Last year, as part of the events to launch its new investigative journalism video series called ‘AFRICA EYE’, the BBC held a press conference at the Sheraton in Ikeja.
I’d gone in, unsure of what to expect.
What I did end up experiencing was the powerful work of Ruona J. Meyer.
As the head journalist charged with doing an expose on the silent epidemic, Ruona Meyer’s personal experience as someone who has been directly affected by drug addiction paired with her understanding of Nigeria’s peculiarities made for a very compelling story about drug addiction, the limitations of treatment as we have it now and what needs to be done.
Sweet Sweet Codeine caused the kind of public outcry that a journalist can only hope for from a news story.
The actual documentary hit 2 million views on Youtube, the Nigerian government announced a reactionary ban on Codeine just 24 hours after the interview hit the internet and the months after the government has tried to restructure and streamline its response to the codeine epidemic.
Guys, I am still taking it all in but…here goes:
Sweet Sweet Codeine has just got an #emmys2019 NOMINATION for News and Current Affairs, the FIRST for the BBC World Service and #Nigeria!
CONGRATULATIONS, Team Africa Eye!
— Ruona J. Meyer (@RGAMeyer) August 6, 2019
Yesterday Ruona annouced on Twitter that Sweet Sweet Codeine was nominated by the Emmys for a News and Current Affairs reporting, the First for the BBC and the first for a Nigerian journalist.
Meyer has a real chance of winning the whole thing and we are super excited for her and what this can mean for Nigerian journalists across the world.
Edwin Okolo is an author and journalist who has worked with YNaija, TheNativemag and the Naked Convos.