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We don’t celebrate 419ners –Excel publisher, Emuekpere

Posted by By Musa Ebomhiana on 2007/12/16 | Views: 494 |

We don’t celebrate 419ners –Excel publisher, Emuekpere

The publishers of Excel International Magazine will be rolling out the drums in Lagos today, Saturday, December 15, 2007 to appreciate those who have stood by them in the last seven unbroken years when the publication has been on the newsstand.

The publishers of Excel International Magazine will be rolling out the drums in Lagos today, Saturday, December 15, 2007 to appreciate those who have stood by them in the last seven unbroken years when the publication has been on the newsstand.

The publisher/Editor in Chief, Barth Emuekpere says the anniversary dinner slated for the Golden Gate Restaurant will also unveil what he called “The real 10 most outstanding Nigerians in 2006.” Among others, Emuekpere discussed the vision and mission of Excel and the journey so far.

The beginning
“The story of Excel started from a burning desire to right a wrong. At a point in history, the Western media was not too friendly with the entire African continent. And some of us felt that Nigeria’s image was bastardized in the eye of the globe when she was seen as no good story. At that time, any story from Nigeria was bad, about criminality, 419 Scams etc.

So, we felt that we should report the good things that happen in Nigeria and by extension Africa, so that we can right the wrong perception of Africans outside Africa. Aside this, I think our biggest reason was to reposition Africa in the eye of the world. Also, the flair for writing and motivating people to think positively, identifying and celebrating role models as a way of encouraging positive living with the overall goal of restoring the seemingly lost societal values.

Like every other project that you have to struggle before you get right, so it was with Excel International Magazine. It looked like nobody was interested when we first started. But as we progressed, our vision became clearer and a lot more people began to appreciate our efforts. It’s natural that support comes after you have carved a niche for yourself. I think that’s what is happening to us now, having registered our mission and vision. That is not to say it is a bed of roses, it’s still a lot of struggling to keep afloat.
Well, it is not right to assess ourselves, but at the same time, we should be able to point out a few things that we have done. Now we know that perceptions held over the years by some people have changed.

How lucrative?
Well, maybe we are yet to get to that point where it will become lucrative. Otherwise, we see it as something that we are doing because we really have the burning desire, we have the interest and we want to keep writing, keep telling the people what they see wrongly and all that. That’s why we call it Project Africa. It is aimed at repositioning Africa in the eye of the world. We put in all we have and God is seeing us through in His own way. We are not ruling out the fact that one day, these efforts at sowing today, we will reap tomorrow.

I think that going by the letters, e-mails, encomiums and a lot of things we get, we are certainly on course. We are on course because we have a lot of people who write in to encourage us, write in to give us information on how the magazine has been able to touch their lives. Some of them are beginning to have a different perception of life. Some of them are beginning to know that it is not over until it is over. It is a publicity package and it is not as if it is super expensive. We are not cut out for the bourgeois alone. Our magazine cuts across and you don’t need to sacrifice your head to be on it.

We don’t celebrate 419
No, I don’t agree with that. It is a baseless opinion. As a matter of fact, it is part of our editorial policy to celebrate only those who have genuine means of livelihood. Are you saying that we should not encourage our leader by projecting the things he has done as a way of encouraging him to do more? Does that sound like he is into shady deals? If we encourage a man who has been doing well and is probably celebrating his birthday and you try to show this man has done well and so encourage others to also do well, does that sound like the man is into shady deals? I don’t really think so. I just think these are baseless insinuations and most times are figments of lazy people’s imagination.
That just to encourage family values and all that.

Excel Awards
I have always had a standard in mind and I don’t mince words when I say I want to do for Africans what Ebony does for the African Americans. So, if you ask me, I’ll like to get to the level of Ebony and probably see how we can get beyond that level.

Basically the excel awards is the same idea of changing the psyche of Nigerians. There was a time that even Nigerians themselves lost hope in Nigeria and it wasn’t helping matters. But today we are trying to let people know that even with the much talked about corruption in Nigeria, there are still people who are raising the banner of excellence and such people still deserve to be celebrated. We will ensure that today, December 15th, 2007, when we meet at the Golden Gate Restaurant, Lagos, we will be unveiling the real “10 Most Outstanding Nigerians In 2006”.

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