Friday, June 5, 2015

Video - SaharaTV's Adeola Fayehun confronts President Mugabe in Nigeria

Adeola Fayehun’s ambush of ageing Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe has catapulted the queen of Nigerian satire, already a star in many countries in Africa, into the international spotlight.

In a clip which has received 270,000 views on YouTube, Fayehun and her colleague Omoyele Sowore question Mugabe as he makes his way to and from new Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari’s inauguration on 29 May.

Sowore initially disarms Mugabe by asking: “Mr Mugabe, how are you?”

Smiling uncomfortably, he replies: “I am well, thanks”.

“Well, you know they also want elections in your country, when is it happening next in your country?” Sowore asks.

“In my country? Well, we had our elections…” He tapers off as an aide comes to his rescue.

After Buhari’s speech, as Mugabe made his way back to the car Fayehun delivers the next barrage of questions.

“Mr President, don’t you think it is time to step down?” “Is there a time limit?” “How’s your health?’ “When will there be change in Zimbabwe?” “Is there democracy in Zimbabwe?”

She ends the clip looking for her next victim, asking: “Is [South African president] Jacob Zuma here?”

While many Africans across the continent have been aware of the refreshing talents of Fayehun, who has presented around 150 episodes of her weekly satirical news show Keeping It Real since it launched on Sahara TV in November 2011, it took the daring ambush of Robert Mugabe for her to be noticed in internationally.

After the incident, The Telegraph’s chief political correspondent Colin Freeman wrote: “compared the BBC’s John Simpson or CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Adeola Fayehun from Nigeria is not exactly a global name in the world of television reporting. This week, though, she made broadcasting history as she did something that few African reporters have ever dared do: ask one their ageing dictators when the hell he is going to quit.”

Nigerian-born Fayehun is based in New York, where she has teamed up with Sowore, who launched the website Sahara Reporters in 2006 to encourage citizen journalists to report on corruption and mismanagement in Nigeria.

Fayehun’s talents helped launch Sahara TV’s hugely popular online comedy programme, the Dr Njakiri Damages Show. When Sowore later asked Fayehun if she was interested in hosting a news programme she jumped at the offer.

And Fayehun’s style has proved popular: pithy, well-researched social commentary and news combined with sharp satire and a dollop of comedy. All the ingredients that have seen hits like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report in the US become the favoured mediums for the delivery of political information and entertainment.


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