Sundiata Post: An Ode To Max Amuchie | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Sundiata Post: An Ode To Max Amuchie

Posted: Jul 6, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Adeniran Adedokun

If anyone in Nigeria tells you that he is a practising journalist, you should respect the person. Now, let me clarify. There are wannabe journalists. Just like you have in all other professions, there are Nigerians who see journalism as a quick meal ticket, they are quacks without training or pedigree. Most of these are no better than street urchins, in appearance and conduct, worse, they are so dumb they do not even realise it. Languishing in the illusion of failed aspirations sheer flair for criminality, they come at you with out-of-this -world names of media organisations that they represent, just to be able to get into your pocket.

Max Amuchie

Max Amuchie

No, I don’t mean those ones, those are not journalists. They are criminals who exploit the vain and undiscerning. We do them a favour to even describe them as fake journalists, the nobility of the profession abhors that, they should just be called what they are, touts and fake ones at that.

I mean people who truly work for a media organisation, whether in the print or electronic medium. Those ones deserve your eternal respect.

The journalist is possibly the most endangered professional in today’s Nigeria.  When I was growing up, the teacher had that cap. I heard it a lot of times that the reward of teachers awaited them in heaven, I guess we should hand it to the journalist now.

Journalism is a hazardous endeavour anywhere in the world but much more so in Nigeria. The job is dangerous and thankless at the same time. In journalism bragging rights for an accomplishment is tentative. Don’t even dwell on it, at least for not more than 24 hours. This crown with which you were crowned yesterday was made and labelled for yesterday alone, so don’t come to work today with that “I have conquered the world” sense, for you may just be in for a shocker.

It once happened in my very presence that a journalist did a story that got him effusive commendation from his employers and a little slip the next day saw him out of the organisation. Here, you live each day on the tether, not sure what the next moment holds. One of my mentors once told me that he considered every day to be his last when he was editor of a newspaper. He cleared his table like he was not going to return the next day at the end of every work day. Such insecurity is the nature of journalism.

But the Nigerian journalist moves on, feeding you with information every day, no matter how indisposed he feels.

This is why I respect journalists. And I encourage you to, next time you see a gentleman of the press, accord them some honour for the sacrifices they make for fatherland in spite of all those misgivings you may have. Journalists are after all human.

Then when I see someone who hung on and kept at it, until he is able to leave and do something for himself, I am totally awed. Being a journalist for two decades is enough work but sticking to it and then going ahead to establish a platform where you no longer echo the voice of another is one reward beyond compare.

Anyone who achieves this is blessed by God in measures he cannot even imagine. You need single minded tenacity to start and stick to a career in journalism in Nigeria and then go ahead to be a publisher. You need creativity to keep your life together and be all that you can possibly be to everyone around you at the same.  Such feats are made possible only by divine grace.

This is why I celebrate, my brother and friend, Max Amuchie, as he unveils his online newspaper, Sundiata Post, in Abuja on July 7. It is no surprise that Max finds the grace to establish one of the fastest growing online newspapers in Nigeria today really. The dedication and commitment with which he handles what he has to do for others is a virtue that the heavens would be unjust not to reward. But then, unlike man, God is fairness personified and He has given Max the reward which over two decades of slaving it out for other people, may not have brought him materially.

Max has brought his creativity, hard work and passion to bear on Sundiata Post, which is to my mind one of the neatest, well laid out news platforms for Nigeria today. It takes a lot of alertness to remain relevant as an online newspaper and give us the news as it breaks.

There sure is dignity in labour, just as there is reward.

He has sowed and invested in the work of others and now he has his harvest.It is not like the struggle is over though. The road will be rough especially with the harsh business climate in Nigeria and the daily challenges that an entrepreneur faces. But if we agree that it takes a measure of grace to get this far in Nigeria, that grace is in abundant supply.