The sudden passing of one of the doyens of legal education and vast array of jurisprudence in Nigeria, Prof. Jadesola Akande came to me as a rude shock. I never had the opportunity of meeting the former Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, LASU, in person but I have been an avid admirer of great African women who have attained excellence in their chosen fields in spite of a maleficent working class marked by unrelenting machismo. If you live in a Western society, you can’t help but appreciate the great sacrifice of African female professionals who thrive in multi tasking. The first job of the African working woman is that of being a home-maker, a position that comprises the daunting roles of wife and mother. Often successful female professionals also end up as the breadwinners. Don’t get me wrong. Western female professionals can also make great wives and mothers. Yet we know that the best qualification for being a wonderful husband here in the US is to be a great cook; a totally reversed role in Africa.
Professor Akande was born same year as my mom; that makes her life and passing personal to me. Her sudden death received a mention in most of the national newspapers I read Wednesday April 30th morning. However I ‘m worried that those were a little more than cursory coverage. The Vanguard, a great tabloid for descriptive reporting almost brought home to me and other Nigerians in the diaspora, the dramatic exit of this bigwig. Yes, almost because none of the papers illustrated the story with her picture at the Gani Fawehinmi birthday celebration event she so actively participated in about a day before she went to sleep. We must take journalism out of the mundane to the next level where images and imagery tell a better story than a thousand dossiers. Unfortunately all these have been missing in most of our daily serve. NPAN, Guild of Editors, NUJ and indeed every writer should recognize the huge advantage the print media currently has over the electronic media in terms of global reach, through the worldwide web. We must turn the dailies to meals instead of the grub. Click those cameras guys! Most of us always have one anyway, in our cell phones. On a more serious note, newspaper publishers need to invest in photo journalism. Meanwhile keep up the good work comrades!