After the Africa Drum Festival, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State is set to light up the journalism firmament of Nigeria with a historic celebration of the origins of Journalism in Nigeria come 2019.
Meanwhile, CNN’s Television global star, Christiane Amanpour, will add glitz and glamour when celebrities around the world gather at Abeokuta, Ogun State to mark and celebrate the birthday and 160 years of Journalism in Nigeria in March 2019.
It promises to be nostalgic when Abeokuta, Ogun State Capital, goes agog in hosting an assemblage of media gurus to celebrate Reverend Henry Townsend, the founder of journalism in Nigeria.
It has been a tedious and tortuous journey for the Nigerian League of Veteran Journalists under the able leadership of Eddie Aderinokun, who had worked in tandem with his colleagues to give back to the man who introduced Journalism to Nigeria by publishing the first tabloid – “IWE IROHIN FUN AWON ARA EGBA” on November 23, 1859.
The 60-year-old Christiane Amanpour, born of British mother and an Iranian father began her journalism career in 1986 with BCC’s Radio Four as a summer intern and later CNN and CBS, two of the most popular stations in the world, becoming the world’s best-paid correspondent.
Her rise to stardom was a typical case of from rags to riches. After finishing her education at an exclusive Catholic boarding school in England, Amanpour had hoped to get into medical school, but did too poorly in her A-level examinations.
She opted for a sales clerk job in a department store, and then as a cleaner in a pub. Her entry into journalism was by accident.
One of her three sisters enrolled in a journalism institute in London but withdrew before the term was over. Amanpour went to get a refund for her, but was refused, she said, “Could I take my sister’s place instead,” and her request was granted.
Arguably the hottest in television news today, Amanpour, had risen to become the First Lady of global television since 1986.
She has made history by becoming the first to work simultaneously with two leading TV stations in the world, signing for CNN and CBS in an unprecedented deal that allowed her to contribute a minimum of five reports in a year to “60 Minute”, the American hugely popular, long running magazine show – while still working full time for CNN, in a business where exclusivity is everything.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian League of Veteran Journalists, the organisers of the 160 years of journalism in Nigeria have begun frantic efforts to let the iconic TV star Amanpour have a cursory look at the activities slated for a grand show in Abeokuta, where she will be feted by the state governor.