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What A Monday! Diary Of A Journalist In Lagos

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My day started at exactly 5am today, i was up to do a feature story on a blind man, Mr. Cjay who stays in Ikorodu. Just because i needed to film his activity right from the point he sets out from home to work, i had to move at 5:30am from the office. Of course i had to pass the Sunday night on my desk to meet up with the time he leaves home. Forward to 5:45pm and we (I and my cameraman, Mr. Kzed) drove off to Ikorodu. As we approached the town, rain also approached gradually. Signs that something was happening in Ikorodu were everywhere, you would hardly drive 50metres before you find another spot of burnt tyres at a junction and even on main roads. A symbol that the ‘gallant’ vigilantes are in full operation within the domain (we all know the recent insecurity state of the town). On getting to Mr. Cjay’s house, the rain began to pour more and more. Discouraged to shoot because of the rain but the journalistic attitude wouldn’t let you not accomplish your mission. So, we started filming.

We moved to Ikorodu garage for the next scene at the BRT terminal where Mr. Cjay would be filmed as he boards a bus to Fadeyi…… Na so yawa start!
Officials of the BRT operator wouldn’t allow us shoot to just a scene of a blind man boarding a bus and establishing the fact that he enters for free and without queuing at all. Who loses? I shook my head. I was just like ‘mhen, what the heck?’. ‘This is a public space and we could record from a distance without you realising we are filming your poor services’. I wasn’t even interested in that.

So i decided to look for the head of that station to discuss what i wanted to do since that wasn’t my first time of recording at the terminal. A young man who happens to be the only sane person on ground emerged.
My name is Sola, the deputy, he said. I replied him, I am Dami from TVC, i am doing a feature story on a blind man, i need the shot of him boarding your bus.

Of course obviously that shouldn’t be a problem since i am just focusing on a blind man to film whom i came with. He said i needed an approval, the same approval the former guys ranted about. I was able to get another number through him to call my old friend i knew from primary school who happens to work with the BRT operator. After talking to her, immediately she helped to make calls to some ignorant bosses who said, we need to send a mail and get approval all the same.

‘Mr. Kzed (cameraman) let’s go’, i said. The official who was still not satisfied with the arguments they had started to make trouble with Mr. Kzed, saying he recorded the terminal. It became fire for fire. I tried to make peace cos i don’t want what i did as a student journalist in 1850 to repeat itself, that would have been a disaster loool. I couldn’t take pictures or make videos cos of the rain and i was thinking of an alternative plan for what we wanted to establish. I only tried to make peace and let go because of the relationship with my old friend who works with them that i had earlier spoken to on the phone. I was angry, and gave Mr. Kzed go ahead to delete all shots of the terminal like the olori gbeske who had something to hide requested.

At this time, Mr. Cjay was already on his way to his office at Yaba. We started our journey to meet him up at his office for the main interview. Not forgetting that a friend of mine was with the team all through to help. We drove all the way in the heavy traffic from Ikorodu to Yaba.

We knocked off the interview eventually and retired to White House at 2:30pm to eat the legendary Amala suggested by Kayode K-blings Badmus.
I ate pounded yam and the biggest Titus middle-cut fish i have ever seen. My food alone was 1,000naira, i would have eaten the same quantity at Iya Naomi’s for just 200naira without that big Titus fish.

It was a great day, i got home at 8pm.

Damilola Oduolowu works with Television Continental (TVC)

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