Ever heard of the “common sense senator” Benedict Murray-Bruce? Here’s a detailed profile of his background, business life and net worth. The aim is that you get inspired by the tenacity, determination and humility of Ben Bruce.
Ben Murray Bruce is a business mogul, a politician, an authority in the entertainment industry and a philanthropist. He is the chairman of the Silverbird Group and the author of the book ‘Common Sense Revolution’. He is a senator representing the East constituency of Bayelsa State in Nigeria.
Ben Bruce Background.
Ben Murray Bruce is from the roots of Akassa, Bayelsa State. He was born on the 18th of February 1956 in Lagos to Mullighan and Margaret Murray-Bruce. He is married to Evelyn Murray Bruce and they are blessed with four children.
Ben Bruce Educational Background
Ben Murray Bruce had his primary and secondary education at Our Lady of Apostles and St Gregory’s College Lagos respectively. Thereafter, he went to the University of South Carolina, United States where he graduated with BSc marketing in 1979.
Early Career of Ben Murray Bruce.
After Ben’s education, he decided to work in his father’s store – Domino stores. While working with his father, he realized he wasn’t enjoying working in the store, so he decided to venture into the entertainment industry.
The decision to venture into the entertainment industry was influenced by an event that occurred while he was at Los Angeles, U.S. when fate brought him to a man who had mentored several celebrities in the showbiz business. After a long conversation, Ben was persuaded to follow his new acquaintance onset of a movie production.
At the movie production site, Ben connected with lots of American actors and actresses. After a while, Ben’s new friend suggested they organise a show in Nigeria. They made plans, worked hard and the show turned out to be a huge success. This decision changed his life for the better and made him the pioneer of Nigeria’s entertainment industry. It is the success of this show that birthed Silverbird Group.
Although, Ben’s father was not pleased with his decision to go into the entertainment industry as Ben Bruce initially wanted to be a professor in History. But as time passed, he started enjoying the benefits attached to being the father of a mogul in the entertainment industry.
Ben Bruce established Silverbird Group in 1980 with a loan of N20,000 from his father. At the time, the company could not afford an office space, so they used a small corner of Domino’s administrative office for their business activities.
Ben had only 6 staffs and the business was involved in only pageantry and program syndication. The company’s first set of pageantry jobs were the Miss Universe Nigeria Pageantry in 1983 and Miss Intercontinental Pageantry 1984.
Today, the silverbird group is one of the leading media and entertainment companies in the African entertainment industry. The company is now a conglomerate and it has the following subsidiaries:
Silverbird Communications is the body responsible for the radio and television service. It comprises of Rhythm FM (93.7) and Silverbird Television.
Silverbird Productions is the body responsible for the company’s pageantry services. It is in charge of the ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria’ (MBGN), ‘Mr. Nigeria’ and ‘The Man of the Year Awards’ projects.
Agbani Darego was the first winner of the MBGN. As the winner, she qualified to contest in the miss world pageantry and emerged as the first African to win the Miss World Pageant.
Silverbird Malls is the body responsible for the Silverbird Galleria, Silverbird Entertainment Centre, and the Silverbird Showtime with locations in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt respectively.
Silverbird Cinema is presently the biggest cinema train in West Africa with over 50 screens in Lagos, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Uyo and Ghana. They are looking to expand to more countries.
Silverbird Properties are contractors involved in all kinds of developmental projects ranging from hotels, conference Centre’s, malls and theme parks.
Silverbird Film Distribution
Silverbird Film Distribution is the body responsible for distributing all the films produced by Silverbird to the necessary platforms.
In 2008, the company received an award as a “Superbrand” company in Nigeria for contributing greatly to the growth and development of entertainment and information through its Television and Radio stations.
Ben Bruce Involvement In Politics
Ben Murray Bruce contested for Bayelsa State governorship position in 2011 under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) but lost.
In 2014, he declared and contested as a senator representing the East constituency, Bayelsa State at the National Assembly still under People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and this time, he won.
Ben Bruce as a Philanthropist.
Ben’s philanthropic activities are carried out through his foundation; the Ben Murray Bruce Foundation.
The foundation was established in October 2014, with the aim of supporting the poor through providing relief items. His foundation also fights against all forms of child abuse and gender-based violence.
The foundation is also concerned about the welfare and educational quality of children from poor backgrounds. It has succeeded in funding the education of over 100 children.
Ben Bruce has also been known as the voice of the voiceless and is vocal about his thoughts about the government and the way forward for our economy. He also speaks at local and international events. He was one of the speakers at the inaugural Nigerian American Business Forum in Tampa, Florida, U.S.A.
Other Achievements of Ben Murray Bruce.
- He was the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) from 1999 to 2013.
- Appointed Chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) in 2013.
- Member of the National Arts Theatre Management Board, the Federal Film Censors Board, the board of Nigerian Film Corporation, the National Film Distribution Company and the Nigerian anti-piracy action committee.
- Executive Director of the Black Music Association of America alongside Quincy Jones, Dick Griffey, and Stevie Wonder.
- Ben Murray Bruce was the Executive Director of collation for a free Africa with Late President Samora Machel of Mozambique and Reverend Jesse Jackson.
Awards of Ben Murray Bruce.
- The University of Ibadan campus journalists’ “Showbiz Icon of the Year” Award in 2005.
- This Day award as one of the “Top Ten” Significant Nigerian Businessman in 2006.
- Life Achiever Award from the Nigerian Achievers’ award institute in 2006.
- Champion for Nation Building Award by Vivante Media Enterprise in 2007.
- Officer of the order of the Niger Award in 2014.
- Silverbird Personality of the week in 2015.
Net Worth of Ben Murray Bruce.
Ben Murray Bruce has transformed the entertainment and media industry of Nigeria. Judging from his involvement in politics and entertainment, it is no doubt that he is worth millions. Sources estimate his net worth at $715million.
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