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Monday, December 10, 2012

From My Facebook Wall (2): A Pleasant Meeting with Timawus Mathias

From My Facebook Wall (2)@@@ By Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde@@@ A Pleasant Meeting with Timawus Mathias@@@ One of the most pleasant moments I enjoyed at the 50th Anniversary of my secondary school, GSS Ganye, which took place last Saturday, 8 December 2012, was when I listened to Timawus Mathias, the MC of the occasion.@@@ Immediately he started speaking I couldn't help asking my friend, Dr. Gida Sarki, who it was. Timawus Mathias, he replied. My God, the voice was so captivating: deep and beautifully adorned by his excellent command of English and the typical northern accent that bewitched the British audience of Tafawa Balewa in the 1950s. That voice kept me seated for hours without any complaint.@@@ I couldn't help but approach Tim to introduce myself. "Hello sir," I greeted him. "Hello my dear," he replied. "I am Aliyu Tilde", I introduced myself. Suddenly he opened his eyes in surprise. "Happy to meet you. You are quite an inspiration to us," he exclaimed. I received the greeting but returned the praise. "No sir, it is you who is an inspiration to my generation. It can never be the other way sir. How I wish we can live to the standard you set."@@@ Later when he stood up, Tim introduced me to the gathering, repeated his praises of my writings and views with a bit of exaggeration. He said that when he was invited to start a column in the Daily Trust, he made me his benchmark and doubted if he could write as I did. Knowing fully well that I didn't deserve the pedestal accolade, I hid my head such that he couldn't see me and ask me to stand up for recognition. He looked around but little Harry was not in sight.@@@ It was a pity that I couldn't stay till the end of the occasion. I left 30 minutes to the closing time, afraid of the bad road back to Yola. I would have loved to chat with Tim for a minute. The following day was Sunday and the idea of visiting him in Numan crossed my mind. But I didn't want to disturb his Sunday commitments as a Christian and so I drove past Numan the following morning, missing the important opportunity the visit would have accorded me.@@@ It is with great pride to note here that Tim has done better than me as a columnist since he picked up the challenge from the Trust. He has been able to navigate the difficult waters of commenting on Nigeria with a dexterity that would remain the envy of other writers. He has truly proven to be a seasoned journalist, a true nationalist and a believer in one North. Let me add another good thing about Tim that is worth mentioning here. He is indisputably the greatest contributor on Facebook from this part of the country amongst people of his generation. While many of his colleagues are afraid of approaching a computer, Tim is already a master of the social media. There he speaks to the younger generations, giving us the necessary guidance we need from a man of his age. Let me confess: I envy him. But don't tell him, please.@@@ Tim is not alone. He belongs to a group of broadcasters who were groomed in the culture of Northern journalism, a tradition which they not only mastered but also perfected. Their voice has become the standard northern voice in broadcasting. As he spoke during the occasion, I was consumed by the nostalgia for the similar voices of Abdulkarim Albashir, Khalifa Baba Ahmed, Ibrahim Samaila Ahmed, Nyako Mindava and others at FRCN and NTA Kaduna in the 1970s.@@@ Sadly, Nigeria did not allow for the likes of Tim to be replicated in the generations that followed theirs. I am afraid to say that after they pass away a similar voice may never be heard again in the North. Today, due to lack of dedication to duty, insatiable penchant for wealth and the influence of corrupt leadership, merit is discouraged, allowing sycophants to take over our media and other institutions.@@@ My trip to Ganye has paid off even if it were only for the opportunity to once again listen to someone like Tim from that generation of broadcasters. I have no regrets, despite the long journey, the bad road and the flat tyre.@@@ May he last long enough to allow us similar opportunities, times without number.@@@ Aliyu

1 comment:

Muslim Mahmood said...

May the Almighty God give you another opportunity and grace us with people like Timawus Mathias []. Amen.
~Muslim A. Mahmood~ 0809 870 4941