I met the weird CNN journalist while trying to lose weight in Lagos

I stumbled upon Richard Quest in Lagos, and it still has an effect on my body goals.

Richard Quest and Joey Akan

This is a story of how I met Richard Quest. It is the most boring story you would ever read from Nigeria, and if you cannot stand a tale about two boring people taking photos in public spaces, then you should click on other Pulse stories.

But since you are here, and you know that there’s nothing in this life that is too serious, then continue. You’ve tried. I love you.

Richard Quest is a funny man. He moves funnily, talks like he’s about to break into a smile, and he does have a way with his words which is both witty, and fascinating. Why does he talk like this? How does he generate that quality that hooks people onto him. From the first day I saw him as a young child in Nigeria, I knew I liked this guy.

The English journalist and CNN International anchor and reporter, based in New York City, New York is in Lagos.

He anchors Quest Means Business. In addition to anchoring the five-times-weekly business programme, Quest hosts the monthly programme CNN Business Traveller and CNN Marketplace Europe. He formerly anchored the monthly show Quest and the daily show CNN Today which was geared towards morning audiences in Europe.

And he kills it every time, combining facts from the business world, with witty reporting and a charming persona to create a very potent mix of screen time. So strong is his personality that he has a cult following around the world, who do not miss any one of his shows.

But I miss his shows. Heck, this is Nigeria, and constant electricity is still a luxury in this part of the world. In 2017.

Back to Quest.

Every morning, I love to jog across the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge twice. Basically because I’m fighting a ballooning waistline at 25, and also because the bridge and its connectivity has become the new defining landmark of Lagos.

So this morning, a regular day, as usual. I wake up, jump into workout clothes and a sneakers, and I was ready. Jogging on that bridge is an exercise in diversity. Lekki-Ikoyi bridge has a very diverse population of runners. You might start out running with a Nigerian, overtake a Kenyan in five minutes, and by the time you get to the half-way point, you will find two Indians, an American, a German biking.

It’s beautiful.

But that morning, it wasn’t just an American. It was Quest, who was there.

Mid-way through my jogging, I see a convoy of two SUVs and mobile police security men hanging around it. A young Nigerian man was leaning on one of the SUVs, and had the air of impatience. I simply ran past the entire set up, and kept on.

And on my way back, that convoy had moved to the middle of the bridge, and there were cameras out. A recording was happening. I focused on my business, and jogged past them with just a momentary glance. After a few paces, my brain screamed out.

“Joey, you are missing something.” The alarm bells rang out in my head. And I turned around.

And there he was, through the mass of security, cinematographers and PR people and technicians, stood Richard Quest. Funny look, weird smile, and all.

I walked back, introduced myself to security and PR, before moving in for my photo.

“Hello Quest, good to meet you finally. Big fan. Let’s get a photo.” I offered.

And of course. That smile. That trademark curling of his lips, the big white teeth, and then the voice.

“Sure, let’s do it.” That famous voice concurred. It was slightly less impressive, than it when broadcasted, but it had a personal quality that was rich, and normal. It did feel great. Much like hanging out with an artist.

We took a couple of selfies which Richard Quest directed, and then shook and said goodbye. And off I went, energized to complete my running distance.

I still haven’t lost my weight, neither have I met all of my life goals. This is not a story where I was super inspired to be great and all of that. I didn’t get rubbed off by Quest like that.

But up until now, each time I pull out my phone, and stare at these my photos with Richard Quest, I feel an increase in my head size. some people call it pride. Others say I have a disease of head-swelling.

But trust me, it feels good.


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