I was attending a conference in Lagos, when some people drew my attention to a story written and published on Linda Ikeji’s blog concerning a recent story we published on gistmaster.com .In the story, a young man by name Dele Fasan claimed to be dating Omowunmi Akinnifesi. The fellow also told us that they have marriage plans. In her first sentence, Linda wrote “It’s kinda sad when people see you with a guy, and the next thing you read in the press is that you’re dating him” I am taking time to reply because Linda sort of indicted the Nigerian press as a whole with the sentence, directly or indirectly calling us fiction writers. As a friend and associate for years, I thought Linda should have put a call through or send text message to ask me what actually happened. On his part, Chude Jideonwo, Bellanaija, Omowunmi, Mai and several others have reached me personally on this. Well, maybe Linda was writing from her own personal experience in the hands of the media. Some years back, Linda and I were at Sheraton for an event and she met Dan Foster. The two of them went to one of the restaurants and got talking for a long time. I was her publicist, yet she told me she was not dating Dan. When some people wrote it in the press, she also denied it. It was not until a lady; one Miss Olunloyo accused Linda of snatching her man that she now came out to say she had been dating Dan for years!!! I felt very bad because as her publicist, I would keep it as privilege information and would know how to defend her when journalists inquire. The lady was bitter because she and Dan were planning their wedding and part of the event was already fixed for City Mall before the break up!!! We have seen cases of many Nigerian so called celebrities denying interviews granted by them few minutes later so it is not new. When Gbenga Obasanjo opened up on a number of things for Saharareporters, he later denied it and also threatened to sue them to court. Yet, the discerning mind knew that Gbenga was only boasting, he said it all. We knew how much RMD denied his romance with Jumobi Adegbesan and also called reporters unprintable names, only for them to get married.Ini Edo granted Punch Newspaper an interview two months before her wedding. She did not only deny her marriage plans, she insinuated that those writing the story don’t know their right from left!! About one month before Yoruba star actress, Ronke Ojo got married to her man she denied having anything to do with an auto dealer.Alas! She invited us to her wedding some weeks later. Back to the story on Omowunmi Akinnifesi.I was on the red carpet at Future Award when Omowunmi and a young man walked on the red carpet. I have never met the guy in my life. So, after taking their photos, I walked up to the guy and asked questions concerning his relationship with Omowunmi and he said have been dating off and on for a year, but now they are ready to settle down for marriage. He was not drunk when he was saying all this neither was I drunk too. He knew what he was saying. I later asked him about his name and what he does for a living. He also gave me his phone number. I even called him on the phone!!! When Omowunmi was going inside I asked about her marriage plans, she laughed. (Well, she later called me on phone and explained that she was actually carried away by the cameramen on the red carpet. Later, they went inside the hall and I also took their pictures. Though they were not seated beside each other, they were on the same table in front. After the story was published, Omowunmi called me and insisted that the guy was only an impostor that they only met on the red carpet that day. She also obliged me a phone interview which took quite a while. The story was later published on the gistmaster.com GOD blesses Omowunmi’s brother. The guy also talked to me on phone and he said corroborated the sister’s story. He was gentlemanly in his approach.We settled the whole thing and all of us agreed that the guy was only being mischievious. I called Dele Fasan the following day and he agreed he told me all i wrote but that he never knew it would go that far.Just imagine,someone talking to press.
Omowunmi had granted series of interviews where she denied the romance-City People, Encomium,Global Excellence had already carried the story. Linda wrote that none of the story is true and that Omowunmi and the guy spoke with Shade Wesley-Etibogun of Encomium. In the first place, Shade and I have a good relationship and she called when she was doing the story. I gave her Dele Fasan’s mobile number.
Well,i think the big difference between Linda and I, is that i generate 98 per cent of the total materials on my blog. I go all out to get the interviews or cover the events live. Linda only sit back at in her Surulere home, surf the net or read magazines then re-write. I can tell you for free that she rarely attend up to five events in a year.
I put a lot of energy into into getting my stories and photos. Well, if Linda’s attempt is to rubbish us, its all well and good.We have been quoted by all Nigerian newspapers and websites.This is because of the authoritative news and photos.
Perhaps, the reason why a lot of people appreciate what we do here.