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Lekan Alabi hosts The Screen Hugs Culture’ for Julie Coker at 80

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All roads will today lead to Omo Ajorosun Club, Agodi, Ibadan, Oyo State, where Oloye ‘Lekan Alabi, the Ekefa Olubadan of Ibadanland and the first Culture Ambassador of the National Museum and Monument, Ile Ife, will celebrate ace screen queen, Chief Julie Coker, who clocked 80.

Alabi, the host, in a release noted that organisers of the birthday gig as a result of the ravaging coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic would only allow eight guests and three journalists from three different media houses into the venue.

He pleaded with family members, friends and well wishers of the veteran television broadcaster to key into the virtual platforms, Facebook and Youtube, to watch proceedings from 2pm to 4pm Nigerian time.

He disclosed that aside dinning and wining; there will be a lunch of the ‘The Screen Hugs Culture,’ in honour of Chief Coker, who strides as the Yeye Eto of Lagos.

Coker, who has been living outside the country for some time now was in 1958, Miss Western Nigeria. That same year, she became the runner-up at the Miss Nigeria contest.

Not long after that, her beautiful face and golden voice began to be noticed on Africa’s first television station, the Western Nigerian Television (WNTV, Ibadan), which started transmission on October 31,1959.

Coker later joined the Nigerian Television Service, (NTV, Lagos) now the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) where she retired as the Head of Presentations.

Retiring from NTA, the ace broadcaster ran TV magazine programmes called, ‘Julie’s World’ alongside a couple of children’s programmes. So, also let off her experiences by authoring some books, including children’s stories, which are given out as souvenirs.

A few weeks back, a San Diego media reported that the veteran broadcaster and culture aficionado has been appointed as the new president and CEO of the San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) in the United States of America.

According to the release, Coker will help reposition San Diego’s tourism industry to get back on track in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Coker, the release noted, came to San Diego after serving as the president and CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Despite the challenging times, Coker said, she is excited to help San Diego’s tourism industry get back to business and cement its reputation as one of the country’s premier destinations.

She said: “I look forward to helping tell San Diego’s story to the world and attracting more visitors and more business to benefit its local economy.”

Coker has also left her mark in the Nigerian entertainment space, where in 1976, she released a highlife album ‘Ere Yon (Sweet Songs)’, followed by, ‘Tomorrow’ in 1981.

Her third and final studio album was ‘God Bless Our Pope,’ released in1982.


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