Veteran Broadcaster Dele Adetiba Turns 80


When Dele Adetiba celebrated his landmark 80th birthday this month, there was no doubt about his contributions to broadcasting and advertising in Nigeria. He was, in his words in an interview three years ago, “the face of television sports” when world boxing legend Muhammad Ali visited Nigeria in the 1970s, and he got the opportunity to interview him for the then Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) TV “on a platter.”  It was soon after Ali’s first fight with Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden, New York City, USA, which was dubbed the ‘Fight of the Century.’

The only Nigerian journalist to interview Ali in a live studio session, he was at the time in the middle of his television career. According to him, “I discovered new things about Muhammad Ali when I interviewed him in Lagos.” He was in a small circle of people that read the news regularly on the then NBC-TV, and was also involved in sports reporting, commentary and analysis. 

Before his television years, he was a radio personality. He was among the second generation of local broadcasters, who benefited not only from training but also from the mentorship of the country’s pioneer broadcasting giants. He left radio as head of ‘Outside broadcast,’ an important unit for live broadcast.  

He fell in love with broadcasting, he said, after participating in a programme at the then Radio Nigeria as a student. He started as a freelance in sports broadcasting. In a 2021 interview with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), he stressed that broadcasting “is a serious business,” and recalled the professionalism and preparation for performance among broadcasters in his active broadcasting years towards achieving excellence.  He lauded the technological improvements of today in broadcasting, but criticised what he saw as the unimpressive “attitude” to professionalism among today’s broadcasters.

He later made another move to advertising, which he said was because the advertising industry at the time was “poaching and recruiting from broadcasting.”  His media personality was attractive, and earned him a place in advertising, where he worked for about three decades after spending about five years in broadcasting. Both fields had to do with “communication,” he observed, but advertising was “a completely different industry” to him.

It was a testimony to his mastery of his new profession that he rose to become the second Nigerian CEO of Lintas, the then largest advertising agency in Nigeria. According to a tribute published by his brother, the journalist Muyiwa Adetiba, when he turned 70, “In all of this, it is instructive that he never had to apply for any job. He started as a freelance artiste in NBC—which was how many started— and was employed when his contributions as well as income had become very noticeable. He was later headhunted to join Lintas advertising, headhunted to join Phillip Morris as Brands Manager and headhunted back to Lintas as Associate Director.”  This spoke volumes about his expertise. 

Respected for his experience in journalism and advertising, he had played roles that underscore his stature in both fields, and he remains relevant. For instance, he headed the 25-man screening committee of the 31st edition of the Nigeria Media Merit Award (NMMA), which was held in Lagos, in December 2023.  According to him, “The criteria for the award include language, originality, depth, accuracy, perspective.” In advertising, he is a fellow of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), and was a member of its governing council for years. The fellowship is the highest status of practice which APCON confers on deserving practitioners.

His exemplary professionalism underlined his passion as well as his sense of responsibility. We congratulate him as he enters his octogenarian years. 

Source: Nation 


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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