A Timely Curious Walk
Wednesday 3rd of July, 2013, I traveled back to Kaduna from Lagos to meet Anna Avong, the woman activist I had settled for, out of my three prospective interviewees. I was all too aware that the final due date for the 2013 VOF Module 1 assignment was less than two weeks away! Of course it was also very expedient for me to complete my draft and send it to my Editorial mentor within the recommended time.
The following day, I called Anna to fix an appointment and she apologetically told me that she was out of town attending a Women’s Empowerment program; but would return to Kaduna later in the day or by morning of the next day. Accordingly, I called her again on Friday morning and she informed me that she returned the previous day but still had a meeting to chair that day before seeing me. However, she assured me of her readiness to grant me the interview, and promised to pay me a visit on her way home.
My exhilaration knew no bounds when she showed up a few minutes earlier than she had promised. I experienced a mixed feeling! I was full of life and could hardly contain my delight, yet, a blaze of tension burned within me. As I ushered her into my home, for a moment, I paced about restlessly (it appeared like forever); before finally settling down on a seat adjacent hers. Very quickly too, I gained poise knowing that the VOF learning materials as well as interview principles advanced to me by my Vision and Editorial mentors had already geared me up for the interview. I needed to make the most of the opportunity of having Anna around!
Since knowing Anna within close proximity, it was my first time of really paying close attention to her very impressive features, expressions and mannerisms. Beyond the well tailored red African print material and an accompanying gold colored gele (local parlance for headgear) she adorned, I was eager to listen to her. I gave her free hand to talk about any and everything about her life, work, aspiration(s) and the burning issue of the deadly attacks in her homeland; which was of particular interest to me.
Shortly, into our conversation, I discovered that she was a woman of many parts who could give hope and courage to the most dispirited soul. Though I did my best to take notes as she spoke, I knew I missed out some vital points which I however felt could be retrieved from my recording of the interview. I was however not too happy that I didn't have my camera handy and also realized too late that the phone I was using to record did not have sufficient memory space; and had stopped before long.
Consequently, I had to schedule a meeting with her the following Monday to get relevant pictures and also review our earlier discussions. For all the time I was with her on that day, we didn't get much opportunity to speak in details as she was very busy with some matters that required her urgent attention. Nonetheless, the visit was worth it as I was able to take a picture of her standing beside a glass shelve that housed her numerous plaques. How then will I not thank God that our earlier conversation happened?
When next I have an opportunity to interview a personality of interest, I will make sure that all the tools I require are readily available and in dependable condition. I will also create room for the interviewee to ask me questions as may be necessary.
To read about my time spent with Anna, see: www.worldpulse.com/node/74529