By Ibitoye Shittu
People call him the Dean of the Sports faculty based on his achievements and ways he painstakingly made name for himself locally and internationally.
As far as Sports is concerned in Nigeria, there is no land where the name “Bayour Issah” is not known or heard, thanks to his brilliancy, rugedity, and even if you decide to call him a god of Sports reporting, he worth it.
For those that don’t know who Mr. Bayour Issah, he’s one of the veterans in Sports Journalism in Nigeria.
Mr. Issah is the CEO of Sportspro International, a sports firm that has produced many great sports journalists and administrators. Chief Alloy Chukwuemeka, Wale Mustapha, Shogo Shodunnke, yours truly and many more.
He’s one of the founding reporters of Complete Sports and Sports Souvenir.
On a Monday morning in Offa in the year 2004, I was in my Mum’s place of work then at the General Hospital where she worked for years as a Nurse…..she then turned on the Radio to Radio Kwara AM, and I started listening to a man vibing and disseminating local sports which inspired me excellently.
That was the day I made up my mind to become a Journalist and I also chose Sports as a beat I would move into going against my mum’s and dad’s interest of me becoming a Lawyer.
Initially, I wanted to become a Lawyer, but Bayour Issah’s excellent ways of reporting made me change my mind.
How will I also forget another role model called Jide Allen. He inspired me a lot and was the first man on earth to mention my name on air.
After listening to Bayour Issah on Radio Kwara 3 times, I later bought a private Radio device that I used to monitor his show and that of Jide Allen.
If you are a Kwaran or reside in Kwara and you’re lover of Sports, then you must remember years back that when it’s 7:45am on Radio Kwara AM, it’s time to listen to Jide Allen.
Making my first appearance on TV/Radio
In August 2006, I got a call from Bayour Issah who invited me to come to Radio Kwara for Sports analysis. I was in cloud 9 that day and I rushed to my mum to tell her.
On that evening that I entered the Radio Kwara studio, I was very happy and sitting beside me was a very young and agile man (Wale Mustapha) whom we later became close friends.
Bayour Issah also gave me my first ever appearance on TV which was on Kwara TV in which we both analyzed Sports together for 30 minutes in 2007.
Bayour Issah’s inspiration paved ways for me to start Sports Reporting on Okin FM when the station was newly created.
I started the first ever Sports show in Offa on Okin FM before SBJ Malawi and Wale Mustapha later joined me as Offa people, Kwarans and my fans would still remember how they used to on their radios by 7am Monday to Friday to listen to me.
Landing my first professional job
In July 2010, a Legend in Sports industry Emeka Enyadike reached me on Facebook after reading one of my articles that I posted on a Sports Group.
He then asked for my number and promised to call me. Enyadike called me on a Monday afternoon and introduced himself as the African Football Manager at SuperSport.
I was very happy and we started talking in which he later asked me to tell him who trained me.
I told Enyadike that Bayour Issah trained me and he was impressed.
He said:” Bayour Issah is my friend, but I have not spoken to him since I relocated to South Africa. Send me his number, and if it’s true that he trained you, I will hire you.”
I sent Bayour Issah’s number to Enyadike and they spoke and it was also a chance for two old friends to reunite.
Then, I was serving in Delta State and Emeka Enyadike said he would monitor me for six months in which he gave me many assignments to do.
After my NYSC, Enyadike hired me as a reporter for SuperSport.
SuperSport helped me to go places as I traveled to many nations covering Sporting activities.
It also gave me the chance to meet new colleagues like Sammy Wejinya and Andrew Randa who up till today treat me like their younger brother.
Bayour Issah is indeed a blessing not to only me, but to many generations.
The Dean of Sports worth getting a Statue at the Kwara state stadium in Ilorin.
Thank you Bayour Issah as my lineage will never forget you.
Ibitoye Shittu writes from Ilorin.