By Tony Nwanne
The Front Garden of the Opebi Lagos Headquarters of Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) will this Saturday, June 18, 2016 witness a gathering of Nigeria’s top artistes, journalists, art lovers and critics as the copyright collective management organization hosts the broadcast icon, music man and art critic extra-ordinaire, the great Benson Idonije who turns 80 this week.
Benson Idonije was a prime mover of NBC 2, the first FM Stereo station in Nigeria which later became FRCN 2 and later RN2, thrilling millions of people across Lagos with first class music and other forms of fine entertainment. His was one of the first voices to be heard on any FM Stereo broadcast in Nigeria. Idonije who is fondly known as Benjay was producer and presenter of such famous radio programmes as The Big Beat and Stereo Jazz Club which made a lot of waves in the 70s and 80s. He was one of the creators of the Top Ten, Nigeria’s first ever publicly recognized music chart show which was shaped by RN2 in association with a major Lagos based marketing firm, Research & Marketing Services.
Benson Idonije was indeed at some point Manager of Afro Beat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He also participated actively in developing the Nigerian Music Awards, Africa’s first truly celebrated music award show which played host to stars of all types, Heads of State, Governors, Ministers and ambassadors.