Johnnie Walker: Samson Siasia joins Manu Dibango, others as Giants

Posted: August 2, 2012 in art/entertainment

One of Nigeria’s most talented footballers who won laurels both as a player and coach at the highest levels, Samson Siasia was last Friday night at a five-star VIP event at the Ballroom of the  Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos,  announced as the first Nigerian Johnnie Walker Giant.

It was an event lined up to formally designed to unveil Johnnie Walker’s new, emotive campaign, the Keep Walking Nigeria.

In his role as a Johnnie Walker Giant, Siasia joins other African Giants, Manu Dibango, who has released over 25 albums over the course of his musical career and in 2004 was appointed a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Artist For Peace; the incredible Ethiopian long distance runner, Haile Gebrselassie who was named a Giant in honour of his unprecedented accomplishments, which have encouraged thousands to follow in his footsteps; and also Ghanaian Prince Kofi Amoabeng, who as a successful entrepreneur, has been chosen as a Giant to inspire the younger generation of entrepreneurs.

Other Johnnie Walker® Giants include Formula One hotshot, Lewis Hamilton as well as Sir Richard Branson, arguably the world’s most famous entrepreneur.

Johnnie Walker is the world’s number one selling blended Scotch whisky.  The Keep Walking Nigeria campaign attempts to celebrate individuals who achieve their goals despite the odds, and seek to inspire the nation to Keep Walking.

Attended by a host of high profile Nigerian entrepreneurs, politicians, businessmen and celebrities, guest speaker, Samson Siasia, made one of his rare public addresses and inspired the esteemed guests with his own story of personal progress.

The first Nigerian to be recognised as a Johnnie Walker® Giant, Siasia’s ideals as a person, a former player and coach are in harmony with those of Johnnie Walker himself and the brand philosophy of ‘Keep Walking’.

Sharing with the assembled guests the story of his own journey through life so far and how he is determined to Keep Walking to achieve his goals, Siasia moved the audience as he told how, throughout his life, he had always believed in himself and had been determined to make a success of his life.

Relating personal progress to his passion for football, he summarised: “One thing I have learnt: when life tosses you the ball, play it; because nothing can stand in the way of a man who believes in himself.”

Thereafter, a poignant video featuring Samson Siasia narrating his own story of personal progress was unveiled at the glittering, Keep Walking Nigeria event.

Introducing Siasia at the event, Mr. Amaechi Okobi, Brand Manager Johnnie Walker said, “We are proud to be associated with Samson Siasia; striker, coach and proud Nigerian as he continues his journey through life.  Like many of us, he has faced obstacles and challenges on his journey, but his determination to overcome these hurdles to achieve his goals, epitomizes the Johnnie Walker philosophy to Keep Walking.”

At the end of the evening, Felix Enwemadu, the General Manager, Diageo Brands Nigeria, thanked the assembled guests for their attendance and said a few words on the importance of responsible drinking as he urged guests to “Captain your team, keep an eye on your friends, and make sure they get home safely.”

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