Friday, August 24, 2012

Celebrity Popularity by Brown Envelopes: From the Bellanaira to the Lindarella

Celebrity Popularity by Brown Envelopes: From the Bellanaira to the Lindarella

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood, it may be equally outraged by silence"

- Henri Frederic Amiel 1821 – 1881.

Four horrible and terrible evils are rampant in Nigeria and these four evils have done more harm to Nigeria than even the dreaded Boko Haram Islamic terrorists, Niger Delta militants, Igbo kidnappers, hired killers, robbers, prostitutes and other lunatic fringe of the populace, because majority of Nigerians are either active or passive agents and perpetrators of these horrible and terrible evils plaguing our beloved nation. They are CORRUPTION, HYPOCRISY, IGNORANCE and MEDIOCRITY.

These four evils are practiced and celebrated by both members of the ruling class and the poor masses from the bedroom to the boardroom, from the street to the internet, from the cesspit to the pulpit and from the closets indoors to the cabinets of the corridors of power in Lagos, Abuja and other towns and cities in Nigeria. These four evils have destroyed more lives and properties than all the crimes of the Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers, hired killers, armed robbers and prostitutes since Nigeria became independent on October 1, 1960 to date. Moreover, these conscienceless and shameless perpetrators are busy pointing accusing fingers at the politicians and at those they gossip about on social and political gossip blogs, forums, pages of daily newspapers and tabloids. They are the loudest noisemakers during strikes, pickets and marches on the street and internet posing and posturing as civil rights activists and agitators of democracy and governance, but they are the same dirty and filthy butt-lickers, sycophantic jobbers and beneficiaries of the same people they are pointing accusing fingers at.

I am going to illustrate some of these hypocrites whose intellectual ignorance goes on public parade in the masquerade of social arrogance and mediocrity as they go about with shallow airs and graces among their peers as they compete among themselves for public attention and the patronage of members of the ruling class; from the Bellanaira to the Lindarella and the sycophantic brown envelope journalists on their payroll.

Please, read the following:
Nigeria: Brown Envelope Syndrome, Bane of Journalism –Adaba on, a report by Michael Jegede published by the Daily Independent on November 29, 2010.

Truth is either nailed to a bleeding cross, or it dons a variegated cloak. That is the nexus between the 'brown envelope' syndrome and the cancer of corruption on

Journalism vs. 'Brown Envelopes' by Shola Oshunkeye | Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why we collect brown envelopes- Nigerian Journalist

These brown envelope journalists are among the laziest news reporters who hardly do any investigation and verification before the publication of the bogus claims and lies they have been fed with by those who buy them breakfast, lunch or dinner and give them fat brown envelopes and some of them are so shameless to tell you that except you pay them, they will not report your news or inform the public of the importance, relevance or significance of what you are doing for the common benefit of your community and society. One of the most ridiculous cases was when a reporter from one of the top five leading daily newspapers in Nigeria demanded N10, 000 to report a non commercial public event on the fight against malaria in Africa convened by Nasara, the winner of the 2011 Nigeria Prize for Literature sponsored by the Nigeria LNG Limited. Unknown to him, Mai Nasara knows the Chairman of the Editorial Board who would never condone brown envelope journalism or any form of corruption.

These shameless brown envelope reporters at large are doing more harm than good to modern journalism.

How many of these so called celebrities they blow their trumpets in Nigeria have been celebrated by the BBC, CNN, Al Jazeera, Reuters, New York Times and other proven international news media channels as notable Nigerians like Helon Habila, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Eunice Olumide, Peace Anyiam- Osigwe, Dr. Ola Orekunrin and others have been recognized? Because, the journalists from these highly esteemed international news media channels don’t ask or collect brown envelopes like some of the local journalists. When a young BBC News reporter came without any invitation or solicitation to interview me in April 2003, I did not pay a penny or one kobo for the one hour interview on my performance poetry in audio and the news interview was broadcasted worldwide gratis and it was a good content for the global appreciation of BBC News. And I have never asked for payments to report news on Nigerian journalists, entertainers and other newsworthy people I have published on my news blogs and online forums. In fact, Azu Amatus did not even know when I highlighted his blog on Nairaland, and I did same for the leading Nollywood film critic Shaibu Husseini, I did not ask for anything and he has never asked for anything too to report my events or projects. When I wrote on the good public relations of the Nollywood diva Omoni Oboli, she never solicited for it and we never communicated personally over it. Nobody knew who was Linda Ikeji on the internet until I reported her as a local supermodel on Nairaland and received a lot of flak for celebrating her and she did not pay me for it and I also did the same for popular Nollywood star Emeka Enyiocha and other celebrities and non celebrities without their solicitation or gratification and that is how true journalism should be practiced without asking for fat brown envelopes, cash for news or the chequebook journalism practiced by some social and political tabloids in Nigeria and other countries.

I have reported the dangers and evils of brown envelope journalism to newspapers, radio and TV stations without mentioning the names of the journalists involved and in fact I refused to give names when a private TV station asked for them. I simply advised the station to warn their staff to desist from the corrupt practices in modern journalism. But unfortunately, instead of repenting, the guilty ones engaged in whispering campaigns of calumny against whistle blowers and in some cases whistle blowers are exposed to risks of being attacked by their patrons and sponsors or beneficiaries.

When we condone corrupt practices, the perpetrators of corruption and other immoral and criminal practices would never be pricked or sanctioned to stop their evil crimes and that is why the four evils of CORRUPTION, HYPOCRISY, IGNORANCE and MEDIOCRITY continue to spread like the HIV/ADIS scourge and the perpetuation of corruption will continue the spiral destruction of our nation.

We must separate the wheat from the chaff in every facet of life to separate the good from evil and until we do so, no reformation or transformation will be possible.

Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day.
~ Thomas Jefferson
(3rd president of US (1743 - 1826)

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Children of Heaven, Sleepless Night, Scarlet Tears of London, Bye, Bye Mugabe, In the House of Dogs and other books. 

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