We read this interview in Premium Times 6 days ago that worried us – it worried us because it is wrong.
But it also worried us because Premium Times usually aspires to do better. And it’s a news site. So the sensationalism isn’t really necessary. And it’s not fitting with its brand. So it’s just kind of jarring. Not to mention needlessly provocative.
A reporter is interviewing a random celebrity. A likeable, male celebrity who has been on the scene for many years. Ehiz of MTV Base.
In those years, he has never been involved in any controversy. Like any controversy whatsoever. In fact, he is pretty boring. Which is remarkable. He has been an A-minus celebrity for about 4 years, without any real or imagined controversy, in any way or form. Actually, everyone likes Ehiz. Mostly they are indifferent. Or they like him. What’s there not to like?
So that makes him a boring subject? And you can forgive a journalist for reaching for the stars in getting something… anything.
So this is how the interview goes in the mind of the reporter in search of a headline that works.
First a predictable, yawn-worthy question about ‘Oh you studied beans, why are you now eating rice?’
PT: You studied computer engineering, what motivated you for showbiz?
EHIZ: Damn! It really started long ago men! It’s just something I found myself doing and I discovered I derive joy doing it. Back then in school, we host small shows and before you know it your name starts ringing a bell. As for the engineering thing, “na person pay our school fees so you just have to make the man happy”. Laughs…
Then, boom – we move to The Inevitable Nigerian-Interviews Matter of the Girlfriend.
PT: Do you have a girlfriend and what is your type of woman?
EHIZ: None that I know of. You know a lot of speculations circulate around the media that you date this or that person so that’s why I said none that I know of but I like dark skinned women and a woman who’s got flesh; You know I’m a slim guy laughs. Basically any woman that jokes a lot and makes me laugh is my typical kind of woman.
And then, from nowhere AT ALL. No history, no gossip, no gist, no background, no attempt at linking the questions together.
PT: Are you gay? Or straight?
EHIZ: Giggles. Hmm no no no I’m not gay, I’m straight like a pencil and I like women.
Wow. Is asking something if the person is gay something we just do now in Nigeria? For no reason at all. Even though it’s a crime, with like 14 years and all?
Is that something you simply want to put in front of a person’s name, in a deeply homophobic country – where it could cost him his career, even his life?
Obviously. This interviewer ran out of questions. And ideas. There is some decency loss involved too.
We need to start calling this kind of thing out.
PS: See anything worth talking about on the ins and outs of the media business in Nigeria on TV, radio, print and online (could be news, tweets, photos, opeds etc) send us a mail on[email protected] titled TMB. Let’s share the insight together!