Ohimai Amaize

Ohimai Amaize (born 9 September 1984) is a Nigerian journalist with a multi-sectoral background that spans anti-corruption, youth advocacy, civil society, political campaigns, brand development, communications strategy and governance.[1][2]

Ohimai Amaize
Ohimai Amaize
Born9 September 1984 (age 37)
NationalityNigerian
EducationColumbia University
OccupationJournalist
Known forJournalism
Spouse(s)Tessy Oliseh-Amaize (m. 2014)

He was producer and anchor of Kakaaki Social – a popular social media news program on Africa Independent Television (AIT) – Nigeria's largest privately owned television network. In June 2019, Amaize fled Nigeria to exile in the United States following threats of arrest for treason by the Nigerian government for his journalistic work as a TV anchor.[3] In January 2020, he was granted asylum in the United States.[4] Amaize graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Arts in Political Reporting on 26 August 2021.[5] His writings have appeared on local and international platforms like Premium Times, Sahara Reporters, Slate and JSTOR Daily.

Education and early careerEdit

In 2007, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French (Combined Honours) from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria where he was elected President of the institution's umbrella body for campus journalists - the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) in 2006. Later in 2009, he earned a Post-Graduate Certificate in Managing for Integrity at the Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.[6][7][8]

His professional career began in 2007 at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), before moving to Lagos-based ad agency, ADSTRAT BMC a year after.[9]

In May 2009, he took on a new challenge as Research Assistant to pioneer Executive Chairman of EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.[10]

Amaize is a recipient of the Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students (CUSDS) – the "first-ever Columbia-wide scholarship, and the world's first scholarship of its kind.” A [11] He is one of 18 students from around the world selected into the inaugural cohort, from over 1,200 applicants.

AdvocacyEdit

Amaize is a voluntary adviser to numerous youth-led non-profit initiatives, including work in the EFCC's Popular Culture Programme under the commission's former Fix Nigeria Initiative department and later under the commission's Strategy and Re-orientation Unit (SARU).

In October 2008, he became an ambassador, Microsoft Internet Safety, Security and Privacy Initiative for Nigeria (MISSPIN). One of the major highlights of his work with the organization was B.L.I.N.G. (Brilliant. Legitimate. Inspired. Nigerian. Great), a pop-culture strategy with which he assembled some of Nigeria's top music artistes to produce the song/music video – "Maga No Need Pay" – Nigeria's first ever music collaboration against cyber-crimes.[12]

Produced by legendary producer Cobhams Asuquo, "Maga No Need Pay" featured Banky W, Omawumi, Rooftop MCs, Bez Idakula, Modele, Wordsmith and MI Abaga.

Politics and governanceEdit

Described by Nigeria's Y! Magazine as "The Fixer", in August 2010, he became the youngest presidential campaign manager (26) in modern democratic history when popular journalist Dele Momodu appointed him to head his campaign ahead of the 2011 polls.[13]

From September 2011 to May 2012, he served as Special Advisor on Advocacy to Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi then Nigeria's Minister of Youth Development.[14] When Abdullahi was appointed Minister of Sports, he followed his boss and became the Minister's Advisor on Youth, School and Grassroots Sports till March 2014.[15]

From April to October 2014, he was Special Advisor on Media Strategy[16][17] to Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, as Minister of State for Defence [18] and later for Foreign Affairs[19] until May 29, 2015.

In October 2015, Amaize took a break from politics announcing his disengagement from partisan politics with his exit from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Television/BroadcastingEdit

In August 2018, Africa Independent Television (AIT) announced that Ohimai Amaize and Osasu Igbinedion will be hosts of The Weekend Show - a live TV show that focuses on politics, lifestyle and entertainment.[20] The show aired for two hours on Saturdays and Sundays.

Also, in August 2018, Amaize joined popular daily breakfast television program Kakaaki as a presenter and helped launch the popular Kakaaki Social segment – a 20-minute social media daily news program airing between 8am and 8.20am.[21]

In June 2019, Amaize fled Nigeria over ongoing threats of arrest for presenting the government critical Kakaaki Social on Africa Independent Television.[22]

WorksEdit

Amaize is the author of the book - Fighting Lions: The Untold Story of Dele Momodu’s Presidential Campaign which details his account as Nigeria's youngest presidential campaign manager.[23][24][25]

Other engagementsEdit

In November 2012, he was appointed secretary of the Board of the Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee (NASCOM).[26][27][28][29] In this capacity, he helped create the Rhythm N’ Play campaign[30] – a grassroots sports mobilization campaign targeted at bringing an additional 2 million Nigerian school children into sports within a period of two years. Former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan launched the campaign in Abuja in June 2013.[31]

Amaize was tasked by Holyhill Church, Abuja to pioneer The Underground – Nigeria's first-ever Christian Nightclub – a specialized outreach ministry for ‘unchurched’ youths.[32][33]

In June 2016, Amaize was appointed Coordinator of Ghana At Work – a new media and communications project that documented development in Ghana under President John Mahama.[34]

The SignalEdit

He is the founder and publisher of online newspaper, Signal. Most famously, Signal has reported exclusively on: the expensive lifestyle of Nigeria's first family – the Buharis;[35] the inside story of the power tussle between Aisha Buhari and a political cabal inside the Aso Rock Presidential Villa;[36] in 2016, broke news of the death of Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha,[37] the first elected governor of Nigeria's southern Bayelsa state.

Awards and recognitionsEdit

Amaize was nominated in the Excellence in Service (Public Service) category of The Future Awards for 2012.[38] In 2013, he was honoured by The Future Project as one of the Best 100 Young Nigerians in one of the events to mark Nigeria's 100th anniversary as a nation.[39]

In 2016, Amaize made it into the list of the world's top 500 most influential CEOs in the social media alongside media mogul Virgin boss, Richard Branson, Apple CEO, Tim Cook and Oprah Winfrey.[40]

Personal lifeEdit

On April 26, 2014, Amaize married his heartthrob, Tessy Oliseh,[41] an award-winning fashion designer and alumnus of Middlesex University, United Kingdom [42][43] and the younger sister to Nigerian football legend, Sunday Oliseh.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Journalist and AIT Presenter Ohimai Amaize Flees Nigeria Over Threats of Arrest". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  2. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: It's Fraudulent For An Individual To Take Credit For Any President's Election – @MrFixNigeria". The Trent. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  3. ^ "Journalist and AIT Presenter Ohimai Amaize Flees Nigeria Over Threats of Arrest". Sahara Reporters. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  4. ^ "U.S. grants asylum to Nigerian journalist Ohimai Amaize". Premium Times. 19 January 2020. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  5. ^ Ogwu, Abel (26 August 2021). "Ohimai Amaize Graduates From Columbia University With a Master's Degree". The Signal. Retrieved 5 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Ohimai Amaize, Mr. Fix Nigeria, Launches SIGNAL Online Newspaper". The Trent. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  7. ^ "Short takes from Tessy Oliseh's traditional marriage". Encomium. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Ohimai Godwin Amaize". Social Media Week. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  9. ^ "Ohimai Amaize, Mr. Fix Nigeria, Launches SIGNAL Online Newspaper". The Trent. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  10. ^ "Journalist and AIT Presenter Ohimai Amaize Flees Nigeria Over Threats of Arrest". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 16 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Columbia University Scholarship for Displaced Students". Columbia Global Centers. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  12. ^ "'Maga No Need Pay': Nigeria Gets Creative to Fight Cyber Scams - Microsoft on the Issues". Microsoft on the Issues. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  13. ^ "From The Magazine: Here comes the fixer!". YNaija. 2011-07-11. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  14. ^ "Sports Minister, Bolaji Abdullahi, to supervise Youth Ministry - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 2013-08-28. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  15. ^ "Why is Ohimai trending". Olisa Blogazine. 2015-06-24. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  16. ^ "Minister of state, Defence, Obanikoro, appoints Ohimai Amaize as SA, Media and Strategy - Olori Supergal". Olori Supergal. 2014-04-18. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  17. ^ "Minister of state, Defence, Obanikoro, appoints Ohimai Amaize as SA, Media - The ScoopNG". www.thescoopng.com. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  18. ^ http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/daily/index.php/news-menu/news/42609-obanikoro-will-not-leave-pdp-aide
  19. ^ "Musiliu Obanikoro's role as Nigerian Minister of State II Foreign Affairs… – Daily Media Nigeria". dailymedia.com.ng. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  20. ^ "Osasu Igbinedion, Ohimai Amaize to host 'The Weekend' on AIT". The Cable. 18 July 2018. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  21. ^ "Kakaaki Social Clocks One". YouTube. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  22. ^ "Journalist and AIT Presenter Ohimai Amaize Flees Nigeria Over Threats of Arrest". Sahara Reporters. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  23. ^ Fighting Lions: The untold stories of Dele Momodu's presidential campaign. Ovation Books. 2018. ISBN 978-978-966-929-5.
  24. ^ Chima, Chidi. "New book reveals how Nigerian journalists 'betrayed' Dele Momodu". The Cable. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  25. ^ Youdeowei, Tare. "Nigeria won't go to war – Dele Momodu". The Punch. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  26. ^ "Yemi Idowu, Ohimai Amaize, others make reconstituted board of Nigeria Academicals Sports Committee". YNaija. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  27. ^ "NASCOM board reconstituted - The Nation Nigeria". The Nation Nigeria. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  28. ^ "usurped title". Archived from the original on August 5, 2016. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  29. ^ "Sports Minister appoints aide to NASCOM board - Premium Times Nigeria". Premium Times Nigeria. 2012-11-06. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  30. ^ "Abuja comes alive, as Jonathan launches Rhythm N' Play - Vanguard News". Vanguard News. 2013-06-06. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  31. ^ "Ice Prince Zamani & Tomi Odunsi Rock Abuja at the Presidential Launch of NASCOM "Rhythm N' Play" - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. 6 June 2013. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  32. ^ "Amaize's 'The Underground' gaining ground after one year". The Cable. 25 January 2015.
  33. ^ Abimboye, Michael (24 January 2015). "Nigeria's first gospel night club to celebrate one year anniversary". Premium Times.
  34. ^ "EXCLUSIVE: It's Fraudulent For An Individual To Take Credit For Any President's Election – MrFixNigeria". The Trent. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  35. ^ "Aisha Buhari Arrives the US With a Hermes Handbag Worth N40 Million". The Signal. 4 August 2016.
  36. ^ "Aisha Buhari Sidelined as Mamman Daura Cabal Takes Over Aso Rock". Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  37. ^ "Former Governor of Bayelsa State, DSP Alamieyeseigha is dead". Twitter. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  38. ^ "For Leaders, Entrepreneurs & Innovators: The 2012 Future Awards Nominees List Unveiled! Wizkid, Ini Edo, P-Square, Clarence Peters, Dolapo Oni, Don Jazzy & Toolz Make the Coveted List - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  39. ^ "The Future Awards Africa 2013: Best 100". YNaija. 15 December 2013.
  40. ^ Abimboye, Michael (2016-01-06). "Controversial Nigerian Makes World's Most Influential CEOs". Naija.ng - Nigeria news. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  41. ^ "Updated: "Mr Fix Nigeria" Ohimai Amaize & Tessy Oliseh WED - BellaNaija". www.bellanaija.com. 26 April 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  42. ^ http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/sunday/index.php/the-arts/18028-my-styles-are-risky-adventerous-tessy-oliseh-amaize
  43. ^ "It is exciting having a HUSBAND who believes in me". 26 September 2015.