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Funmi Iyanda
Lagos, Nigeria
Funmi Iyanda is a multi award-winning producer and broadcast journalist. She is the CEO of Ignite Media and Executive Director of Creation Television
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One Day, One City Three Stories

Pic:Idowu, Pa Amodu and I
One morning last week on my way to work, l sent the following text message to some friends of mine
…Dropped off my shrimp (one of my daughter’s nicknames) at Grange in Ikeja queuing behind Mercedes G wagons and BMW X5s. Round the corner I see an Okada (commercial motorcyclist) charging down the road, 5 children squashed around the rider, ages between 3 and 6, clutching plastic lunch baskets and school bags, wide eyed as they hung on for life. I reach for my camera and just then, he screeches to a halt in front of their school gate. Opportunity missed. My phone rings and my production assistant says she’s not sure we’ll be able to record the show because power’s been bad nationwide and the station has had no electricity in days and was off air yesterday. The two generators have broken down. She’s considering dismantling and calling off the guests, we’ll lose money and man-hours and the show’ll fail. The traffic on Ikorodu road is mind numbing and someone just rear-ended us. I calmly put on my nano and Femi Kuti is singing Scatter Scatter into my ear as l read up on my research. Just another day in the city of God.

Same morning 4 hours later, we have overcome all the odds and the cameras roll. 1st show. His name is Abdulsalam Idowu, he crawled into the studio on all fours, dragged my red chair towards him with his muscular arms, biceps, triceps bulging and heaves his bulk unto his seat, his legs dangling aimlessly down the edge. He holds himself up stiffly and refuses to be drawn into the pre-recording banter. We can’t afford a warm up artist so in addition to everything else l do my own audience and guest warm up. Experience told me l need to draw him out gently but firmly without over the top cheer or undue pity.
To ease the tension, l began the show with an easier target; my 2nd guest Pa Amodu was a chirpy, happy, sprightly 68-year-old undergraduate at LASU. A true interviewers delight, he told the story of his 52-year search for higher education painting an incredibly kaleidoscopic picture of life, beliefs, culture, norms and the upheavals of Nigeria and how it affected him through those years. His discipline, total embrace of life, youthfulness and humour warmed every heart in the studio. A father of seven, including a university lecturer, his first grandchild is also a student in the same university. Known as “youngest graduate” on campus, his determination is to earn a PHD before he dies.


Omodudu said...

I respect people like the young undergraduate.

asuaty aby said...

this is actually the first time i am coming on this show after watching your programme on NTA.i must really commend your effort in developing and educating the mindset of the nigerian youth through your programme. we are all hoping that one daY we will have a better nigeria

Anonymous said...

i pray God continues to strenghten u and bless the work of your hands just as u'r reachin out to others in need as much as u can. i was rily touched by the undergraduate's story and i also commend himfor struggling despite the hardships. so i strongly believe he'll achieve his goals in life. i hope others will emulate u and help people such as this able nigerian to have better lives. God bless nigeria!!!

Chichi said...

Pa Amodu seems a jolly fellow, nice to see his academic fire is still burning, he's an inspiration. Nice interviews, Kpakol's and Idowu's

P. M. Jay said...

I'm Inspired as always by your grit and stamina, you are one of the bravest women i know doing this show despite all the challenges.
I'm almost sure you could find a life for your self outside Nigeria, but you hang in there doing what you do best, stiring many of us to positive pro-active action.

I know one day, this drops of effort you've been putting will materialize into a huge change, permanently changing the fate of Nigeria for the better

SolShine7 said...

Hello! I just found your blog. I would like to watch your show if I could, is there a way to view it in the United States?