New Telegraph

‘How youths can build capacity, attain greatness in the media’

Nigerian students studying mass communications have been advised on how to stand out in their chosen field. The secret to success was shared to the students by Miss Sharon Alake Ijasan, an investigative reporter and multiple award winner with Television Continental (TVC). Ijasan revealed these steps during an annual symposium, in conjunction with the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos.

The theme of the event was: ‘Mad About You (MAY).’ She said: “The industry is very tight and mass communications’ students have to step up their games.” She further emphasized the importance of the library, knowing deadlines, prayerfulness, the essence of being a deep thinker, and also the habit of constantly being conscious of one’s ultimate goals and getting priorities right. Another speaker at the event, Mr Ozorbemem Uche, who is an assistant provost at the O2 Academy, spoke on “Attraction and Distraction.” According to him, knowing what one is good at and bridging the gap between attraction and distraction is very essential. Uche also spoke about mistakes, failure and how to tackle challenges. He further explained the need to avoid distractions and find your attractions in knowing one’s strength and passion in a chosen field.

He added: “It’s a journey and not a destination, grab whatever opportunity you have and don’t run away from any information and in doing that transfer your pain to your purpose.” Another speaker, the owner of Owanbe Food, Mr Ola Abraham Emmanuel, who is also the author of ‘Thirty Shades of Madness,’ started his session by asking triggering questions like “What is the best thing you want to be? What is the worst thing you want to become? How do I get there? What will you face in the journey? How will you overcome whatever you face?” He added: “Your association can put a cap on you and will not make you leave a certain stage.

It’s a poor thing to be a poor man and I will never be poor.” He revealed how he systematically and strategically missed classes in school to make money when he came to the realization that he could make money inside school instead of going for jobs and missing classes.

Emmanuel said: “I was smart and so I started helping the lazy ones to do their assignment in return for money.” He spoke about building capacity and the need for journalists to know something about everything and everything about something to succeed in life. The final speaker, Mrs Titilope Ogunluyi, who is a Principal Officer at Drug Demand Reduction with the NDLEA, spoke on the implications and challenges of drug abuse. Ogunluyi, who is also a member of the International Society of Substance Use, Prevention and Treatment Professionals, said: “The youths are the most vulnerable and if you are not healthy, your dreams can’t come through.” On drug abuse and other vices, she said: “We are talking about a healthy lifestyle and drugs can be abused when it is not biologically necessary.

To be healthy is a state whereby one has to be physically, mentally, psychologically and emotionally fit. Healthy living involves having a balanced diet. Africans are so blessed but we don’t know what we have, we try to emulate the western world we eat junks and call it food. We forget that we are the product of what we put in our mouth. “If you eat right, you can function well mentally and that drug addicts should not be labelled because everybody is addicted to one thing or the other either positive or negative and labelling people that do drugs is not important because they need help.”

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