I grew up reading his works in Saturday Punch. His style of writing was captivating to me even though I was barely a teenager.
My Dad was a newspaper lover and he got supplies everyday. The major ones were the likes of Observer, Concord, Vanguard, Sketch and Punch newspapers. Of course my favourite was Sunday Punch and Saturday Punch.
They were captivating and made newspaper reading easy for me.
FAJ’s delivery of stories pertaining to my favourite artistes and others was awesome. I knew more about them and their lifestyles beyond what we saw on NTA. There was something unique about the way FAJ and his colleagues projected their stories.
As a matter of fact, I was way ahead of my peers when it comes to current information. The FAJ spur was on me and “I was a follower”.
“I followed him” to FAME weekly and to FAME awards and his other exploits all from the pages of newspapers, magazines and broadcast media.
I marvelled at what mermophosis can arise from being a journalist. FAJ made the potentials alluring. As a journalist, I could do so many things!
His name got engraved in gold in my list of journalism greats in Nigeria from those days.
And so I went on in life to be inspired by other greats and eventually became a Journalist.
Although, I opted for broadcast journalism in preparedness to surpass those I admired like FAJ.
On the list was the great Bisi Olatilo whom I didn’t even know I would come to work with. He was one whose MC skills was instructive to me.
So, I was a producer of the Bisi Olatilo Show on Biscon World TV and one of the events I produced was FAJ at 50. I didn’t know of the event until I was reviewing tapes for production after the event held. I was shocked!
How didn’t I know about this?
I even saw a mentor of mine, the great Wally Jay ( late Wale Obadeyi) at the event. I didn’t know they were friends!
Men, I have missed, I thought. I felt I lost a great chance to meet FAJ; the great FAJ.
When HITV had to close down at some point in 2011, BOS international Magazine was birthed and my boss thought it was necessary we had a crash course in magazine production since print journalism wasn’t our main stay.
And guess who the consultant was?
Of course FAJ!
The great FAJ!
The maverick FAJ!
The role model I never met! What a great honour it was for me!
In the course of my career as a journalist. I have had the privilege of meeting personalities in all spheres of endeavours, locally and internationally. From Presidents, governors, ministers, royals, sports men, entertainers and the likes.
Meeting FAJ was a silent dream come true. I wanted to steal his writing brain immediately. I took notes of his teachings and the corrections he made on scripts. His commendations meant the world to my writings.
Uncle FAJ naturally became a teacher to me. He and his wife have in some little ways made great impacts in my career and lifestyle. And indeed, I am proud of them as great examples of Christians in journalism, entertainment and business.
He is an upright man. And worthy of emulation.
On behalf of my gang, here is wishing you a happy birthday sir. Congratulations and best wishes.