GAL FRIDAY: Risking life and limb


Ebola. Serious thing. My friend Keitha Sobers blue vex. “Why a reporter got to go to cover the story?”

“You think Anderson Cooper or Christiane Amanpour would go, knowing this thing contagious as a yawn?” The question arose: would I – as one with a passion for broadcast presentation – risk my life for coverage of a story? Short answer: no. You see, I remember contracting chicken pox when I was younger; and I have learnt my lesson.

My father was in the early stages of the virus and my oral presentation was due. Students had to present on a current health issue; and I was determined to get up-close and personal with my poxed progenitor. Armed with a recorder, in spite of my bellowing mother, I was determined to deliver a stellar story. To make a long story short, I did ace my orals; but a few days later, when I had to write the A level examination, I did so in isolation, for fear that I would contaminate my classmates.

So, when it comes to matters of contagion, it is a precarious predicament for media houses to decide if they are obligated to send a journalist for coverage. In war zones, it is up to the reporter to determine if he is willing to risk life and limb; he may either be killed or return home. But regarding reportage of highly communicable conditions, it is important that we not jeopardise public health.

Before I go, it was real jeopardy in Thorpe’s Cottage on Monday. Monkeying around to a new level. I think monkeys real cute, but to see this pint-sized primate causing so much havoc was horrific. Interfering with the poor sheep, leading them from the pasture, peeping through people’s windows, pelting stones at passers-by. He kinda reminds me of a teenager named Paige.

Paige needed praying for. There was to be a meeting at my house, and I came home one day to meet a gathering of pray-ers. Before they began, the conversation centred on demons and possession. I get real frightened. I could hardly watch a trailer for a horror movie, much less hear about heads spinning 360 degrees and thing. But the talk was all about demons and how they inhabit humans. I couldn’t take it another minute.

I went to my room and as I was about to get into the shower, imagine a body – flat out on the floor – just by the sink. I am sure Hoadie could hear me scream all the way in St Andrew. I flew out in a fit, but without an outfit. Panting that a demon was upstairs, the congregation regarded me a possessed woman. As I turned to take a sheet from my mother, I saw a man exiting my room, apologising to me, while castigating my father.

“You never tell her I was fixing the sink, man?” To Velo, Richard and precious plumbers everywhere, I send my love. And get this, reader: Paige is now a plumber.

Veoma Ali is an author, actor, broadcaster, advertising exec, and most important, a karaoke lover.


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