It is widely believed that the convention in the broadcasting world is to relate using first names.
Dr Reuben Abati only recently, caused a stir during a live session of Arise TV’s “The Morning Show.”
Mary Chinda was at the airport to give an update on the Nigerian evacuees and she had called him by his name, “Reuben”, when he asked her a question.
He couldn’t hide his feelings and had openly called Chinda “mannerless” and also outrightly saying “were you at my naming ceremony”, a phrase regularly used in the Yoruba tradition to put a younger person in his or her place for being ill-mannered.
It is indeed in the real sense disrespectful for a Junior individual to call a senior one by first names in most cultural settings in Africa.
While not trying to “pull down” Dr Abati, it is pertinent to state here that the saying “When you are in Rome, you behave like the Romans,” should come into play here.
Mary Chinda cannot also be regarded as a neophyte in broadcasting, as she holds her first and second degrees in Mass Communication with vast experience with the Enugu Broadcasting Corporation, Plus TV Africa and News Central TV.
While she cannot be called a “greenhorn” in broadcasting, she cannot however also be compared with Dr Abati, who is a trained Journalist, having spent well over 30 years in the industry, having at some point being the Chairman of the Editorial board in The Guardian, an Editorial board member of ThisDay and now with Arise TV.
The two individuals are professionals in their respective rights, it is hence believed by all and sundry that they should both “know their onions” in the industry.
Research however revealed that the use of first names in the industry is a norm, so it can really not be fathomed why Dr Abati who is expected to be well grounded in the industry would feel slighted by Chinda’s “ill-mannered” approach.
It is also being postulated in several quarters that shouldn’t Dr Abati have tried to “draw a thin line” between the norms in the industry and tradition.
The question still rages, was Mary Chinda disrespectful or did Dr Reuben Abati goof?