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Splash FM Bids YES FM Boss Goodbye With ‘Thank You’ Party

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Splash FM gave Yemi Sonde, proprietor of one of the newly licensed radio stations – YES FM, a party gift on Wednesday.

Against the policy of the first private radio station in the state not to allowing independent broadcasters on the platform, they broke their rules by allowing Sonde’s ‘Mofe Be’ and ‘YS Live’ as the only independent radio programmes.

Sonde, this newspaper learnt, decided to take a bow out of Splash FM to concentrate on his newly acquired radio station.

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Tunde Olawuwo, general manager (operations) of Splash FM, while eulogizing Sonde, for what he called his immense contribution to the development of the media industry and Splash FM radio station in particular, assured that the newly approved YES FM will not be a threat to Splash FM.

At the event which held at Mauve 21 event center, Olawuwo, who went memory lane recalled that even though the radio station was not well disposed to having an independent broadcaster on its platform when it started in 2007, Sonde’s professional qualities made him an exception to that policy.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate a man who has been described by many people in so many ways and I will acknowledge that he deserves everything. When Splash FM started we were not very disposed to the idea of having independent broadcasters on the station because of the kind of baggage that it could bring, we are all broadcasters we know that but one man broke that jinx because of what he stood for and that person is Yemi Sonde, with his program ‘Mofe Be’ at that particular time.

“And you can count almost fifteen years now, two different spells, looking back to say we had a good, mutually beneficial working relationship. The relationship is not over, it is just moving into another phase.” Olawuwo said.

Olawuwo described Sonde as a man not only blessed with high quality and skills but also rich in native intelligence. He noted that Sonde’s exceptional qualities and character made the chairman of West Midlands Communications, Chief Bayo Akande to release his blessings upon the YES FM radio boss and also assured of supporting the newly birthed media organization.

Speaking with journalists shortly after the event, Olawuwo who spoke on why Splash FM for the first time in its history organized such an event for a man perceived to soon be a potential industry competitor and threat said the case of Yemi Sonde is that of a professional who has contributed immensely to the growth of not only Splash FM but the media industry in Oyo state and Nigeria as a whole.

“The person of Yemi Sonde is that of a professional who has contributed immensely to the growth and development of our organization, Splash FM radio and we felt that ok! he was taking a bow out of our system to set up his own. It didn’t has to be an acrimonious exit like some would want to believe that he’s going to set up his own radio station and become a rival, No!

“We believe that in this industry the space is large enough to accommodate everybody so, we just simply want to celebrate his time with us that’s why we have organized this event.” Olawuwo stated.

He urged upcoming broadcasters and journalists to be inspired by the life of Sonde who against all odds as a young child from Mushin area of Lagos state rose through the ranks to become a huge success as an ace broadcaster in Nigeria.

Olawuwo said: “If as a young broadcaster, you’re not inspired by the life of Yemi Sonde, then I don’t know what else could inspire you because for anybody who works within an ecosystem you aspire to get to the pinnacle. To some, the pinnacle may be to become MD, C.E.O or even General Manager but the ultimate top is to own one yourself and that is what has become of Yemi Sonde and we will give him all the support he needs even our Chairman, Chief Bayo Akande said that yesterday.

“For someone who is basic in his thinking you may think that the success of somebody’s else means your downfall but if you’re broad enough in your understanding of issues you’ll know that we all can be successful together and that is what we believe, so, Yes FM radio is not a threat to us in any form.”

Sonde, speaking earlier, while expressing gratitude to Splash FM radio and its chairman, Chief Bayo Akande, for the love and cordial relationship, especially the platform given him for his ‘Mofe Be’ and ‘YS Live’ radio shows which propelled his success further as an independent broadcaster, also added that even though he is starting another phase of his professional career as a radio station owner, “I am not here to compete but to collaborate for the development of this industry”.

In his short address shortly after goodwill messages, Sonde who recalled how his journey into the media world began, expressed his appreciation to all individuals and media organizations who were part of his success story stressing that of all the media organizations he had worked with, Splash FM remains his home where he felt exceptional comfort to get things done at will and ease.

The zonal director, National Broadcasting Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office, Mr Raphael Akpan, while addressing journalists described the Nigeria media industry as dynamic saying that even though the country’s media industry is yet to be at the same level with developed nations of the world, it has however, continued to grow.

“Akpan said: “One word, dynamic! The media industry is moving forward and I know that we are not yet there but the media has shown that they are there to mirror the society and let the society know exactly what is going on, to educate, inform, and of course to entertain us so, generally, just to put it in one word, it’s dynamic.

“Before now who would have thought that independent broadcasters and presenters could grow to the extent of owning and creating their own radio stations so, I think it’s a good development however, from the regulatory angle, we’ve been having issues trying to correct them on one or two things and that again has really lifted them.

“The person we are celebrating today was a freelance presenter because as of today he is an owner of a radio station. And again you know we have a collaboration, I mean NBC and Yemi Sonde, there’s a forum where broadcast media stakeholders meet every two years to deliberate on the way forward, to talk about issues revolving around broadcasting.

“So, It shows that he’s someone who wants to do it well and follow the rules. So, for him owning a radio station now I think it’s a good thing for us.”

Other top media industry players who graced the event include Chief Gboyega Lawal, the South West Zonal Director of Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN) Mrs. Bolatito Joseph, the pioneer General Manager of Splash FM, DJ Flexy, the Chairman, Oyo state Council of NUJ, Demola Babalola, the Zonal Chairman, South West Group of Online Publishers (SWEGOP), Mr Yinka Agboola, Popular Music star, Femi Solar and others.

Highlights of the event was presentation of award of Excellence to Yemi Sonde by the Freelance And Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) and also an award to Splash FM radio by Yemi Sonde as a show of appreciation for the love and support given him over the years.

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