My Days with Titi in Ibadan...Encomiums from Celestine Chidozie


Memories of my years in Ibadan is something I will cherish for the rest of my life, by every indications it was divine Providence that took me to that ancient City and to it as well, I owe gratitude for the wonderful people I met there.

It was in Ibadan that I began my professional life. I will have more to
say on this in another piece but this piece I dedicate to Titilope Gbadamosi.

Just two days ago I got a news about the appointment of Titi as an SA on Community Relations to Oyo state governor. Such appointment ordinarily may not be a novelty to wow many persons given its commonality within the political landscape but it did caused me much excitement because it is no other person than the Titi I worked with. I have already spoken with her to congratulate her and encouraged her to keep her reputation intact.

Sometime in February 2014 I needed a job, a flexible one that could accommodate my Masters program in University of Ibadan. A very good friend of mine Seye Joseph (I owe Seye a lot) introduced me to a man whom I owe my grooming in journalism Mr. Akinwale Aboluwade.
Akin had just resigned from Punch Newspaper then as a senior correspondent and was planning to set up a regional Newspaper in Ibadan albeit run a printing press business.

After the meeting with Mr. Akin that rainy morning at then construction site of what is today Amethyst Press, Mr. Akin asked me to join him for an event at NUJ Secretariat Ibadan where Orji Uzo Kalu was to deliver a paper for NUJ week. It was at the event that I had my interview and I was hired to work as a reporter for the nascent Western News Ibadan.

Akin had just resigned from Punch Newspaper then as a senior correspondent and was planning to set up a regional Newspaper in Ibadan albeit run a printing press business.
After the meeting with Mr. Akin that rainy morning at then construction site of what is today Amethyst Press, Mr. Akin asked me to join him for an event at NUJ Secretariat Ibadan where Orji Uzo Kalu was to deliver a paper for NUJ week. It was at the event that I had my interview and I was hired to work as a reporter for the nascent Western News Ibadan.

Mr. Akin, a no-nonsense man, highly professional, friendly but could be very hard on you when you fail to live up to the demands of the profession. "Celestine, this story is not publishable", "Get me news out from the news", "get me news that Punch and Co cannot acces" were some of his remarks.
The way Mr. Akin drilled Titi and I, I am sure not even Punch would have demanded that much from us but today it pays off. There were days we frowned at him sternly but I look back today and I miss working for him.

Few days later after my coming onboard, we had a meeting in our temporary office at Mokola Ibadan. There I was introduced to Titi, Tega, a man whose name I cannot remember and also another lady who was a graphic designer. That was all members of the team based in Ibadan.

I got along easily with Titi, she was young (still young now), younger than myself by few years, very intelligent and very diligent young Lady and quite pretty too. A graduate of English from Ekiti State University and a Masters student Like myself then at the Premiere University and coincidentally we are back to Ivory Tower again to pursue our doctorate. If its not U.I, it can not be like U.I.

Titi's area of coverage was crime and politics, and it was not few times that she kissed danger. Once she shook CID headquarters Iyaganku with a story she wrote after speaking with an inmate. On another day she almost got killed by Fayose's supporters in Ekiti state who until they felt convinced that she was a journalist mistook her for a spy from Fayemi's camp.

Also, once we kissed the danger together the day we went to interview one business mogul at Mokola Ibadan whose office smell of diabolism and funny enough a mad woman warned us just as we were entering the complex that the man inside there is dangerous.

Since my grasp of Yoruba was poor I never knew what the mad woman was saying until after the interview ended in an unfriendly way and Titi visibly scared explained to me outside what the mad woman said prior to our entering the building. But its fun to be a journalist. I enjoyed the dangers.

Titi is extraordinarily kind and empathic. Little wonder some of the features she wrote then revolved around supporting poor people in remote areas of Ibadan, Child molestation, the agony of Hausa beggars in Ibadan, to mention just few.

Titi this is just to tell you that you deserve the honor bestowed on you and I have no doubt that you are just starting off and in no distant time you will go places. Keep to those virtues that stand you out; diligence, kindness, and courage.
Congratulations!
Celestine Chidozie 

Writes from Pan-Atlantic University


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