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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, September 25, 2007

Message From The Grave (Re: last story from the city of god)

Goke and my brother Mighty had both been student editors in the university of Ibadan and kept in touch on and off through the years. Mighty sent me this haunting email Goke had sent to him in 2004. I have taken liberties to remove names of people and institutions concerned, as Goke is no longer here to give consent to such revelation.


MIGHTY!!!,
Good writing always excites me. My colleague who saw me exclaim while reading your mail asked if I'd won a jackpot? I guess that's what happens when a mail reads like a LUDLUM in the beginning, a GRISHAM in the middle and you get a conclusion that a SHELDON would envy!!!!!!
Your revelation about the state of Journalism in the country didn't really surprise me. During the about 6 months I spent with (top Nigerian newspaper) I wasn't paid a dime and my articles and reports were being published weekly. According to them (said newspaper) had a policy of not paying those on probation!!! I found it hard to believe that some of the writers had been around for over a year without confirmation and salary!! (now deceased editor),the present business editor was in this category then. I actually got 2 brown envelopes before my exit!!!!!

The truth is that creativity, most of the time is its own reward especially in this part of the world!! The thrill I used to get in seeing the articles I conceived published was comparable, to my mind, to the joy of a woman who has just delivered a baby!!!! A lot of guys wish they could write you know!
Incidentally I got an article off about a month ago after three years of literary inertia. It was meant for publication in our newsletter this month. I was actually a pioneer member of the editorial board but I had to leave when I was moved out of Head Office. A member of the board met me for the first time at our TGIF last week and said he had not read such a brilliant piece like that in a long while!!! Thank God the thing still dey for body o!!!

I would really love to have a column one day like (Nigerian sports icon). But the time is not now. I was able to write the article mentioned earlier bcos my job function now affords me some time to THINK!!! That's a luxury when you're in operations in a bank like (now merged into a super bank brand).You resume 7;30 and if you can leave before 9 p.m you count yourself lucky! I'm in the Clearing department now and we run shift and that's why I'm replying your mail at this hour of the day(3a.m) But I should be moving to the branch again very soon as a Customer Service Manager. That would mean no time again for the little things in life that mattered the most(Do you remember the lyrics of the other hit in "dance with my father"?-'buy me a rose on your way home from work.....')
Life is a series of trade-offs. You can't eat your cake and have it.

Greetings to madam. Hope we can get together in the near future somewhere cosy to reminisce about our days in UI etc.
I'm really proud of you and I've always told anyone that cared to listen you were my protégé at UI. Who no like good thing????
fond regards,
MAHATMA.

9 comments:

catwalq said...

he sounds like he would have been an interesting person to know...

the exploitation of creative minds is so painful...

Anonymous said...

Kai! This guy had a heart, a deep soul, he could feel. I sense his dedication to his (first) craft, a deep sense of duty, dedication to his friends and total appreciation of the worth of others.
I hope he gets to write his magnus opus now that he's got all eternity to do so. I didn't know him but I can't help thinking what a needless loss. I pray God watch over those he's left behind.

douby said...

people like you who are making money doing what you love are in the vast monority in this country. unfortunately many of us are making money doing what we absolutely detest.
How does one not get all entangled in this web called Nigeria

TRAE said...

funny, bank work is like slavery, those inside will tell you; but those outside will give an arm to get in. Naija! rest in peace Goke.

douby said...

Funmi, read 36inches post she's got her own shrimp (copyright infringement

labake said...

heeyaaaaa. e pele o. that's so sad and the man sounds like a deep person. what a needless loss. May God keep his family o. it's also so sad that journalists of all people are not appreciated and used by those they work for. Nways like he said, alot of people wish they could write but they cant. Thank God that at a point in his life he did what he wanted to do. God keep his soul.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@catwalq, damn right mmy sister.

@anonymous, he had a beautiful mind, you would have liked him.

@doubly, l have never done anything in m life with a view to making money, dont undersatnd the concept, l am, therefore l do and sometimes money comes, most times it doesnt, eventually if l hang in there long enough and apply my self diligently with knowledge and creativity, money will come, if it comes not befoe l am called, that too is fine. Happy though l am in poverty or riches because happiness is a choice.

Will check 36's own shrimp. l like 36, there can be no copyright issues.

Funmi Iyanda said...

@catwalq, damn right mmy sister.

@anonymous, he had a beautiful mind, you would have liked him.

@douby, l have never done anything in m life with a view to making money, dont undersatnd the concept, l am, therefore l do and sometimes money comes, most times it doesnt, eventually if l hang in there long enough and apply my self diligently with knowledge and creativity, money will come, if it comes not befoe l am called, that too is fine. Happy though l am in poverty or riches because happiness is a choice.

Will check 36's own shrimp. l like 36, there can be no copyright issues.

douby said...

I know, because i can see your passion on your show, your change a life programme, your writeups and even in the intensity of you gaze. i know the motivation isn't money.