Kunle Ajibade, a renowned journalist and author who has functioned as a crucial actor within the Nigerian media space over the last three decades, is 60 today, May 28, 2018.
His various roles in the media have seen him serve as Reporter to media houses, a Senior Correspondent for The African Concord magazine, Assistant Editor with The African Guardian, and then different editorial and management responsibilities in the now rested Tempo and A.M News titles, before being Executive Editor of TheNEWS magazine and P.M. News in the past several years.
It was his work in the Nigerian media in the dark days of brutal military rule that saw him crusade on the side of social justice, and hence run against the murky essence of the vicious Abacha military regime in its high noon.
Ajibade was arrested on spurious charges and “jailed for life” in 1995, after a kangaroo and contrived judicial process, in similar vein to the encounters of other journalists like George Mbah of Tell magazine, Chris Anyanwu of The Sunday Magazine (TSM) and Ben Charles Obi of the Weekend Classique about the same period.
His experience of arrest, imprisonment, and subsequently release from the gulag of military dictatorship after three harrowing years are chronicled in his memoir, ‘Jailed for Life: A Reporter’s Prison Notes’, which won the Victor Nwankwo Book of the Year award in 2005. He is also author of ‘What a Country!’, which details Nigeria’s travails under cruel and repressive rule.
To honour him on attaining a milestone six-decade on earth — and particularly in view of efforts of those like him whose cumulative struggles and suffering saw to the present democracy that we enjoy in Nigeria — the Friends of Kunle Ajibade and other well-wishers are holding a one-day Colloquium at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) on Wednesday May 30 at 10 a.m. This would be followed by a Cultural Evening/Poetry Reading at the Freedom Park to start by 5:30p.m. on the same day.
The Colloquium would be led by Professor Wole Soyinka, the 1986 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, on the theme, ‘A Bright Future for Nigeria and How to Get There’. Fellow speakers on the day would include Dr. Kingsley Chiedu Moghalu, Mrs. Ayo Obe, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Ms. Ayisha Osori, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, Mr. Sam Omatseye and other notable speakers.
The Cultural Evening/Poetry Reading that would follow this later in the day, will comprise tributes, readings and music, involving poets, solo saxophonists, drummers and other performance artistes.
The events are open to the general public and many others wishing to be a part of these activities designed to honour Kunle Ajibade, an Omoluabi, who truly deserves to be celebrated.