By Grace Alegba
The pioneer Editor-In-Chief of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Prof. Victor Adefela, has advised parents to allow their children to follow their passion in choosing career paths, to help them succeed in life.
The 85-year-old professor gave the advice on Friday while presenting his new book titled “Notes Along The Way” at NAN Media Centre in Iganmu, Lagos.
Adefela, who was accompanied by his wife, Oluyemisi, also spoke on how the COVID-19 lockdown and the attendant boredom of staying indoors, in the U.S., eventually resulted in him putting pen to paper to author the book.
He said passion for journalism drew him into the profession and it had been a wonderful experience since becoming one, with him visiting no fewer than 40 countries across the globe.
According to him, life is interesting and meaningful when people do what they actually like, as against professions imposed by parents for various reasons.
“Whatever your children want to do, let it be and give them the support.
“Let people be what they want to be, that is the only way they can find fulfilment,” he said.
Speaking about his book, he said it was a collective story of his life journey.
He said he spent one tenth of his life in NAN and so devoted one tenth of the over 200-page book to the agency, which impacted his life positively.
“This is not the story of NAN, this is the story of Victor Adefela,” he said.
Adefela, Editor-in-Chief of NAN from 1977 to 1985, said coming to work in the agency was the highpoint and most fulfilling aspect of his career life.
“In all my working years, I think the years in NAN were definitely the most productive and the most satisfying,” he said.
The professor said change is constant and everything, people and institutions evolve and are not static, but only passion endures and remains.
“In whatever you do, it is self fulfilment that matters,” he said.
Adefela said he and his pioneer colleagues were excited working hard to achieve something new and useful for growth of the nation.
He expressed hope that the current staff members in NAN were going to uphold the high standard they met.
Earlier, while introducing the author, the Managing Director of NAN, Mr Buki Ponle, said the book presentation was about “giving honour to whom honour is due”.
He led the staff to sing the popular Christian song, “Count your Blessings”.
He described Adefela as a father, mentor, and an icon, who contributed to what he had become.
Ponle said that Adefela was highly disciplined, and in spite of his rich knowledge, very humble.
He recalled Adefela’s stay in NAN when he (Adefela) stood for excellence and tolerated nothing less from members of staff.
“He meant well for us, he has always been our mentor,” he said.
The managing director thanked him for donating 50 books to his fellow retirees.
He said that the book, written by an 85-year-old man, had challenged him to also write a book.
The book reviewer, Mr Segun Adeyemi, was represented by a retired staff, Dr Kingsley Kubeyinje, who joined NAN in 1984.
Adeyemi is a former New York Correspondent, NAN, and former Special Adviser to the immediate-past Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
He said the book captured the reality of the life of the reputable journalist and academician.
He said that 22 of the pages were dedicated to his times in NAN, adding that, it also captured his early adventurous childhood which had many turns and twists.
He said it captured the “life story of a boy who was born in Lagos, grew up partly in Igbara-Oke and Ile-Ife, went to school in both, as well as in Ibadan and the United States, and then became a world citizen, a renowned Journalist, a global Consultant and a University Teacher who has visited 40 countries in three continents!
“What many readers, especially from the NAN family, will look forward to in the memoir is his notes on the time he spent in the agency, especially because he was the very first journalist to be employed in NAN, and the agency’s pioneer Editor-in-Chief who largely charted its editorial pathway.
“Only 22 of the 274 pages in the book were dedicated to the eight years he spent in NAN, but so much was packed into those pages that I do not think he left much untouched.
“Find out why the story of NAN will be incomplete without this man,” he said.
Also, a former editor-in-chief, Mr Isaac Ighure and others took turns to relish exciting moments.
Ighure said he met “an organised and sweet NAN to work in” because Adefela laid the right foundation.
“We were breaking the news and the others were following us,” Ighure said.
He recommended the book for those seeking growth and better understanding. (NAN)
Edited by Oluwole Sogunle