Airtel Nigeria’s Director of Corporate Communications & CSR, Emeka Oparah, has been honored by the country’s public relations professional organization for his outstanding track records in managing communication.
At an award ceremony on December 20th, Oparah was bestowed with the coveted Bob Ogbuagu Leadership Award, the most prestigious merit-based professional recognition by LaPRIGA (Lagos Public Relations Industry Gala and Awards), an award platform initiated by the Lagos Chapter of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations.
A citation read in his honour noted that Oparah’s “selection was based on his outstanding track records in managing communication of the transition of Econet to Vodacom, Vodacom to Vmobile, Vmobile to Celtel Nigeria, Celtel Nigeria to Zain Nigeria and Zain Nigeria to now Airtel Nigeria.
“We have also noted your activities, which has positively impacted the profession and inspired younger practitioners. Without a doubt, you are the foremost model of a Public Relations practitioner deserving of the award,”
LaPRIGA is widely considered as the high-profile communications industry Oscars aimed at celebrating practitioners, corporate and stakeholders via awards dinner to boost professionalism and more investment in the PR practice.
Currently Vice President, Corporate Communications & CSR at Airtel Nigeria, with responsibility for Public Relations, Internal Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility and Corporate Events & Sponsorships, Oparah’s career has traversed the communications world taking him through Journalism, Advertising and Public Relations.
Oparah parades over 26 years cognate experience garnered in the food & beverage and telecommunications sectors as well as in media and marketing communications. He has been acknowledged by those who have worked with him as a great manager of resources with exceptional transformational leadership skills, emotional intelligence and unquestionable expertise in corporate re-branding, corporate communications strategy and crisis management.
Oparah graduated top of his class in 1990 from the Jackson School of Journalism (Department of Mass Communications) University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he edited the famous campus newspaper, The Record. A holder of an Advanced Diploma in International Public Relations Management from The Management School, London, Oparah began his career as a journalist (even as a student) with Imo State Newspaper (publishers of the Statesman titles) and later moved to Patike Communications, a PR Agency as a Client Service Executive. Between 1992 and 1994, he worked with Candid Communications and Richland Communications, both Advertising Agencies, as Client Service Executive and Client Service Manager, respectively.
In May 1994, he joined Cadbury Nigeria PLC as Media Relations Manager. For 8 years at Cadbury, Oparah acted as first line spokesman and point of reference for all media inquiries.
Since May 2002, when he joined the then Econet Wireless Nigeria, Oparah has achieved several career milestones with the company. Aside pioneering and establishing the corporate communications function in the organization, he also initiated and produced the first ever consumer magazine in the telecommunications industry in Nigeria, led the team that managed the ownership crisis in the organization between 2004 and 2006, anchored the first ever MTV Africa Music Awards in 2008 in Abuja Nigeria as well as Idols West Africa in 2007. Indeed, he led the Public Relations Campaigns that heralded the rebranding of the company for a record five times, perhaps the most frequent in this part of the world.