The launch was long overdue, but when the day came it was well worth the wait.
The day was Monday, February 15, 2016, the venue was Sheraton Hotel & Towers and the occasion was the official christening of a pace-setter in the media industry: SI Magazine. Also known as SI ‘DocuZine’ it is dedicated to telling the stories of society’s most down-trodden and ill-treated.
The initially low-key event was soon overwhelmed by the presence of the nation’s political and social crème-de-la crème. More than a few foreigners were also there to honour the unveiling of the brain-child of Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya.
The Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was there to lend his vivacity and passion to the city’s newest medium. The Etsu Agaie, Alhaji Nuhu Yusuf wore two caps by representing the Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, and was also present to support a worthy daughter who had, once again, put the state on the media map.
Also present was the Executive Governor of Borno State, His Excellency, Kashim Shettima, who was ably represented by his deputy, Alhaji Usman Mamman Durkwa; and the chief launcher of the occasion was Architect Yunusa Yakubu of Lubelle Nig. Ltd.
The Chairman of SI Magazine, Malam Mohammed Haruna, in his usual charismatic way during his opening remarks could not hide his admiration for both the publication and its resilient publisher. He confessed that he had no idea that a Nigerian could ever dare to pull off such a feat.
The Minister also confessed that, given Abdullahi-Iya’s feat, it had become clear that the Nigerian media will go far and measure up to its Western counterparts.
SI, which has an app on Google Play and Amazon, is the very first in Nigeria and boasts a number of features that’s missing in the digital editions of other regular magazines.
Abdullahi-Iya explained that the app is “community-based, user-friendly and an excellent tool for marketing,” in the sense that “the app can read the articles to you and also play videos, as opposed to what is obtainable in other regular magazines.”
She also explained that when you advertise on the app, it possesses the ability to take prospective customers directly to the advertiser’s website where more information can be obtained about the product or service. She reiterated its validity as a platform for companies to “advertise conveniently.”
Marked by light banter and some good-hearted moments, the launch was a huge success and a great representation of the goal of the magazine: to bring people together to talk about the things which affect them the most and, by so doing, solve problems.