Author Chimamanda Adichie Host Nigeria’s 1st Presidential Youth Debate, Where are the Youth Journalists?

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It’s election season in Nigeria and as a Nigerian-American and one with a keen interest in politics, expect to see coverage and my personal opinion and views on the political shenanigans up to April 2011.I told you all, albeit briefly, about the “What About Us” debate, the first youth centered debate to take place in Nigeria. I had an issue with the fact that the current President Jonathan Goodluck turned down the opportunity to be a part of the debate, at the time. Read my discussion here.

Since that writing, the organizers of the What About Us Debate have announced Chimamanda Adichie will be hosting the debate. If the name sounds familiar to you here in the United States, that is because it is! Adichie is a celebrated Nigerian author who is extremely bright. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Communications and Political Science from Eastern Connecticut State University. She subsequently obtained a master’s degree in creative writing at John Hopkins University and a Master of Arts in African Studies at Yale University. Both of her works Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun have won her numerous recognitions and awards. Half of a Yellow Sun is a MUST read, if you haven’t read it yet. The book is allegedly now being adapted into a film. Also, she regularly teaches writing workshops and also speaks within and outside Nigeria. One of her most popular talks was at the TED conference in July of 2009 when she gave the speech titled “The Danger of a Single Story.”

Despite all of Adichie’s credentials and superior intellect, I can’t help but ask where are the youth journalist(s) to host the first Nigerian youth centered debate? Really, “What About ” the youth journalists? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and if indeed this is about the youths, surely there must be well groomed young journalist(s) highly qualified to ask these political candidates questions, not so?

I wonder if my thinking is a result of being programmed to see journalists, across the globe, oversee presidential debates. Objectively, many journalists do not have a political science degree like Adichie or even a communications degree, which as a fellow communications degree holder, is very important. Nevertheless, for me, the debate continues post D’Banj interview of President Goodluck Jonathan. Who should interview presidential candidates about their political agendas and aspirations towards the highest office in a nation. Journalists? Popular musicians like D’Banj? Popular authors like Adichie? I welcome only intelligent responses i.e. critical thinking responses. Intellectual muscles are exercised on this blog.

Watch the Nigerian Presidential Debate conducted by Journalist Kadaria Ahmed

Watch Adichie’s Danger of a Single Story Below