As you read this, Azuh Arinze is in a happy mood. He is counting down to his 50th birthday. Are you surprised? Please don’t be, as this hard-working Journalist and Publisher has joined the 50s Club. There is no doubt that he is an accomplished professional who has done well for himself and the industry. He is also a book Publisher with several books to his name.
Azuh will be celebrating it big on Thursday 24th March 2022, as he will be unveiling 2 new books on that day. City People Publisher, Seye Kehinde recently got him to speak about his professional career and new life at 50. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Congratulations on your 50th birthday and the official presentation of your two new books. What is the feeling like?
I feel so happy and fulfilled. I feel like a woman who just gave birth successfully to a set of twins, after carrying them in her womb for nine months, with all the stress and inconveniences. My joy, sincerely, knows no bounds and as such cannot be succinctly captured. Above all, however, is that I am most grateful to the Almighty God who made it possible for me to have such a dream and ultimately be able to bring it to reality and fruition. I’m so happy. I’m so grateful. And I’m so thankful to God.
What are your reflections on life at 50? Has life been good to you, looking back?
Sincerely, and without meaning to be ungrateful, life has been more than good to me and beautiful. Nearly everything I wanted or asked God for, He has done for me. Good health, good family, good friends, supporters, a job that I love so much, even though the pay is small. God has over blessed me. I still have a couple of things that I am asking Him for, but I know that at the fullness of time, He will do them. But in all, God has been extremely and extraordinarily nice to me, especially because of where I am coming from and how far He has brought me. I am that ghetto boy that God chose to bless and elevate, and that is why forever and ever I will continue to worship Him and sing his praises.
Tell us about your love for writing books. How did it start? And how many books have you written to date? Tell us a little about each one…
I have always loved to read, and I guess that’s how the love grew or rather where the love came from. I started by reading what others wrote and after some time I wanted people also read what I wrote. I write majorly business books but cut across professions. My books are real. True life stories. Not fiction and not faction. Everything you see in my books is the truth, and that is because I usually sit down to interview those I write about. Getting some of these people to talk sometimes takes years, but I don’t give up till I get them. They are the A-listers in their fields. So far, I have written seven books. The eighth one, Everything Journalism, will be out next year. My first book was Tested and Trusted Success Secrets of the Rich and Famous. The second and third ones were The CEO’s Bible 1 & 2. The fourth and fifth ones were Success Is Not Served A La Carte and Encounters: Lessons From My Journalism Career. The sixth and seventh ones, which will be out on Thursday, March 24, 2022, in commemoration of my 50th birthday, are A Taste of Success and Conversations With Showbiz Stars. My plan actually is to have written at least 20 books before I clock 60, and by the grace of God, it will surely happen. My books basically aim at teaching people to excel in any field of human endeavour they decide to pitch their tent. The reason is that I usually sit down with the best in all professions, and extract from them their success secrets which I now share with the readers in my books.
You are a guru in celebrity journalism. What are your reflections on the job?
Our job is no longer what it used to be. The water of celebrity journalism has been fouled and muddled up. Charlatans and quacks have invaded and bastardized it. Unfortunately, many now prefer to deal with the quacks because of the collateral damage they are capable of doing than the professionals. However, we, the professionals, must not give up. We just have to keep showing them the right way to do it. We must never abandon our trade for them. We must keep fighting the lions and tigers of unprofessionalism until we overwhelm, subdue and defeat them. But the truth, however, remains that our business is no longer what it used to be. Ethics and ethos have been thrown to the dogs by the non-professionals, and it’s so sad and painful and unfortunate.
Let’s talk about online media. How has it affected traditional media? Do you agree that social media will likely kill print media?
Truth be told, the dynamics of the business have changed drastically. The business, in fact, can never, never be the same again. The coming of online, undoubtedly, has changed the equation. And there’s no doubt about it. However, the print will continue to be there, even though not as strong and vibrant as before. The print can never die. Only the power and influence would be whittled down. But die, no way! If you remember, when the radio came, the same thing was said. Same with television. And now online. No doubt, very powerful and disruptive, but online can never kill and bury the print. The print is like the Beetle (Volkswagen) and like they used to say, there’s no killing the Beetle.