The Silverbird Group is a diversified multi-media company with holdings in Radio, Television, Real Estate, and Cinemas headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria. The company was established in 1980 by Ben Murray-Bruce and counts Silverbird Cinemas and the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) and Mr Nigeria pageants amongst its holdings.[1] Its businesses divisions are Silverbird Properties, Silverbird Film Distribution, Silverbird Communications, Silverbird Cinemas, Silverbird Production, and Dream Magic Studios.[2]

Silverbird Group
Silverbird Group
FormerlySiverbird Magazine
Company typePrivate
IndustryMass media
Founded1980 (1980)[citation needed]
FounderBen Murray-Bruce
HeadquartersVictoria Island, ,
Areas served
Key people
Ben Murray-Bruce (Chairman)
Roy Murray-Bruce
ServicesReal estate

In November 2022, the company signed a $145 Million financing deal with the African Export-Import Bank to construct the Ben Murray-Bruce Studios and Film Academy (BMB Studios and Film Academy) in Eko Atlantic City, in what is reported to be West Africa's largest educational and film studio complex.[3][4]

History edit

The origins of firm began in June 1980, when Benedict Murray-Bruce, son of a former UAC executive, secured funds from his family to start a music promotion enterprise. The business began during Nigeria's Second Republic and was involved in promotion of American music artists in Nigeria,[5] the firm organized promotions for such bands as The Whispers, Shalamar, Lakeside and Carrie Lucas.[6] The enterprise later delved into a dancing competition. The group later expanded into beauty pageant.[6]

In the 1990s, after the government liberalized the radio air waves, Silverbird established Rhythm 93.7 FM, initially, promoting a less talk more music brand. The radio started with old school jams and later began playing Afro hip hop. Though, Murray-Bruce also wanted a television license, his application was delayed as a result of conflicts with the management of the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission. In 1999, Bruce was appointed director of NTA and was soon able to get approval for Silverbird Television. The television station initially filled programming slots with syndicated foreign shows.[5]

Silverbird Productions edit

Silverbird Productions is a division of the company that organizes the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria pageant which began as Miss Universe Nigeria in 1983 but was later renamed to its present name. This division is also responsible in the organization of the Mr Nigeria pageant.[7]

From 1986 to 1991, Silverbird Productions held the franchise of Miss Intercontinental, organizing the pageant in Nigeria from 1986 to 1991. Between 1991 and 1992, the Nigerian company lost the rights to the pageant to a German company, which moved the competition to Germany, and organized it there until 2003.[8][9]

Silverbird Communications edit

The Silverbird Communications comprises the company's radio station Rhythm 93.7 FM and Silverbird Television. Rhythm 93.7 FM Lagos was established in 1997 while Silverbird Television commenced transmission in Lagos in 2003.[10] In 2002, Rhythm 93.7 FM Port Harcourt was established and Silverbird TV was also set up. In 2008 Rhythm 93.7 FM Jos was established to serve as the bedrock of entertainment in the media space on the Plateau

Silverbird Cinemas edit

Silverbird cinema building, Victoria Island, Lagos

The Silverbird Cinema is one of the biggest cinema chains in West Africa with 69 screens in branches across Nigeria, Accra and Nairobi.[11][12]

The first cinema was opened in May 2004 at the Silverbird Galleria in Victoria Island, Lagos. Massive commercial success has given rise to the opening of additional multiplexes in different locations across Nigeria. As of 2016, Silverbird has cinemas in the following cities in Nigeria: Abuja, Lagos, Uyo, Warri and Port Harcourt.[13]

Silverbird Properties edit

Silverbird Properties is one of the fastest growing divisions of the company. This division is responsible for all real-estate related activities and it currently operates in Bayelsa State and Akwa Ibom State.[14]

Silverbird Film Distribution edit

This division of the company is responsible for all film distribution activities.[15]

Silverbird Mall edit

The Silverbird Mall is located in Victoria Island, Lagos.[16] It consists of the popular Silverbird Galleria.[17]

References edit

  1. ^ Okwumbu-Imafidon, Ruth (2022-08-06). "Ben Murray-Bruce: The 'Common Sense' man who built one of Nigeria's biggest media conglomerates". Nairametrics. Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  2. ^ "Businesses – Silverbird". Retrieved 2022-11-13.
  3. ^ "Afreximbank signs deal with Silverbird Entertainment for the construction of a world class film and studio complex in Nigeria". African Export-Import Bank. 2022-11-04. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  4. ^ "Nigeria: Afreximbank's Oromah signs $145m deal with Silverbird for 'Lagos Beverly Hills'". The Africa 2022-11-09. Retrieved 2022-11-12.
  5. ^ a b Ofili, Chike (2006). "Silverbird: Celebrating Twenty Five Years of Imitations". Brandfaces (33). Brand Support Services. OCLC 54515558.
  6. ^ a b "Showbiz Runs In This Family". Tempo (Lagos). February 10, 1999.
  7. ^ Ifeoma Ononye (1 November 2014). "As Mr. Nigeria, ladies always stalk me –Bakare". Daily Independent. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  8. ^ "The Miss Silverbird Pageant As Brand Arrogance By Uche Nworah". Nigerian Media: Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  9. ^ "Who is Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, the Silverbird Group Owner?". Buzz Nigeria. Retrieved January 19, 2024.
  10. ^ Ogbonna Amadi; Lolade Sowoolu (30 October 2010). "The Ben Bruce story". Vanguard. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  11. ^ "Silverbird Group Supports 3rd Eko International Film Festival". Eko International Film Festival. 3 November 2012. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  12. ^ Carmela Garritano (15 February 2013). African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History. Ohio University Press. pp. 214–. ISBN 978-0-89680-484-5.
  13. ^ "About Silverbird Cinemas. Nigeria's Leading Cinemas Chain". Retrieved 2016-04-09.
  14. ^ "Silverbird Properties". Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  15. ^ "Ramsay Nouah set to shine as Tempting Fate hits cinemas". The Sun. 13 June 2015. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  16. ^ Leo Zeilig (2009). Class Struggle and Resistance in Africa. Haymarket Books. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-1-931859-68-4.
  17. ^ "Silverbird Cinemas Silverbird galleria Lagos Nigeria". Lagos-Nigeria-Real-Estate-Advisor. Retrieved 3 August 2015.

External links edit