BY KESTER OSAHENYE
Today I am celebrating a rare Nigerian, influential, cerebral, and yet humble, someone with a generous heart, a quintessential broadcaster, a media entrepreneur, administrator and philanthropist, this is no other person but Mr. John Olatchy Momoh. The President and CEO of Channels Television, the President of the Chevening Alumni Association of Nigeria, the Chairman of Broadcaster Organisation of Nigeria, BON, award-winning Broadcaster with countless local and global awards.
I am not embarking on ululating John Momoh through servile praise without facts, I have worked closely with John Momoh as General Secretary of Chevening Alumni Association of Nigeria to know his persona and generosity. I was first introduced to the amiable John Momoh as a teenager watching the only National TV station at that time, Nigerian Television Authority, NTA where John Momoh charmed his heterogenous audience with the power of his mellifluous voice. He loomed larger than life-size, ten of my friends and I studied Mass Communication because we wanted to be like John Momoh. We had the ambition to be on national television and read news like him. I fondly recalled my deceased friend Komla Dumor, who was then the presenter of BBCs “Focus on Africa” fascination, when he finally met with “JM” in London as we fondly call him. He hilariously mimicked John Momoh’s characteristics introduction on NTA “Good Evening, I am- John – Momoh”.
Channels Television started from a humble background with a transmitter that covered just Ikeja axis of Lagos from Etiebet Place, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, to Kresta Laurel Plaza and now to its own, property in Lagos and Abuja where they broadcast simultaneously. Channels TV could fiercely compete globally with any TV station, it presently reaches diaspora African communities in the U.K on Channels24 Watch on Sky Channel 575, Channels TV is the first 24 TV Station in Nigeria to launch a premium “News at 10pm“, cited by CNN, BBC, Reuters, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera, Channels TV news is a flagship of all private TV news content in Nigeria.
John Momoh led his team to launch different VOD video on demand on iOS and Android, you can also watch Channels TV 24 hours online. Under his eclectic leadership, this TV station won the ‘Best Television Station of the Year’ – an award endowed by the Nigerian Media Merit Award Trust – nine times in the last fourteen years (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013/2014), thereby making Channels Television the “Station of the Decade”. They have other awards in their kitty for all their outstanding works in broadcasting.
Channels Academy is another venture of John Momoh that presently offers pro bono broadcast and journalism training for Africans, especially in a dysfunctional educational system, that gives little or obsolete curriculum for broadcast journalists or mass communication. Channels Academy is offering its students digital and contemporary media training, that will stand them on the cutting edge of technology to compete with their peers.
Channels TV has a retinue of the best broadcast journalists in Nigeria, like Ladi Akeredolu-Ale, Ambrose Okoh, Betty Dibia, Ijeoma Onyeator, Maupe Ogun, Kingsley Uranta, Chamberlain Usoh, Amarachi Ubani, Gimba Umar, Seun Akinbaloye, Nnetaobase Egbe etc.
In Financial reporting Boason Omofaye and many Channels TV journalists, are amongst the best who have educated financial advisers and private investors about investment opportunities, With arguably more news available to investors through a wider variety of platforms than ever before, the need for information to be communicated in a clear and engaging way is vitally important in broadcasting and Channels TV under the leadership of John Momoh has delivered in this area.
Recently, he was delivering a lecture at the University of Edinburgh Business, on Media Business in Africa, I was privileged to be in that audience with the Head of Mass Communication, Baze University Abuja, Dr Abiodun Adeniyi and another Chevener, Sade Doherty a lawyer. John Momoh reeled out novel ideas in curating rich contents for broadcasting in Africa, which Channels TV is pioneering. He mentioned the challenges of doing business in Africa, but he said Africa is replete with limitless opportunities. He encouraged media investors to come to Africa, to reap where there are talents and burgeoning markets for quality broadcasting.
As BON Chairman, John Momoh has been a vocal and tireless voice, calling for Nigeria to build formidable and independent broadcast industry. He is also a campaigner for the country broadcast industry meeting the deadline for Digital Switch Over DSO, which will unleash the full potentials of journalists and give broadcast entrepreneurs unfettered vistas to fulfill their dreams. He is a promoter of quality education for broadcast journalists and public communicators.
John Momoh is a philanthropist, paying the school fees of more than 50 indigent students with his business partner and amiable wife Shola Momoh and giving towards many charitable ventures in Nigeria. He is broadcaster, but shy away from publicity I like his self-effacing dispositions and gregarious relationship with the lowly and disadvantaged, recently after our meeting he was almost mobbed by street urchins popularly known as “Area Boys”, he gave them money and spoke in flawless Yoruba, encouraging each of them to learn a trade and contribute to our nation’s progress, he advised them to shun crimes.
As John Momoh clocks 61 years today, I pray that his light will never dim, that our nation should produce more men and women who are humble, yet influential in all fields of human endeavors. Men and women with compassion, Godly and selfless in supporting worthy ventures that will uplift people from every geographical divide.
Kester wrote from Lagos