At a time the global newspaper media and that of our country in particular are undergoing their most challenging stress, it comes with refreshing relieve that we can actually speak confidently and with assurance that some newspaper chains are growing in bounds and leaps.
One of these is, the Media Trust which, publishes the Daily and Weekly Trust newspapers plus its indigenous language title Aminiya, offers us a teachable moment in the contemporary history of our newspaper press. This is a newspaper group that has defied the norm that newsmen and women are not good businessmen and managers.
In terms of title growth and organisational expansion, Media Trust has no doubt earned its place and prestige as one of the iconic brands in the country today. But as the saying goes, behind great institutions are thinking and thoughtful minds.
The man behind this impressive dream and success is Mallam Kabiru Abdullahi Yusuf who like all visionaries did not even start out with journalism but made the starling mark of being a game changer immediately he anchored at the shores of journalism.
Mallam Yusuf studied History & Political Science from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria for his Bachelor of Science Degree between 1974 and 1979, and after his mandatory national service, proceeded to Canada in 1981 under a graduate fellowship programme to Political Economy for his Masters’ programme at the University of Toronto.
He would later serve as the Editor for Daily Triumph, Citizen Magazine, Today, and as a South African Foreign Correspondent for the BBC Africa Service and later as a TV Presenter, at the NTA Sokoto.
Expanding his idea of education beyond the world of media, Mallam Yusuf took off time briefly to engage the realm of a new generation of Nigerians in search of knowledge and ideas when he took up appointment as a Senior Lecturer of the Department of Political Science, Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.
But the love and lure of journalism kept calling and against all grains, and despite the recorded history of disappointments in the Northern Nigerian media in the 1990s, Mallam Kabiru Yusuf went ahead to set up, not just a newspapers but a publishing company; Media Trust limited, publishers of Daily Trust, Weekly Trust, Sunday Trust and the Hausa-language Aminiya newspapers, as well as the company’s new pan-African magazine, Kilimanjaro, an award giving organisation and so much more.
Yet Mallam Kabiru Yusuf is not constrained to one narrow definition of accomplishment. He is a Fellow of the second class of the Nigeria Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network as well as a board member of the International Press Institute. Thus, because of your over two-decade commitment to media excellence as evidenced by the operations of Media Trust Limited, you stand indisputably at the throne of media honour, and for these accomplishments, the board of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism proudly awards you the 2016 Lifetime Award for Journalistic Excellence. Congratulations.