Expressing myself through journalism
I have a degree in English Language from the University of Abuja. I have a very long history of educational pursuit and I believe that is what has made me the person that I am today. I went to different schools because my father was always on transfer. I went to New Bussa Primary School in Kainji. My father was then working at the Niger River Basin. I finished primary school in 1979 at NEPA Junior Staff School. Then I went to Burgu Secondary School, New Bussa and then moved to Girls’ School, Obangede, in Kogi State and from there to Himma Community Secondary School and finally finished at Community Secondary School, Ogamnana, in 1986.
I didn’t go straight to the university due to some personal issues. There was a long break in-between during which I went to the Kwara State Polytechnic and was there for two years. I went to the University of Abuja in 1991 graduated in 2000. So I spent close to 10 years getting a four-year degree. My stay in the University of Abuja was quite eventful because during that period, I was expelled, suspended and arrested because I was a students’ union activist and we had issues with the school. We were trying to set the pace for the school. We felt it was on our shoulders to leave a legacy been the first sect of school. There were too many things going wrong and we were aiming to correct them. We held several protests. Sadly, some of them were violent and as usual, some of them were hijacked by criminal elements. We had to take responsibility for it. We were harassed. We went to court and in-between that period was when I went to the Institute of Journalism and got a diploma and started work while the issues were being resolved. Eventually, we had a very humane VC, Dr.Laraba, who called us back and asked us to withdraw the case from court and come and resume from where we left off. I was already in my final year at that time. So we did that and I graduated eventually with a second class upper. The school also gave me my most cherished certificate; Certificate of Excellence, which was the very first, at a very elaborate ceremony.
So these are things that have shaped me. When you spend 10 years getting a four-year degree; it tells a lot. But the good thing is that the NUJ was very supportive of our cause at that time. The structures of the NUJ were there for us.
I didn’t go for NYSC. I was too upset with the system that I took exemption. By the time I graduated, I was already practicing journalism. I worked for Woman Today newspaper, The Herald, for some sports magazines and newspapers as well. I was given an appointment letter by Daily Trust but I couldn’t accept it because I was ill. So I’ve progressed and presently I work with the Voice of Nigeria (VON) and I’m the online editor heading the social media unit. I am also the first female secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) in the FCT and chairman of the Voice Of Nigeria (VON) chapel of NUJ.
It was tough because I was an only girl. So I always had to assert myself in the midst of boys. I grew very comfortable around them, which is why I don’t find issues working with men. I don’t see barriers between men and myself. But apart from that, my childhood was fun and we were a very close-knit family.
I’m still working on my main challenge in life; which is having a child with special needs. I have three kids and the last of them had issues at birth. He was sick and the consequence is that he’s behind in reaching development and milestones. When you have that kind of child, your life stops. It stops because no one even understands what you’re battling. He was born in 2004 when knowledge on disabilities in Nigeria was limited; and still is. If I had the right medical attention for him, he would have been okay. He was neglected by three different doctors at three different hospitals who all told me he would be okay and as a result he suffered brain damage due to the coma. One of the doctors actually told me to allow him to go because they felt that he would be a burden to me and I