By Eric Elezuo
The Chief Executive Officer, Ovation Media Group, Chief Dele Momodu, is today marking 57 years of celebrated living.
Dele Momodu was born Ayòbámidélé Àbáyòmí Ojútelégàn Àjàní Momodu on May 16, 1960
Dele is the last of three siblings. He lost his father at the age of 13, thereafter relying on his mother and relatives for support. He was taught by his late mother, who died on May 18, 2007, not to despair even when times are tough. This was exemplified by her continual support of him even when others had written him off. Although his mother’s source of income was from petty trading, and she had two older children to care for, she laboured hard to sustain her family, and in the words of Momodu, “She didn’t give up on me.”
A journalist/publisher, businessman, philanthropist, actor and motivational speaker, Bob Dee as he is popularly called, is the CEO and publisher of Ovation International, a magazine that has given publicity to people from all over the world, mainly in Africa.
With a view flavour to celebrity reportage, he, in 2015, officially launched Ovation TV and subsequently launched an online newspaper called The Boss, which are making waves in the media world today.
Momodu has received hundreds of awards and honours for his work in the world of business, politics, literature, the music industry and the fashion industry. His weekly column called Pendulum, published every Saturday on the back page of Thisday newspaper and the Boss Newspaper has become a vocal voice in addressing societal ills. The articles are praised for highlighting issues in Nigeria, as well as discussing popular topics, current events and notable people, often in a polemic/critical style.
A graduate of University of Ife, (now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife) (1982), Dele Momodu holds a degree in Yoruba and a Masters Degree in English Literature (1988). He lectured at the Oyo State College of Arts and Science in Ile-Ife, between 1982 and 1983 while on National Service. Between 1983 and 1985, he was private secretary to the former Deputy Governor of Ondo State, Chief Akin Omoboriowo. In 1986, Momodu served the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuwade Olubuse II, managing the Motel Royal Limited owned by the monarch. Following Momodu’s resignation from the Motel Royal, he went on to study for his post-graduate degree in English literature. He was during this time contributing articles to the likes of The Guardian, Sunday Tribune and other Nigerian-based publications.
On July 30, 2016, Dele was awarded with an honorary doctorate degree (PhD) from the University of Professional Studies, Accra, Ghana, earning him the title “Doctor of Humane Letters”.
Momodu started Ovation International, the flagship of celebrity journals, in 1996 while still in exile. After the death of Abiola in prison, and the subsequent death of Sani Abacha, Momodu ended his exile. Since then, he has expanded Ovation International, and it is now one of Africa’s most popular celebrity magazines. Ovation International is also reputed to be the only bi-lingual magazine in Africa, having editions printed in both English and French.
Dele Momodu has held an annual event every year since 2008, known as the Ovation Red Carol (later changed to Ovation Carol and Awards). The Carol is held every December, and has become one of West Africa’s most popular annual Christmas events, often involving musical performances, drama, fashion shows and award presentations for varying charitable causes. The most recent was held on December 18, 2016 at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos with the then President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, in attendance among other special guests.
Dele has been married to the love of his life, Mobolaji Abiodun Momodu, since December 19, 1992, and they are blessed with four wonderful children: Pekan (1994), Yole (1996), Eniafe (1997) and Korewa (2004)