Growing up in Nigeria, most of the news that dominated the media were political reports with little or no coverage on human interest stories. For years I wondered if it was taboo to give a voice to ordinary people or to report on how government reforms affected the ordinary people on the street. Thus, when I learned about Global Press Institute and its vision of empowering women to report issues overlooked by mainstream media. I learned that GPI reporters directly contribute to the development and empowerment of their communities, and I knew I had to be a part of it. I am inspired by GPI's model of amplifying the voices of people at the bottom of the pyramid for development.
Since joining the team as a freelance reporter in 2011, I have been learning the rudiments of true investigative journalism. I remember my first article was very critical of the Nigerian government and its lack of support for women entrepreneurs at the grassroots, but the article was returned by the editor with a note guiding me to balance the story. That was one of my first lessons as a GPI reporter: the need for proper investigation and the importance of a balanced story. It changed my reporting style for good.
Before joining GPI, my experience in journalism included contributing as a weekly columnist to The Nation Newspaper, one of Nigeria's national newspapers, and also serving at CP-Africa, a pan-African news portal. Other experiences in international journalism include covering President Obama's meeting with young African leaders in Washington D.C. in 2010 and also reporting live on the first Rolex Young Laureates Awards in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2010. I served as a speaker during the World Press Freedom Day 2011 held in Washington D.C. I spoke on youth consumption of new media, its challenges and opportunities, under the theme "Digital Native: The New Media Generation."
In October 2011, I served as one of the Youth Bloggers for UNESCO Youth Forum held in Paris, France. I also served recently as an online curator and blog editor for UNAIDS’ Youth Project- CrowdOutAIDS. The work experience broadened my horizon on how to maximize the new media as a tool to disseminate information, increase collaboration and promote development. As a mass communication graduate from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, I consider myself an ardent communicator, passionate about development issues. Where international development is concerned, I'm just getting started.