This is the short version of a long story.
It exemplifies serendipity; that unexpected but divinely arranged thing that happens and you know it had nothing to do with you, but had to be God. I'll have to write a book but in the mean time this is the story.
On Democracy day, I (me, little ol me) attended President Goodluck Jonathan's Transformation Agenda Mid term report.
It is not easy for me to commonize the opportunity to have been in the same room with the president and his cabinet. I had an access pass and walked into the premises of the International Conference Centre thronging with intimidating security detail undisturbed even as other residents boycotted the area.
The pass said I was cleared, I had access and I had business to
do in that place that day.
My business was to interview guests as they came in. I was there three hours early, that was the sensible thing to avoid the nightmare of security checks considering how many human bodies would fill the space around show time.
|Timi and I|
It led me to this youtube video interview of him which I watched across the table from him, on my laptop. Obi Asika wasn't far from materialising in my reality, I was attracting that possibility just by finding out about him and wanting to meet him.
A few weeks later, I walked out of my office building and there he was. I would have left four hours before, I had been delayed and was upset that I was but I didn't know I was on course for time and chance to meet. I walked right up to him and called his name. He was taken aback by my directness.
|Mr Ben bruce...|
Obi had my pass ready at the rehearsals for the event. I would do interviews instead of the social media thing, he said. As the Hon. Minister of Finance, rehearsed her presentation, I quickly realised I could be interviewing her the next day but I was quite happy if all i did was be close enough to look at her like I was doing, close enough to see the print of her dress.
When I got home I told my mum what I would be doing. She ran away with the idea that I said I would be interviewing the minister to my distress. "No mum", I corrected I might interview her I dont know for sure that I will, I said. She gave me a dismissive look and kept up the dance she had started, "you will surely interview her", she said emphatically in Yoruba.
And I did. I wish I had the transcript or video to share (hopefully soon) but this isn't about the journalism of what I did or the politics of what she said, it is about standing next to such an icon and national treasure in a similar way that greats like Christine Amanpour had been with her, and going "OMG! This is happening! "
It probably should have been a veteran broadcaster from the NTA or AIT interviewing her but no it was me, with no mass communication education, no TV house affiliation, a shoe string of interviews under my belt but justified by my faith that I was born to do this.
As I stood in that spot with my gift which had brought me before the kings and princes of government, I didn't know what to think but I knew something new and good was happening. I was having a dream- come- true moment. Like Joel Osteen says, one touch of God's favour had moved me light years ahead to another level.
Even if in my wildest dreams it was possible to nab an interview with the minister of finance or minister of culture and tourism or the CEO of the Nigerian stock exchange or Entertainment mogul, Ben Bruce or Sammie Okposo or Timi Dakolo or Reno Omokri and other political royalty I met, it was certainly above and beyond what I could ever ask or think to be priviledged to interview Rev. Jesse Jackson! Twice!
|Interviewing Rev. Jesse Jackson|
The second interview took place the next day, it was more personal and so memorable. At short notice I made it to the venue of the interview at the nick of time. Everything was prepared and waiting like a table set before me, it was my head that was anointed for the moment, and my cup of joy still overflows.
Again, it was not because I sat in a chair across from the reverend in an interview. Even though in the words of a mentor, that was bl**dy amazing and in Haruna's opinion, there was nothing remotely ordinary about it, the moment that would stay with me forever was when the interview got done. "Can I take a picture with you young lady?" It was the reverend who asked! (Ohhh, he asked?) It tickled every part of my being where I hope and dream, at the thought that he wanted me to take a picture with him. I could have laughed with glee like a little girl or yelped with delight like a little dog.
|Me and the Rev.|
|The Reverend giving me an autograph|