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  One of Nigeria’s iconic broadcasters and trailblazer in sports journalism, Yinka Craig, distinguished himself as a role model, a worthy mentor and a figurehead to many younger journalists both within and outside the field of sports journalism.
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Early Life And Career

Yinka Craig’s passion as a younger man saw him greatly desiring to be a sociologist and hopefully, study sociology to the highest level of instituted education, the doctoral level. He envisioned both studying and lecturing in the said field in the United States of America and possibly, settling there. But as the saying goes, ‘man proposes but God disposes’, the carved path in the broadcasting sector was what he followed. In 1967, He joined the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation (now Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria) as a studio operator. The opportunity gave him the window to rise to the limelight as a sports commentator and analyst in the 1980s while as a staff of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). In 1990 after his voluntary retirement from service with the NTA, he went into packaging private corporate documentaries just as he was involved in information technology (IT) and computer operations, through his marketing communications outfit, Yinka Craig and Associates. However, he remained actively involved in television programming and soon became famous for his presentation of Newsline, a highly regarded news magazine feature on television. Later, Craig also served as the main anchor of AM Express, an early morning show that is laced with freshness and originality. Craig impressed viewers with his encyclopaedic grasp of varied subjects and inimitable presentation style.
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A very well-informed commentator, he was one of the most travelled broadcast journalists of his time. Craig later confessed that he had to give up sports analysis in order to diversify his talents. That decision brought out the best in him as a multi-talented professional.

Other Interests And Death

This multi-talented nature of Yinka Craig manifested also in his expressions as a multi-instrumentalist. He was quite skilful on instruments such as the guitar, the saxophone and the piano. This made him keen on happenings in the entertainment sector of the country, more specifically, the music sector. His knowledge of music also enabled him to grossly contribute to the entertainment sector. Yinka Craig died on September 23, 2008, aged 60 after losing his spirited battle of over 18 months with cancer of the lymphatic systems at a clinic in Rochester, Minnesota in the United States of America. It is said that he approached the illness with the same attributes for which he was known: courage and dignity. He was an amiable man who distinguished himself in his chosen career, for close to 40 years and who, in the process became a mentor to many. It is true that people deserve to be given their flowers while they are still alive. Yinka Craig deserves a lot of accolades for all He represented for sports journalism especially amongst many other things. A man that has impacted society in so many ways to the point that individuals and corporate entities offered to contribute to Craig’s huge medical bills and did so. He is one that should be remembered not just often, but fondly. Sources: Vanguard NG Featured Image Source: QED NG
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This article was first published on 10th October 2021


Jeremiah is a scholar and a poet. He has a keen eye for studying the world and is passionate about people. He tweets at @jeremiahaluwong.

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