Nduka Obaigbena: The Media Mogul’s Life, Businesses, And Net Worth

Nduka Obaigbena: The Media Mogul’s Life, Businesses, And Net Worth

  • Nduka Obaigbena’s rise to fame in the media industry is shrouded in mystery as many are yet to trace his footsteps in the industry.
  • There is uncertainty surrounding his early sojourn in the media space in Nigeria, with some saying he was a cartoonist and others saying he started as a graphic designer.
  • He has, however, emerged as one of the most successful media moguls in Africa with a media conglomerate spanning print and media.

Little has been known about the professional life of one of Nigeria’s most successful media entrepreneurs, Nduka Obaigbena, the founder of the rave-making television station and much sought-after ThisDay newspaper.

While some say he started as a cartoonist in one of Nigeria’s elite newspapers, others say that Obaigbena was a graphic designer before he branched off to found the now-successful ThisDay newspaper.

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Nduka Obaigbena, Media, Arise New
Nduka Obaigbena, owner of ThisDay and Arise News
Source: UGC

Nigeria’s most successful media entrepreneur

He has been regarded as Nigeria’s Rupert Murdoch with a media conglomerate that spans print, electronic, and even festivals anchored on the success of his media platforms.

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Obaigbena is the go-to man in the Nigerian media industry and has brokered deals and peace between successive Nigerian governments and his colleagues in the media industry. He is even touted as the most powerful media entrepreneur in Africa after Strive Masiyiwa, the Zimbabwean businessman.

Many successful journalists who worked in ThisDay in Nigeria say they trace their success to him as his name opens doors and his contacts in private and government circles are top-notch.

ThisDay newspaper and ThisDay Awards

In 1995, he founded ThisDay newspaper, one of Nigeria’s most successful print media. Five years later, Obaigbena founded the ThisDay Awards, recognizing outstanding institutions and individuals in business and other aspects of life.

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The rave-making Arise News channel was founded in 2013 and named after his fashion magazine, Arise Fashion.

The controversy of Arise News

The channel focused on global African affairs and signed a deal with Globecast for satellite transmission on Astra 2G for broadcast on the UK Sky platform and Hot Bird for cable transmission distribution with bases in London, New York, Johannesburg, and Lagos.

Obaigbena was disqualified from serving as the company’s director in 2021 by Judge Raquel Agnello. She ruled in a case brought by the official receiver and found his role as a sole proprietor of Arise unfit due to funding issues.


He was a senator in 1991 and elected member of the Constitutional Conference in 1994.

Through ThisDay, he successfully organized ThisDay Fashion Festivals in 2006, which attracted global music stars including Beyonce, Jay Z, Rihanna, John Legend, Lionel Richie, Diana Ross, Alicia Keys, and many others.

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The EFCC controversy

Obaigbena was the subject of an investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which investigated the spending of $2.1 billion involving the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, under President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to the Guardian, in his defence, Obaigbena affirmed that THISDAY Media group never got any suspicious funds from the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA).

He stressed that all funds (N150m, N150m, and N250m, respectively) received from the Office of the NSA were payments for compensation to mitigate the cruel Boko Haram twin bombings of the newspaper’s offices in Abuja and Kaduna on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

The bombings claimed the lives of four persons, destroyed buildings, and the company lost its color Goss printing towers, three pre-press computer-to-plate and auxiliary equipment, and other property valued at over N2.5 billion.

Early life and education

He was born in Ibadan on July 14, 1959, and attended Edo College, Benin City, and the University of Benin. He went to the Graduate School of Business at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and the Advanced Management Programme at the University of Cape Town.

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How Cosmas Maduka, the apprentice wrongly dismissed with N200, became a billionaire

Legit.ng reported that at 17, many teenagers are still thinking of finishing secondary school with style and getting admission into a university.

But not so with Cosmas Maduka, the chairman of the conglomerate Coscharis Group who began his quest for money at the age of 17 after he was wrongly dismissed by his uncle, whom he served as an automobile apprentice.

He went into business and co-created CosDave with his friend. However, the business did not survive, and Maduka started Coscharis Motors, a combination of his name and his wife, Charity, whom he married at 21. The business focused on sales of automobile spares in 1977 with just N300, reports said.

Source: Legit.ng

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