This week in Freetown
i called Phillip Neville editor of standard times to report a certain small but recurring issue that had been brought to my attention. A couple weeks ago a friend called “Vickie u know say u picture day na paper tiday” “R u joking” “Nope, u picture day na standard times relationship/advice section”
My heart began to pound as i wondered which one of my escapades could have landed me in the papers…hmm…i could think of only one.
Well it turns out that standard times has been using a photo of me with the eyes blacked out under the headline born to rule men. The article was generally on women who control men etc. and said nothing about me at all and my image accompanied the story. I was shocked and a bit confused and though i resolved to take it up with them, i didnt.
It happened again every friday for two weeks and i realized they may never leave me alone.I called the editor and explained to him that my picture was being used in the paper without my permission. Mr. Neville said that was impossible and that i should find a copy of the paper and tell him the page. I told him i didnt have a copy but that it certainly was me as several friends had recognized me and I’d seen it myself.
He told me to call him back once i had the paper i said ok knowing full well from the sound and tone of his voice that not only did he think i was lying but that he felt he had better things to do.
I was surprised when my phone rang some ten mins later with Mr. Neville on the phone. “Okay, i have the paper. where is your picture” I told him the headline. He flipped to the page and said “This can not be you. this woman is lightskinned and she has long black hair” I was almost going to go off on an outburst about sierra leone women etc etc but simply i said “no its me, standing on pa demba rd” “it is not possible that it is you we got this image from the internet” “Okay fine. i will send u the link to the site where u got the image and the original from my desktop”.
He said send it as tho he didnt believe that i was going to send it or that i would send it and he would have the last laugh
I got his email address and sent the photo and the link to my blog. At about an hour later i got a call from someone from standard times seems Mr. Neville could not handle the defeat.
Someone came on the phone “oh hello my name is so and so and i am sorry oh. we did nt know it was someone here. i searched on the internet for sierra leonean faces sorry. Anyway where in town do u leave”. Ignoring his advance i said “please confirm that u will not use my image again. thank u” “Yes we wont use it again sorry” “thank u”