Benedict Murray-Bruce OON, a business magnate and founder of Silverbird Group, was born on 18 February 1956. He attended Simpson College, Indianola Iowa (1975 – 1976), Iowa State University (1976 – 1977), and University of California (1977 – 1979) where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Marketing.
He is a talented business and entertainment guru who significantly impacted the entertainment industry in Nigeria. He founded the Silverbird Productions involved in concerts promotion in 1980 as well as revolutionised the beauty pageant in the country with the establishment of the Miss Universe Nigeria and Miss Intercontinental Pageants in 1983, as well as the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria (MBGN) in 1986, which produced the first Black Africa Miss World in 2001.
In 1984, he became the Executive Director of Black Music Association of America with Quincy Jones, Dick Griffey and Stevie Wonder on the Board. His adventure into Radio Broadcasting saw Silverbird transform the industry with the establishment of Rhythm FM stations across the country in 1997 and winning the National Network Broadcast licence in 2009 as the second radio network licence operator in Nigeria. Between 1999 and 2003, he was the Director-General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). In 2004, he established Silverbird Television as Nigeria’s fist Family Entertainment Television Channel. This climaxed into the establishment of the Silverbird Cinemas Limited with the first ever 5 Screen Cineplex at the Silverbird Galleria in Lagos Nigeria. Silverbird Cinemas now has about 65 screens and over 9,820 seating capacity in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, Yeagoa, Accra and Monrovia (Liberia), and it has become one of the top 5 cinemas in Africa.
He equally founded the Silverbird Film Distribution (W.A) Limited in 2007, an independent film distributor of theatrical and non-theatrical films, and sole distributor of Sony Pictures and United International Pictures in West Africa. He established the Dream Magic Studios (two studios with state of the art equipment, located in the heart of Los Angeles, California, USA) in 2010.
His foray into politics saw him becoming the Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the Bayelsa East Senatorial District from 2015 to 2019. As a senator, he was Chairman of the Senate Committee on Privatisation, as well as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media & Public Affairs, He was also member of the Committees on Communication and Federal Capital Territory. He is a motivational speaker and has spoken at a number of national and international events, including the prestigious Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Nigerian-American Business Forum in Tampa, Florida, amongst others. His proven ability saw him win the CNN “Most Influential 100 Creatives Worldwide 2021” Award.
He is currently the Co-Chairperson of AFREXIMBANK’s Creative Africa Advisory Group ($500m Creative Africa Facility).