Adekunle Ayeni is a Nigerian public relations practitioner, journalist, trained scientist and businessman. He is the publisher of Nigerian Entertainment Today. He is also the founder of Black House Media, a Public Relations firm, and ID Africa, a digital marketing agency.
Adekunle Ayeni, who is from Oka-Akoko area of Ondo State, had his primary and secondary education (Awori College, Ojo) in Lagos, and proceeded to the University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State where he studied Microbiology and got his BSc degree.
Adekunle Ayeni, who is referred to in Nigerian media circle as ‘Ayeni the Great’, made attempts to act before he opted to manage artistes then in his locality of Okokomaiko in Lagos State. He also tried organising awards and shows. A trained microbiologist, Ayeni later took up a profession in writing. He has a career path that has taken him across major media houses in Nigeria. Ayeni has narrated how he embraced writing at a secondary school age. “I started writing in secondary school because I had consumed a lot of literature. My parents had a lot of books around the house. My mum was a consumer of literature…I had read a lot and upon leaving secondary school, I knew I wanted to do literature, entertainment and all that…All though my stay in university I was always writing, so it was natural that I continued when I left.. Eventually, I got a chance to write for Encomium and within a month or two, they gave me the music column to handle.”
Adekunle had a stint as a feature editor with Hip Hop World Magazine. After graduating from the University of Ibadan, he joined Encomium Weekly as showbiz columnist, after which he moved to ThisDay. In July 2008, Adekunle joined The Punch as an E-Punch columnist. “Working for Encomium I knew I wasn’t going to be there for too long, I had always wanted to do my own stuff, but needed to gain some experience working for others. But because I wanted to also taste the other side of the print media, I joined Thisday newspaper and finally, The Punch. It was after that that I felt it was time for me to start my own newspaper.”
Upon leaving The Punch newspaper in Lagos, Adekunle Ayeni founded Nigeria Entertainment Today (NET), a newspaper and website specially dedicated to reportage of entertainment in Nigeria, which online version was launched on 23 November 2009, and its print newspaper hit the newsstands on 26 April 2010. The “weekly print edition, printed in different locations, and circulated nationally (in over 37 towns/cities across the country)” The media platform has been organising the annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference, the umbrella conference for the Nigerian entertainment sector, which brings together all stakeholders in the industry to have a full day conversations, workshops, exhibitions and master-classes. The event, which holds in Lagos, Nigeria on Wednesday 22 April 2015, debuted in April 2013 at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos.
Black House Media
Adekunle Ayeni founded Black House Media in 2006 for public relations services. In 2012, he led a team of software and content developers in [Nigeria] to unveil the BHM App, which is the “first PR mobile application” in Nigeria. The application has been described as “a complete resource centre for the entire media and marketing communications industries especially for the clients seeking information about PR agencies in the country.” It took Ayeni and his team one year to develop the BHM App. Ayeni, in an interview he held with Raheem Akingbolu of ThisDay newspapers, said that the BHM App development was informed by “the crave for best practice. It is high time the Public Relations industry in Nigeria kept the world abreast about its stories and the great things happening in the market. It is our belief that Agencies’ database, news hub, social PR, news and tips and workshop videos that would be on this application will help marketing practitioners, including journalists to be more accurate and informed.” The application was unveiled at an event graced by industry experts. In February 2015, Ayeni announced the launch of his digital media agency, named ID Africa. “ID Africa aims to fill the gap left by digital marketing firms across Africa who currently offers only the most generic of marketing and digital ad services.”
Ayeni is a member of the Public Relations Consultants Association of Nigeria (PRCAN), a trade sectoral group founded in 1984 for the public relations industry in Nigeria. Ayeni delivered a paper on Role of digital Public Relations in managing online communities at the 10th edition of a Master Class series organised by the association. Ayeni posited that “there is nothing like Digital PR…What we need to focus on, and talk about is Today’s PR and Today’s online communities. Today’s PR is about story telling, about content. Today’s PR is increasingly about using the understanding of the psychology of identified publics to weave our message into their minute-to-minute lives and have them thanking us for it.”