Bambi, telling African stories in The Morning Call
One Nigerian making the continent proud and telling authentic African stories is Jeremiah Fisayo Bambi, who is popularly known as Jerry Bambi. A journalist with Africanews, a subsidiary of the Euronews group, he anchors the morning breakfast news programme, The Morning Call, which an average audience of seven million watches, daily. Bambi recently won Nigeria Achievers Award TV Personality of the Year.
As one-hour live news broadcast, the programme touches on a variety of topics such as politics, culture, education, science, technology, sports and business.
Bambi said: “We must tell the positive stories of ourselves and of our own people. If we don’t do it, no one would do it for us.”
He said for Africa to be reckoned with, “we must tell our own stories and be interested in one another’s affairs and culture. We need to showcase the best of us and not always the worst of us. We must take pride in our culture as black people. And this is what Nigerians have managed to do so well over the years. It is evident in Nollywood, our music and our entertainment events. We also need to understand the socio-cultural power we have as a people. Nigerian music is appreciated everywhere now. But first, it took a deliberate effort of government and some Nigerians to make this possible. We first had to demonstrate that we love and appreciate our own and then the quality improved.”
According to him, “Africa told its story on how it dealt with epidemics such as Ebola. We have dealt with cholera outbreaks and Lassa fever and can deal with Coronavirus too if we take the concrete health measures seriously to combat the virus’ spread.”
His list of interviewees include, former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown; African Development Bank, AfDB President, Akinwunmi Adesina; Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote; Cote d’Ivoire’s finance minister, Adama Kone and a host of high profile business and statesmen across Africa and the world at large.
Bambi revealed that the stories of people like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, Dr. Adesina, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and the hundreds, if not thousands of Nigerians that have demonstrated excellence at home and on a global level, inspire him.
He also maintained that it is important to tell more of these stories than those of boys and the corrupt politicians. According to him, “we need to embrace more of our people as a continent and appreciate their stories, their culture and the positive stories of the people like you and I across these countries who are making impact and change across their communities and countries. We must celebrate our commonness and diversity more than the way we celebrate the West.”
He disclosed that it was the stories of these men that inspired him when he left Nigeria to take up a living in Congo where he didn’t speak their language.
“We need to keep doing this in other areas. We must first look for stories of ourselves or of our own people that inspire creativity and innovation and then tell these stories brilliantly. This way a lot of people would embrace their identity totally and see their potential is enough to make them a success not only locally but also internationally.
This will help us to project a better image for ourselves and for our country so that that young man hoping to apply for visa to go and study in France or Germany will not have a hard job to do of convincing immigration officers just because he is Nigerian.”
He said, “All over the continent, many people’s childhood were shaped by Nollywood movies. You go to Ghana, Cameroun, Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Senegal and you would be amazed at how strong the Nigerian socio cultural influence is in these places.”
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