Vanguard reporter Yemisi Suleiman, Nollywood actress Chioma Akpotha and Comedian AY were all on the same flight back to Lagos where they went to attend AMAA (Africa Movie Academy Awards). Apparently, Yemisi and Chioma got into a fight. Vanguard published their side of the story, but Comedian AY has a different take. Read both versions below;
Like most Nollywood stars, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha is not given to pretence. She’s always ready to vibrate and return fire-for-fire.
Last Sunday evening was not different. Following the frustration and exhaustion that greeted everyone after the AMAA awards and the endless wait at the Port-Harcourt International Airport, Chioma boarded the evening flight back to Lagos, however something happened!
Vanguard reports that a quarrel ensued between Chioma and a Lagos based female journalist, Yemisi Suleiman (who was trying to interview her), which caused the actress to loose her temper in a manner that attracted the attention of everyone on board. Chioma claimed that the journalist was rude to her, adding that most painfully, she “called me Igbo bitch and all that’. I wouldn’t blame her because AMAA brought us together. I can conveniently pay her salary,” she fumed.
A colleague of mine just said and I quote “I think Chioma needs to work on her anger issues especially in public…you will recall that she was the same person that disgraced herself even with fellow stars at the Gulder Ultimate Search for celebrities a few years back.”
Recalling what happened between Chioma Akpotha and Yemisi (The Vanguard reporter) on the AMAA flight from Port Harcourt, one would have expected a cultured woman to be contrite and apologize forthwith, since everybody is error-prone. I crave your indulgence to say this not because the former is a movie star and the latter a journalist. More so, I dread not to raise my voice for the truth and my compassion against injustice.
It was quite unfortunate to read a report from today’s Vanguard Online in favour of Yemisi (their staff), as against Chioma Akpotha who was publicly insulted alongside every Igbo speaking individual on that flight, by Yemisi. Besides, if some of us do have the franchise to suffer disharmony with our personal values, I still want to believe that in reporting a case, Professional Journalism should keep it quite professional by not identifying with any side in an issue of this manner. But this is obviously not the case of the Vanguard reporter who wrote the story between Chioma Akpotha and Yemisi. The reporter in question has proven to me that fiction can sometimes make a better job of the truth and an exaggerated relativism.
How could you in every sense of professionalism start a story involving your fellow reporter and Chioma Akpotha by saying “Like most Nollywood stars, Chioma Chukwuka-Akpotha is not given to pretence. She’s always ready to vibrate and return fire-for-fire. Last Sunday evening was not different. Smarting from the frustration and exhaustion that greeted everyone after the AMAA awards and the endless wait at the Port-Harcourt International Airport, Chioma boarded the evening flight back to Lagos, determined to cause another stir on board”.
Determined to cause another stir on board? I am 100 per cent convinced that even a blind reader could perceive that your biased and fully loaded rifle was well targeted at the Nollywood actress from the very beginning of your report. My dear journalist (the almighty one with the ability to make and kill the career that was given by God), what happened to being objective and giving equal space to all sides in your news gathering?
So the best you could do to justify your false report was to hide the identity of the Vanguard reporter by concluding thus: “A quarrel ensued between herself and a Lagos based female journalist, which caused the actress to loose [sic] her temper in a manner that attracted the attention of everyone on board. But for the fact that she was on board, the visibly angry Chioma would have done the unexpected.
She claimed that the journalist was rude to her, adding that most painfully, she “called me Igbo bitch and all that’. I wouldn’t blame her because AMAA brought us together. I can conveniently pay her salary,” she fumed. Who cares!”
Now would you really like to know who cares? AY cares! And yes I was on that same flight like many other industry people including a good number of foreigners who flew in to be a part of AMAA 2013.
The poor Chioma only succeeded in getting her multiple visa of becoming a “lousy bitch” when Yemisi was brushing through the president of Eko International Film Festival, Mr. Hope Obioma Opara. She was obviously in a hurry to make the exit when the flight touched ground. All Chioma said to her was “take it easy they are yet to open the exit door”.
She brushed her way through to two other ladies who sat in front; the next word that came out of her mouth was “lousy Igbo girls”. Apparently, Chioma heard what she said and asked “did you just refer to me as a Lousy Igbo girl? The best response from your Yemisi was “what if I did?” (I am so sure she wouldn’t ask an Angelina Jolie or a Kim Kardashian that same question if she were to be on the same flight with any of them).
Perhaps she would have started twitting immediately, saying “AMAA things…. Kim just asked me to take it easy, they are yet to open the exit door. Wow wow wow 2013 my year of exit opening doors”). But definitely not to a Nollywood multiple awards winning happily married actress with kids. Chioma Akpotha, Grace Ama, and Nollywood producer Chinwe Egwuagu were still busy playing catch-up with Yemisi when she went on target again like the Boston Bombers to launch another verbal bullet.
This time she called them ‘LOUSY BITCHES’.
Chioma Akpotha managed to get off the bomb scene through the help of some of us who were on hand to stop the detonation of further bombs by Yemisi. Not even knowing she was a journalist from The Vanguard Newspapers, Chioma said “I will allow my God to fight you. It’s even possible that it is an Igbo person that is paying your salary. I wouldn’t blame you because AMAA brought us together. I am sure that I can convincingly pay your salary”.
For your information, Chioma Akpotha did not deserve all she got from your colleague ‘Yemisi’, whom you have proudly disguised or baptized to become a Lagos based Journalist. Who knows? Maybe by tomorrow “Miss Lagos based Journalist” could go through another baptism of fire to become “According to a reliable source”, all in the name of bringing down a fellow creation to the excitement of your colleague who ought to go to God and ask for forgiveness.
I hope she did not forget to let you into the corrective measures I gave to her? I am not a fan of anyone with uncultured attitude and public display of visible arrogance. Kindly ask her to remind you, so that I will not fail to be on your list of the next set of career-killing candidates. Or should I tell you the opinion of others concerning Yemisi on that same flight?
I guess there won’t be any need for that, because I am very sure of us having many more LOUSY BITCHES cut across the Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Ghanaians, South Africans and Americans on that AMAA flight. I would intentionally skip the question of the speedy hibernation in tribal cocoons, which is indeed unfortunate even as we try to push for a more detribalized mindset. (Please don’t mistake me for an Igbo man or take it that I am fighting for my “IGBO LOUSY BITCHES”. I am a full-blooded Yoruba Man like Yemisi)
Finally, my dear Madam Yemisi, kindly permit me to point out that contrition is a sign of strength, not weakness. To my “Amiable honorable I must defend my colleague till death”, I would like to plead with you in your capacity as a widely followed public reporter, to kindly grant objectivity its rightful place in your reports.
‘A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.’ But three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. May we bear in mind that the Internet and social media have come to stay. We now have millions of followers who would at least hear our own side of the story before we are judged or criticised.