With a hall filled to capacity, Ebenezer Adeniyan, Publisher and Editor-in-chief of foremost community magazine, The Trace News Magazine celebrated his 40th birthday amidst pomp and ceremony.
The occasion which had dignitaries from all works of life was also used to celebrate the 7th anniversary of the magazine, and launch of a book he authored titled, "The local reporter, pen pain and perspective: The diary of my journalism.
Chaired by businessman, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim, the event ahad in attendance the Deputy Governor of Ondo state, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, Deji of Akure, Oba Ogunlade Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, Deputy Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the 2016 governorship election, Chief John Ọlá Mafo, among others.
In his welcome address, Adeniyan thanked guest for gracing his invitation, highlighted his foray into journalism and the journey so far.
He appreciated the former Managing Director of Owena Press Ltd., publishers of Hope Newspaper, Chief Ademola Adetula who gave him the opportunity to start his practice in the organization as an intern, where he rose to become a reporter, government house correspondent and a sub-editor before his exit.
He likewise thanked his other employers before he eventually started Trace in 2011.
"The journey has been tough, it has been rough, but we thank God that we have been able to make it this far.
Those who read newspapers and magazines in Ondo state will know that the lifespan of independent print media organisations in Ondo state in particular is very short, therefore, I see a lot of people who ask me questions 'how do you do it? How do you come out every Monday in this environment?'
In fact, alot of people asked me to relocate to Lagos, saying if in Lagos, I will make a lot of money with this magazine. But I tell them I'm a local boy, and I was born and brought up in Akure, I will prosper and make my money in Akure. I told them I will just be patient, I know my struggles will yield the needed benefits in the nearest future.
"We have been able to survive this long because we have the passion to continue to make sacrifices for us to come out every Monday. And Trace News Magazine has become a brand that I cannot run away from. Even when I don't have any money in my pocket, I go and borrow money just for us to come out every Monday.
"Even when we have technical issues and don't come out on Monday, I receive up many calls from people asking why we are not out. So because of these pressures, if I say I want to give up, call from those people will always wake me up to ask me about Trace News Magazine.
"The readership is the maker of the brand that we call Trace News Magazine, and I thank all those who are readers of our magazine, particularly to who are subscribers to our magazine every week."
The chairman on the occasion, Chief Jimoh Ibrahim who was represented by former Chairman of the PDP in the state, Ebenezer Alabi congratulated the celebrator on the occasion of his birthday and 7th anniversary of the magazine.
"It is not easy to start a venture like this and succeed. I am a living witness of seeing government organizations, very senior and influential members who started production of magazines like this, and other ventures that have faded by the way, who could not even sustain the business for two years. For our brother to have gone so far, to have been able to sustain this venture for the past seven years, I say kudos to you," he said.
In his words, the deputy governor commended the celebrator for his professionalism in the practise of journalism.
Special guest and former chairman of OSRC Chief Sanya Oyinsan eulogised Adeniyan for setting the mark as a young achiever.
"When I heard he was going to celebrate his 40th birthday, I was shocked. I said how come at 40, he had almost made it to the top of his profession, by becoming a publisher, an editor-in-chief, and he has done so for six good years.
"Please Ebenezer, keep this up, because it is very difficult at your age to beat the following virtues in you, you are thoroughly focused, you are very dogged and determined, and you are very futurist.
The book was reviewed by the Chief Press Secretary to Ondo State Governor, Mr. Segun Ajiboye while the deputy governor unveiled the book before leading the array of guests for the launch.
Speaking with SUNSHINE HERALD, former Youth and Sports Commissioner, Dayo Awude paid glowing tributes to the achievements of the celebrator.
"Ebenezer is a young man who has proven that nothing can stand in the way of an individual. He started from the scratch, and by the grace of God he is moving up.
"I'm happy for him and I believe we are going to see better things from him even as he clocks 40.
He also advised youths to emulate "his capacity for work and his dedication for whatever he believes in."
Other dignitaries present at the event were Prince Solagbade Amodeni and Mr. Donald Ojogo, Ondo state Commissioners for Physical Planning and Urban Development, and Lands and Housing respectively, Barr. Remi Olatubora, former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General and Engr. Tunji Light Ariyomo, Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Public Utilities among others.