About ten years ago when I was much younger and still very 'adventurous', the University of Lagos campus was like a second home ( for reasons I'm sure should be pretty obvious ! ) One positve fallout though of that phase of my life was my coming in contact with a certain young man named Adebowale Folorunsho,then a student of Architecture at the university.He was very passionate about his then fledging campus magazine, Drag On,and through him I met his other partners in progress ;Mila,Mayowa and much later the'oyinbo man' Michael Kotun who seemed even more passionate about the project than Debo himself.
For a while I enjoyed very close and mutually fulfilling comraderie with Debo and his crew,and I was privileged to witness the metamorhosis of the magazine from Drag On to The Applause,what has now become one of the biggest brands in campus journalism in Nigeria - "the international magazine of the Nigerian youth".It was also through the motivation I got from the Applause guys that I was able to finally actualise the publication of my own magazine Style Africa,a project that I had been planning for over five years !
Unfortunately, higher responsibilities at the Bank where I worked meant I had less and less time to spend with my friends,and eventually we completely lost contact.That notwithstanding, I've always bought every edition of the magazine whenever I see one, and a few weeks ago,while at Terra Kulture I saw the latest edition of the magazine and like you will expect,snapped it up immediately (and by the way, I received a much cherished autograph from Prof Wole Soyinka on the same day ! ) .It turned out that the edition was a special issue of the magazine.And you really didn't need to be told:The layout was splendid;the colours simply enticing.The lead story was on Tuface Idibia.The interview was done in the states ( I mean US,not Abia ! ),and on the cover was a remarkable photo of Tuface and Mary J Blige together.
Debo's message was very moving, and I'm very happy for him.Apparently he and Michael are now in-laws which makes the story even more exciting.It's also great to know that the respected journalist Femi Oke will also teem up with The Applause crew.Surely the sky must be the limit for these guys.Next time you meet a bald-headed twenty-something year old man,you better take him very serious.Debo is a genius.
(Photo courtesy TINU)