From Nigeria to Africa: Emeka Oparah’s journey to Airtel Africa Vice Presidency

For Nigeria’s communications guru Emeka Oparah, a new chapter opened on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, when he formally assumed a new position in Dubai, UAE, as the Vice President Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Africa Plc, with responsibility for 14 countries.

“To all who supported me along the way as I journeyed in my career, I will forever be in debt of gratitude,” he had said in a social media post. “All the glory goes to The Great Architect Of The Universe!”

For Emeka Oparah, the journey took 19 and a half years in Airtel Nigeria.

Going down memory lane, he wrote two weeks earlier in another social media update: “On this day in 2002, a Saturday, I got a call from a friend asking whether I would like to work for Econet Wireless Nigeria (now Airtel Nigeria).

“The following week, a series of interviews (telephone and physical) commenced, which culminated in my appointment as Public Relations Manager that year. The rest, as they say, is history!

“From Public Relations Manager, I was promoted Head of PR, Events & Sponsorships, Head of Corporate Communications and in 2011, Vice President Corporate Communications & CSR.

“It’s almost 20 years and I must say the organization has been good to me. I want to believe I have, in turn, been an asset to the organization.

“We started from Econet to Vodacom to Vmobile to Celtel to Zain-and we kept getting better as we metaphorically got to a comfortable cruising altitude, Airtel!

“One day, I will tell the full story of this journey, what we did, how we did what we did, who did what, when and why and all the people who God used to enable my development, my rise and accomplishments.

“Just thinking, this morning, how far I’ve come with the organization and some of the corporate and personal milestones we have attained.

“Meanwhile, even as I’m still learning, I’m available to share my knowledge and experience with young professionals who are ready and willing to learn.”

An accomplished corporate image manager, Emeka Oparah now has a bigger canvass to play on as Vice President Corporate Communications & CSR, Airtel Africa. It is a role which industry watchers expect him to play effectively and once more acquit himself well.

Emeka Oparah has over 25 years of consistent communications practice spanning journalism, advertising, public relations, events, sponsorships and corporate social responsibility.

He is one of Nigeria’s leading experts in crisis communication, leadership transition and rebranding. He is reputed for managing the ownership and management crisis, seven leadership changes and six brand name changes in one of the leading telecommunications companies in Nigeria.

He graduated BA (Hons.) top of his class in Mass Communications of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1990 and holds a post-graduate Diploma in International Public Relations. His career covers stints in Patine Communications (1991-1992); Candid Communications (1992-1992); Richland Communications (1992-1994); Cadbury Nigeria (1994-2002) and Airtel Nigeria (2002-2015).

A member of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA); International Association of Business Communicators (IABC); Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) and Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), he has attended numerous courses locally and internationally in Communications, Management and Leadership.(News Express Nigeria)

•PHOTO: Emeka Oparah