ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK – EKENE ODIGWE OF FRCN (RADIO NIGERIA) ENUGU 92.9 FM, NIGERIA

Ekene is a development journalist, Tedx speaker, Media trainer, and tech enthusiast. He works with the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, (Radio Nigeria), Coalcity 92.9 FM Enugu while volunteering for youth organizations like Young African Leaders Initiative(YALI) to champion tackle societal ills. He has a track record in development journalism with major impacts in fact-checking, ending female genital mutilation and girl child advocacy.

 He is that media personality that is using the media as a tool to mediate, advocate and push for ideas and conversations. Over the years he has invested a lot of time in media development thereby helping a lot of journalists define their niche, build their brand and equip them with skills for the 21st Century media ecosystem.

Ekene’s published articles are in over 20 newspapers, online blogs and news sites and he was responsible for designing and implementing media programme plans to deliver the Enugu state government’s project goals on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) from 2012 -2014. He currently blogs on Radio Nigeria Enugu Website under Lounge-360. Most of his works can be found here https://muckrack.com/ekeneodigwe

One of his most precious moments as a journalist will be in 2015 during the Nimbo farmers-herders clash in Uzouwani LGA of Enugu State, he witnessed how stories were purported, sensationalized, weaponized and used to instigate another set of civil unrest. Reporters and the political class used that to further their agenda because people were media illiterate and gullible. 

To save a little town from the brink of destruction started by fake news and hate speech Ekene initiated a programme called “Situation report” at Radio Nigeria 96.7 Voice FM Nsukka which was his station at the time, the concept was beyond giving the people a voice to report and share things, it was an open practice to fact-check what they hear, see and report. He had a mantra: see something, verify something, say something; then he as the radio personality will do something.There was a dedicated line and it does not matter the time, just call.

They started engaging the authorities and sieving information received all around. That programme saved a lot of lives, cleared some misinformation and corrected misrepresentation and underrepresentation of issues. That was also the first time he was involved in Fact-checking in as much as he didn’t know the proper term for it then. He knew that the audience shouldn’t be fed with unverifiable news. 

Presently, Ekene is rounding off a certification in Social Media in Public Relations from the National University of Singapore and holds an expert certification in Information Technology and Cyber Law from India, Digital footprint from the University of Edinburgh, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation from the University of Copenhagen.

The most recent project he was involved with was the Training of Southeast Journalists on Fact-checking and telling Impactful stories.

 So as journalists the bulk of public enlightenment lies with them, but what happens if these journalists don’t know how much power they wield or are not equipped to utilize this power? Across the full spectrum of development issues, and the full range of communication, public engagement and media strategies, ill-founded rumours and misinformation are a major problem. Using COVID-19 as a very current example: How can journalists best respond? Which strategies could be adopted? Nigeria is a multi-diverse, religious and political country and with the advent of social media, news dissemination and the cycle has changed, everyone is a citizen journalist, all of these were part of why he decided since he can’t stop a moving train, he can at least lay a better track for it. Therefore, with the help of International Press Centre Lagos and funding from European Union, US Consulate Lagos and Radio Nigeria Enugu Zonal Station he was able to move around 5 southeast states and 6 cities training journalists. The impact of that training can be accessed here https://www.docdroid.net/w0VtxGp/pre-and-post-training-survey-on-fact-checking-in-journalism-1-pptx#?secret=5lbH1Ta9VJ

Ekene is the winner ofRadio Personality of the Year 2016, On-Air Personality of the year 2017 and YALI Leadership Award2018.

He enjoys listening to Chike’s song “Watching over me” and he is open to working with anyone on any project, even as a guest contributor. 

DM him @Ekeneodigwe on all social media platform or WhatsApp +2348068437568 

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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