Reuben Abati


Reuben Abati, chairman, editorial board of The Guardian newspapers, is a very brilliant scholar cum journalist who has contributed greatly to nation-building through his unique style of discussing topical issues in his columns.

Abati's approach of using dialogue, narrative, essay and satire to deal with serious national issues has made his columns captivating to many readers. Most of his articles are laced with humour and this makes readers to be carried along. What exactly informed his style of writing?

Abati had a First Class Honours degree in Theatre Arts at the University of Calabar and won the Vice Chancellor's prize as the overall best graduating student of the university in 1985 among several other prizes for academic excellence. At the University of Ibadan where he did his masters and Ph.D in Theatre Arts, he distinguished himself as a university scholar between 1987 and 1990. He completed his Ph.D at the age of 24 within just two years, specialising in Dramatic Literature, Theory and Criticism.

He also did a journalism programme as Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, United States between 1996 and 1997. And in 1997, he earned an LL.B (Hons) from the Lagos State University, Ojo. The training in these three fields has immensely impacted on his writings.

As a scholar who taught a course on the aesthetics of laughter in the university, Abati finds it easy to use humour to convey his message in a dramatic and impactful manner.

As a columnist, Abati is motivated by happenings within the society and because there is never a dull moment in Nigeria, he finds the task of writing on topical issues very exciting. He is quite aware that columnists are agenda-setters who use the newspaper platform to provide leadership by assisting the public in formulating their own reaction to issues.

Over the years, Abati has won several awards for his well-informed commentaries and professional excellence both nationally and internationally. They include: The Cecil King Memorial Prize for Print Journalist of the Year, 1998; The Diamond Award for Media Excellence for Informed Commentary, 1998; Fletcher Challenge Commonwealth Prize for Opinion Writing, 2000; and Diamond Award for Media Excellence for Informed Commentary, 2000.

Abati who was a university teacher between 1985 and 1996 found it very easy to transit from the academia to journalism because both as a student and lecturer, he was consistently contributing articles to virtually all the leading Nigerian newspapers. From 1989 to 1991, he was contributing editor, Hints and Channele, both Lagos based romance magazines. He also freelanced during the period for The Guardian, Daily Sketch, Democrat, Nigerian Tribune and Daily Times. Between 1994 and 1995, he was contributing editor, Hearts, a romance magazine which he assisted in setting up. For eight months he maintained two columns under a pseudonym.

But before Abati went into journalism on a full-time basis, he was having a promising career in the academia. He was a graduate assistant, Department of Theatre Arts, University of Benin, 1985-1986 where he served as a member of the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC. While pursuing higher degrees at the University of Ibadan between 1986 and 1990, he was a teaching assistant in the "Premier University." Immediately after the completion of his Ph.D in 1990, he was appointed Lecturer II at the Department of English, Ogun State University.


List of articles by this author. See other tabs for other types of contribution

11/27/2015 10:44:29Audu’s inconclusive death​,​ Mugabe’s wheelchair / 0
11/20/2015 00:49:24Suu Kyi and the Burmese “Spring”  / 0
11/13/2015 09:19:11Super Ministers and other stories / 0
11/06/2015 11:03:30Wole Soyinka: A Sojourner Among Liars / 0
10/30/2015 09:24:14Biafra, Oodua And The Seventh Lesson  / 0
10/23/2015 08:10:17Six lessons we have learnt / 0
10/16/2015 13:38:35Clark, The Father, Jonathan, The Son / 0
07/26/2015 11:32:57 The phones no longer ring / 0
03/08/2015 14:04:13We Challenge Buhari to a Debate / 0
02/15/2015 07:43:36Obasanjo’s Unwarranted Attack On President Jonathan Is Odious, Repugnant And Self-Serving / 0
07/10/2014 13:28:58Nigeria’s Offensive Against B’Haram Charges Of A ‘Do-Nothing’ Strategy Are Misconceived  / 0
05/13/2014 18:53:40Jonathan, N’guesso Urge African Leaders To Intensify Efforts To Eradicate Terrorism / 0
05/12/2014 20:57:04Jonathan To Consult Congolese President On Security / 0
05/11/2014 17:47:16#BringBackOurGirls: Israeli Experts To Join Others In Search For Missing Girls – PresJonathan  / 0
04/23/2014 20:28:27President Jonathan Applauds General Buhari’s Patriotic Call For National Unity Against Terrorism / 0
04/16/2014 16:08:14President Jonathan summons Governors & National #Security Council members  / 0
04/10/2013 18:31:39Leadership Newspaper, Media Responsibility and the Police / 0
02/03/2013 01:33:57The hypocrisy of yesterday's men / 1
11/12/2012 12:49:23Jonathan and the Ribadu report / 0
11/05/2012 19:29:18Why the US Election Matters / 0
10/30/2012 12:06:40President Jonathan and the Floods / 0
10/22/2012 14:08:20Ondo Gubernatorial Election: Another Proof of President Jonathan's Commitment to Democracy / 0
09/09/2012 05:57:48The Gains Of Jonathan's Diplomacy / 0
08/26/2012 13:17:05The Jonathan They Don't Know / 4
08/19/2012 13:56:42Jonathan And The London Olympics / 0
02/16/2012 20:32:32[RIGHT OF REPLY] Much Ado About Stones / 0
12/18/2011 22:55:24Alex Ibru: There Goeth A Man / 0
09/17/2011 18:34:42Korean Shipyard - The President Didn't Say So / 0
08/21/2011 21:08:15President Jonathan Appoints Acting President, Court Of Appeal / 1
08/03/2011 00:01:59President Jonathan Mourns Chief Ume-Ezeoke / 0
08/01/2011 00:16:32President Jonathan on Review of Nigeria's Foreign Policy / 0
08/01/2011 00:10:36Pray For National Peace And Progress, Jonathan Urges Moslems As Ramadan Begins / 0
07/26/2011 23:45:04President Jonathan and Tenure of Office / 1
06/05/2011 12:44:01A Season For Sycophants: Their Tricks And Tactics / 1
06/03/2011 12:08:49The Vanishing Owambe Culture / 0
05/29/2011 10:44:58The Speech Jonathan Shouldn't Have Made / 3
05/27/2011 11:59:28The Emir's Clash With Namadi Sambo / 0
05/20/2011 06:10:38The beggars' opera in Lagos / 3
05/16/2011 05:30:07Jonathan And The Scramble For Political Appointments / 0
05/13/2011 06:31:36The National Assembly's unfinished tasks / 0
05/08/2011 11:24:48What Face Will Osama Show To God? / 2
05/06/2011 08:43:34Mimiko, Labour Party and the South West / 0
05/01/2011 13:15:59The Jonathan To Jonathan Transition / 0
04/29/2011 20:32:25Election 2011: Nigeria's finest moment? / 2
04/24/2011 07:13:58Abati: April 26: INEC's Make Or Break Outing . / 0
04/22/2011 11:01:06For the attention of General Buhari / 1
04/17/2011 18:53:54A New Current In Nigerian Elections? / 0
04/15/2011 21:53:26Just before the Presidential election 2011 / 2
04/10/2011 05:52:50What I Saw On Election Day / 2
04/08/2011 10:43:48A wait-and-see election / 0
Reuben Abati
Reuben Abati