Embrace Your Profession With Pride, Especially In The Face of Misconceptions

Many Nigerian Politicians and Public office holders underestimate journalism as a profession , but let’s set the record straight. Media moguls worldwide are among the wealthiest individuals. Yet, there’s still a stigma that measures success by material possessions. Unfortunately, some in positions of power belittle journalists, flaunting their authority while disregarding our contributions.

I’ve witnessed firsthand the arrogance of politicians and public officials, treating journalists with disrespect. It’s incidents like these that make me cautious of certain figures in power. But despite their arrogance, I stand tall, knowing that true success isn’t measured by their standards. We journalists aren’t poor; we’re role models. We deserve more respect in society than these self-proclaimed elites realize.

Our commitment to living a modest lifestyle is often used by certain individuals as a measure of our success in life. Unfortunately, some educated illiterate individuals, despite holding temporary political offices or positions as managing directors of public institutions, believe they are superior to others. In their narrow-mindedness, they perceive journalists as the poorest people in the world.

Last year, while staying at a hotel with my professional colleagues, a newly appointed political figure began to flaunt his authority. He loudly demanded to know the whereabouts of a journalist he had instructed to wait for him. The journalist, waiting for over three hours, respectfully responded, only to be dismissed callously by the political appointee, who claimed he had more important matters to attend to. No apology, no respect— the journalist was treated as if he were disposable.

This wasn’t the first time I witnessed such uncultured displays of arrogance from our political leaders and some public officers who’ve lost their way. It’s incidents like these that keep me wary of certain naive office holders who see everything as a competition and believe they have reached the pinnacle of success. I choose to avoid interactions with governors in the South West out of self-respect.

That’s why no governor in the South West can claim, “These are Wole Arisekola’s proposals seeking contracts in my office.” Thankfully, what they’re embezzling from the public purse to achieve is provided for some of us by divine providence, without effort. They boast about sending their children to prestigious universities like Harvard and Oxford, unaware that my children also attended these institutions. (I will advise them to ask their children if they met Segilola, faculty of law and Olu Arisekola faculty of medicine both in Harvard and Oxford University)

While they purchase houses in Europe, some of us in the journalism profession have been property owners there long before them.

Journalists are not poor; we simply adhere to a different model of living. We deserve more respect in society than these aspiring politicians and public officials give us credit for.”

Mogaji Wole Arisekola writes from Ibadan.

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