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. He is the founder of Silverbird Group. A member of the People’s Democratic Party, he was elected to the Senate of Nigeria in March 2015 where he represented the Bayelsa East constituency, in Bayelsa State , Nigeria till May 29th ,2019.
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 in 1979.
Me Bruce has served in various public positions. He served as Director General of Nigerian Television Authority from 1999 to 2003. Prior to starting Silverbird Group, he promoted the Miss Universe Nigeria Pageant in 1983, Miss Intercontinental Pageant, 1986-1994 and to date, he promotes the annual Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria Pageant which he began in 1986.
He 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.
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 27th october, 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.
Bruce has spoken at a number of national and international events, in january 2018 he shared the stage alongside politicians and thought leaders at the inaugural Nigerian American Business Forum in Tampa, Florida , figures such as; senator Mohammed Shaaba Lafiagi , Media pioneer Biodun Shobanjo, NSE chairman Abimbola Ogunbanjo , motivational speaker Fela Durotoye , former governor Peter Obi and Award-winning technologist Ade Olufeko .
Awards and recognition
• 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).
Ben Bruce 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.