•By Oloye LEKAN ALABI, YEMI FAROHUNBI & Co.
On Saturday 25th July, 2020, veteran broadcasters, as well as other dignitaries, gathered at the prestigious Omo Ajorosun Club, Agodi, Ibadan, to celebrate television icon, Chief (Mrs) Julie Coker as she clocked 80 in style.
The 80th birthday luncheon in honour of Julie Coker, the Yeye Eto of Lagos, was hosted by Oloye Lekan Alabi, the Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadanland and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum and Monument, Ile Ife. It was tagged, “The Screen Hugs Culture”.
Some of the eminent personalities who graced the occasion, strictly held in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, include the former Nigerian Ambassador to Philippine, Chief Yemi Farohunbi; a retired Genaral Manager of NTA, Osogbo, Mrs. Shade Hastrup; veteran media practitioner, Chief Taiwo Ayorinde, Baale Ekotedo; the immediate past President of Omo Ajorosun Club, Chief S.O Babalola; Mogaji Moshood Akere; Miss Oyo State 2019, Oladayo Faith Tolulope and others.
The Zonal Director of NTA Ibadan Network Centre and Radio Television Theater and Arts Workers Union of Nigeria (RATTAWU) were also represented at the event.
The carefully selected quests, according to Oloye Lekan Alabi, were screened according to the theme of the programme, “The Screen Huge Culture. And trust Oloye Lekan Alabi, he was able to relate the significance of each of the guests to the programme.
In his opening remarks, Oloye Lekan Alabi, as the host of the programme, stated that the celebrant represents excellence in broadcasting. Saying young professionals should emulate her.
Also speaking at the programme as Chairman of the occasion, Ambassador Yemi Farohunbi, who decried the decadence in our culture and the society generally, described Chief (Mrs.) Julie Coker as a dedicated and courageous woman.
“The young professionals should endeavour to tap from her commitment to professionalism, excellence, courage and integrity in doing her job.
“We are celebrating Julie Coker today because she is an embodiment of excellence, of all that is the best in broadcasting.
Her professional ethics, standards, class and comportment are worthy of emulation for the younger ones.”
“Unknown to many, Julie Coker is not just an accomplished broadcaster; she is also into community service, for the downtrodden, the less privileged or what have you,” Chief Farohunbi said.
The story was not also different for the duo of Mrs. Shade Hastrup and Chief Taiwo Ayorinde, as they both took their turns, in their respective remarks, in extolling the good virtues of Chief (Mrs.) Julie Coker.
According to Chief Taiwo Ayorinde, “Julie Coker is not just a good presenter but also an excellent producer.
Chief (Mrs) Julie Coker, the Yeye Eto of Lagos, is a retired Head of Presentation at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA Network Centre).
A beauty personified, she won the Western Nigeria’s Miss Independent in 1960.
She was one of the beautiful faces and rich voices at Africa’s 1st Television, the now-defunct Western Nigeria Television Service (WNTV), Ibadan, back then.
Chief Julie Coker’s 80th birthday would have been celebrated in Nigeria, but her flight from U.K was cancelled, due to coronavirus pandemic lockdown.