many, many times over and over. I have read great books, I still continue to read. I do not read as much as I used to read because I am a lot busier now but reading is something I will recommend to everybody. 
Femi Adesina to Asabeafrika....'I try honoring all my social engagements before resuming in this office due to peculiarity of location'
On last note advice young professionals who want to seat on this hot seat as MD of a Media Firm; what should they do to get here? 
It is possible; they can get to the top of their careers. I remember when we were reporters under Mike Awoyinfa, he used to tell us ‘aspire to be editors, aspire to be editors; it is not a crime to aspire’. I didn’t think it was going to happen but eventually it happened. So, let young journalists also know that it can happen. They just need to stay focused. They need continuous development, training and re-training, they need to do that.  A journalist that stops developing himself will stagnate.  But when you continue to develop yourself through training, through reading, through attendance of conferences and seminars and all that, you will continue to grow on the profession. So, it is important that journalists continue to build their own capacities.
Mr. Femi Adesina MD & E-in-C of The Sun Newspaper with Asabeafrika's Gbenga Dan Asabe
To hard working managers like Femi Adesina, a part of home can also be experienced in the office

Gbenga Dan Asabe

Africa's Number One Celebrity Encounter Blog

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