Jimada: Women Journalists Are a Special Breed in the Industry

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A senior public servant and grandmother, Mrs. Maimuna Jimada is the head of public affairs at the National Broadcasting Commission. Jimada has been married for 33 years and has spent close to three decades in the broadcasting industry. The 1989 English graduate of the University of Ilorin says Mother Nature has imbued women with many noble qualities, particularly, a unique ability to multitask, which has helped her to maintain a reasonable balance between her roles as a mother, wife, and home keeper. Raheeem Akingbolu writes

With their good voices, beautiful dress sense and the glamour they add to the newsrooms, women occupy a special place in the broadcasting stations in the country. The female broadcaster also holds a unique position in her family, which makes her a special breed in the industry. But this feminine factor is notably missing from most discussions on the media, especially with the characteristic maxim of “gentlemen of the press”, which underscores the issue of gender blindness in the media industry.

The head of public affairs, National Broadcasting Commission, Mrs. Maimuna Jimada, believes women deserve better recognition in the media.

“From any angle one chooses to look at it, women have contributed hugely to the Nigerian broadcasting industry,” Jimada says. “We should not forget that in the media, we use ‘gentlemen of the press’; this is to tell you that the industry treats and apportions responsibility equally. Everybody contributes accordingly; we have women editors, women are broadcasters, they are producers and they are in engineering department of various broadcast stations. In short, they have broken the barriers.”

She says women journalists carry more responsibility because multitasking is something they must do to keep their jobs and their homes.

“When God created a woman, He gave her a special software: multitasking. I say this because it takes a special being to be involved in the day-to-day activities of the office, combined with the running of the family and still excel in all.  That is why women have remained consistently useful in the media industry.”

Jimada advises men to try to understand what the professions of their wives entail to avoid marital clashes. She says, “I believe the onus is on the man to equip himself with the knowledge of what the woman’s job entails. As soon as he has a full understanding of the nature of the woman’s job, I believe she will be more tolerant to the long hours, night duties, the phone calls and others. With that, they would have successfully solved the problem associated with suspicion and lack of trust in marriages.”

 

Career      

 Jimada has spent close to 30 years in the broadcasting industry, which include 10 years as producer and head of presentation unit in the newsrooms of Radio Kwara and Kwara State Television, before heading to NBC. She believes the industry has fared well. She pointed out that there has been massive investment in the industry, which has been accompanied with innovations, such as 24 hours broadcast and varieties of programmes that target different segments of the society.

But she frowns on the proliferations of broadcasting stations.

According to her, “The fact that there is increasing number of stations notwithstanding, NBC has remained solidly on top of the game in the area of regulation and this is being done without fear or favour. At NBC, we have a monitoring department because monitoring is core to the job we are doing. And we are doing that 24 hours in the seven days of the week. However, unlike in some climes, where regulations depend on viewers’ feedback, in Nigeria, NBC, through its human and technology resources, monitor 24 hours. We point out what stations are doing well and what they are not doing well. So far, there has been adequate cooperation between the operators and the NBC.”

 

Digital Switchover 

Jimada applauds the steps taken towards digital switchover in the country’s broadcasting industry.  

Nigeria has adopted a phased implementation of the switchover, beginning with six states in the six geopolitical zones, namely, Enugu (South-east), Kaduna (North-west); Gombe (North-east); Kwara (North-central); Delta (South-south); and Osun South-west). 

Jimeda states that the commission remains optimistic that by the end of the year, at least half of the country would have access to free digital television content.

 Marriage 

Jimada speaks on how she met her husband over three decades ago. 

 She says the question as to how they met “appears funny because the two families have been close before I was born, so I have always known him.

“We started first as brother and sister, later as friends and from there he became my husband. It has been good 33 years that we have been married and it has remained an interesting union. I see the last three decades as a learning process and opportunity to appreciate what God has done in our lives together.

“Looking back, I think if the opportunity comes again to choose a husband, I will settle with the same person. He has supported my career, helped in raising the children and provided the necessary succour needed by a woman to excel both at home and at work. Today, we are grandparents. What else do I want, except to give God all the glory?”