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Marriage and Family

Taming blackmailers

As a cub reporter with The Punch Newspapers in 1987, I interviewed the first indigenous female professor of a university. I asked her how she felt about the feat. She said she felt “fulfilled and vindicated.” Apparently, she felt the professorship should have come much earlier. I was uncomfortable with the word, “vindicated,” but I quoted her anyway. Later when I saw her, she complained that “vindicated” came too early in the story. In fact, she would have preferred it left out all together. Then I gave her an advice: “Ma, if you are talking to a journalist, assume you are talking to the whole world. Anything you would not say to the whole world, don’t tell a journalist.” “Is that so?” She retorted. “Yes ma,” I responded. I left her feeling giddy that a small boy like me had given a professor a lecture.

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The greener grass

Recently, a stowaway was found dead in the wheel compartment of an aircraft belonging to a Nigerian airline after it landed in South Africa. A few days later, the news just fizzled out. Some people apparently did not want the news on the front burner for long. Bringing it back to the front burner is not my intention here, so let sleeping dogs continue to lie. But I must express my discomfort with the security breach that made it possible for the stowaway to hide in the wheel compartment of the aircraft. It is a disincentive to travelling by air.

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