Straight From the Heart articles

The Message in Omar al-Bashir’s Cross

The political controversy that trailed the presence of Omar al-Bashir, Sudanese president, at the recent African Union, AU, conference in South Africa is not going away any time soon. Half way through the four-day AU conference held in Johannesburg in June, al-Bashir surreptitiously flew out of South Africa to avoid being ensnared by the arrest order issued by a South African judge. The judicial order was prompted by instructions from the International Criminal Court, ICC,

What’s The Hold up on Keshi?

The drama surrounding the long-running negotiations between the Nigeria Football Federation and Stephen Keshi, the coaching candidate for the Super Eagles, is unprecedented in the history of football-contract negotiations anywhere in the world. Since both parties indicated interest in working together again we have been regaled in the media with varying statements and positions by both sides. Now, we don’t seem to know what to believe. From a recent telephone conversation with Keshi I got

More Mentors Needed for Black Community

I can’t quite come to terms with a New York Times story this week by Binyamin Applebaum that establishes that the lot of African Americans has not improved under America’s first black president. The story in the NY Times’ Upshot Section about how black jobless rates remain high despite an economy on the rebound, informs that the unemployment rate for black workers in America “remains 1.3 percentage points higher than on the eve of the

When Language Becomes A Barrier

I am sure many journalists have been faced with scenarios where communication and/or dialogue were hindered by a language barrier. As a widely traveled journalist, I have faced several lingua franca hurdles that really stood out in countries where English was not the language of choice. As a very young and impressionable young journalist, I arrived Chile in 1987 (along with former Vanguard Sports Editor Chris Okojie), to cover the junior World Cup in Chile.

When Rumour Mongers Flourish

“It’s not mere extremism that makes folks at the fringes so troubling; its extremism wedded to false beliefs. Humans have long been dupes, easily gulled by rumors and flat-out lies!” – Jeffrey Kluger   This is the season when rumor mongers are at their very best. They feed on half-truths and lies and make them so viral that they are almost like consuming wildfires. Take the controversy surrounding General Muhammadu Buhari’s school leaving certificate. His

Dubai, Then and Now

The last time I vacationed in Dubai, the world renowned Emirates Golf Club was just an open space in the desert and the burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, was not even a blueprint. This was in the 80’s (when I was with Newswatch) when the UK and the USA were the top vacation spots for Nigerians. But now the way I hear folk’s talking about Dubai, it is certainly a popular tourist destination for

The Young and the Restless

If there is one demographic group that really needs urgent attention from Nigeria’s leaders and educators then it has to be those born between 1980 and 1999, otherwise known as the millennial generation in other climes. I have never found a group of young people so disillusioned, discouraged and easily brainwashed as I have found among this group of young Nigerians in the few months I have been here. The nation’s leaders have to endeavor

African Journalists In the Diaspora To Monitor Nigerian Elections

A delegation of journalists from the US-based National Association of African Journalists (NAAJ), who are concerned about a successful democratic transition and the entrenchment of democratic principles, is set to visit Nigeria for the national elections scheduled for February 14 and 28. Members of the organization, which has already contacted INEC for accreditation status, will be in the country throughout the elections, and also plan to conduct training sessions for Nigerian Journalists covering the elections.


The Nigerian Civil War through the Lens of a Medic

Now that General Muhammadu Buhari has eased fears of a Muslim-Muslim APC ticket inflaming next years’ presidential election by picking Professor Yemi Osinbajo, as his running mate on the All Progressives Congress (APC) platform, Nigerians have one less issue to worry about the nation sliding into anarchy on the basis of ethnic and religious divisions, like it did more than 40 years ago. No matter what one thinks of each candidate, now both the PDP

Michelle Obama

Race Relations: Why America Should Begin From the Newsrooms

As America currently struggles with race relations issues, I would like to draw the attention of the US and indeed the rest of the world to an area that needs to be properly addressed if these ugly scenarios are ever to be consigned into the dustbin of history. I take my cue from a horrible display of biased journalism that happened sometime last year, but still worth recalling in order to show the bias, distorted