Popularly known as the common sense senator, Ben Murray-Bruce is a Nigerian-born business mogul cum politician who, through hard work and determination, has gained for himself an enviable height in life.
Ben Murray-Bruce was born on February 18, 1956, in Lagos to Ijaw parents Mullighan – a public servant who used to work with the UAC – and Margaret Murray-Bruce, both from Akassa, Bayelsa State of Nigeria.
While in Lagos, Ben attended two renowned schools – Our Lady of Apostles, in Yaba and St Gregory College in Obalende where he had his Primary and Secondary education respectively after which he moved to the United States where he obtained a degree in Marketing from the University of Carolina.
For a man who wanted to end up a professor of History, business was never an option. However, destiny drove him into the business world. Ben started working in Domino Stores, a departmental store owned by his father. From there, he tried his hands in show business.
To Ben Bruce, venturing into show business which was heavily opposed by his father, turned out to be the slate at which his success story began. The showbiz, which he was accidentally introduced to, paved the way for him to meet with the likes of Radd Fox of Stanford and Son’s and a host of actors and actresses. It was, in fact, the same business that drove him back to his fatherland – Nigeria, where a new phase of his life started.
Back in Nigeria, Ben seized the great opportunity to promote his show business by first promoting the Miss Universe Nigeria Pageant in 1983, Miss Intercontinental Pageant, 1986-1994. Silverbird Magazine started in 1980 with a loan which he collected from his father; a desk in a small corner of the Domino administrative office, six staff and only two business activities, pageant and programme syndication. Today, the iconic magazine has developed into larger business activities, thanks to the relentless efforts and passion of Ben Bruce and his wife. The business gave birth to Rhythm FM 93.7 in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt – an offshoot of the Ben Murray-Bruce Business initiative.
We could also talk about Silverbird television; the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN); Silverbird Cinema, Silverbird Entertainment and Silverbird Galleria. Silverbird Cinema, the first and only Cinema multiplex with five screens, has been a huge success and they are holding talks with some state governments in the country to replicate the Lagos success story.
Ben Murray-Bruce is currently a Member of the Board of National Arts Theatre, Nigerian Film Corporation, Federal Films Censors Board, National Film Distribution Company and Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee.
Ben turned to politics in 2011 when he first ran for governorship election in Bayelsa state under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Though he was screened out at the party’s primary election, Ben returned in 2014, declaring his intention to represent Bayelsa east senatorial district under the same political party.
Ben Murray Bruce won and now, he is not just representing the people in his district but serves as a voice to the common Nigerian.
Everything You Need To Know About Him
Ben isn’t just a successful businessman but also a life-inspiring politician cum motivational speaker who, through his “Common Sense”, wants to instil a positive change in people’s lives. Through his business initiatives, the likes of Agbani Darego won the Miss World contest and became the first ever Nigerian and African to win the Miss World pageant. Ben also successfully brought Julia Morley and the whole Miss World show to Nigeria for the 2002 Miss World event slated for Nigeria that year.
He has served as Executive Director (Black Music Association of America) with Quincy Jones, Dick Griffey, Stevie Wonder as well as Executive Director (Coalition for a Free Africa) with the late President Samora Machel of Mozambique and the Rev. Jesse Jackson. He is also on the board of National Arts Theatre Management, The Federal Film Censors Board, The Board of the Nigerian Film Corporation, National Film Distribution Company and Nigerian Anti-Piracy Action Committee.
Ben is married to Evelyn, an American. They have four children three boys and a girl and with no words missed, Ben Murray-Bruce stands as a model for thousands of Nigerian Youths who believe in the future of the country Nigeria.
Ben Bruce has won several notable awards and they include; Showbiz Icon of the Year Award (2005), “Top Ten” Significant Nigerian Businessmen Award (2006), Life Achiever Award (2006), Champion for Nation Building Award (2007), Excellent Personality Award (2009), Officer of the Order Of the Niger (2014).