The Danger Of Being A Writer
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The Danger of being a writer is that sometimes you get lost in the world of writing…
Today I arrived at the MMA2 airport for my 9:30 am flight to Port-Harcourt. After checking in, I went to the security counter used re-verify ID cards against boarding passes. In simple English they serve as an additional check in-case the check-in counter did a bad job in verifying IDs… genius! Except that it did not quite function that way today …
I presented my drivers license and my boarding pass to the officer on duty. My face was checked against my ID picture, then my name was checked against the boarding pass and then the boarding pass was signed. I was cleared to enter the boarding area.
And then, just as I was about to vacate the vicinity, I caught in my peripheral vision the glimpse of a young guy arguing with the security officer that just checked my card. It was not the loud biosterous argument, but that quiet I-do-not-want-to-draw-attention-to-myself argument. With the young man saying “I have always done this before, there is no issue.” And then the security guard seemingly confused at what the young man was saying looked down … I followed his eyes to the countrer and there it was … a red debit card.
Said young man was trying to board a domestic flight with a debit card as his picture ID. But the problem was of course that Debit Cards do not have pictures on them.
No wonder the security guard was confused, the very purpose of his job was to match a face to an ID card and then the name on the same ID card to the boarding pass. In short words, a debit card could not be used to board a plane because it had no picture.
But right in
my peripheral vision front of me, the security guard either unsure of his duties or too lazy to argue … cleared him. Allowing that young man to board a domestic flight in Nigeria with just a debit card.
I was shocked, how can this happen. This is a travesty. I have to WRITE about this! I had already even formed the opening words for the post
“Live at MMA2: individual goes to security counter with a debit card as picture ID but there is no picture on the card…”
And so I posted it on facebook here https://www.facebook.com/ofilispeaks/posts/10152002165957307 and the likes came in and then the comments.
But then someone asked “You no hala for them?” aka “So what did you do about it?”
And for the first time I realized that I could have done something in that moment… but I did nothing.
And you see, that is danger of being a writer, a journalist, a photographer and even a gossip. And it is that we are so pre-occupied with capturing the perfect picture, the perfect gist, the perfect story and the perfect moment that we forget that we can actually tell the security officer that debit cards cannot be used as picture IDs, that we forget that we can report the situation to other authorities rather than just blogging about it and that we forget that we can actually ALTER the moment.
The Danger of being a writer is that sometimes we get lost in the world of writing … like I did this morning …
Written and Drawn By Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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