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“This programme is not for the sake of certificates. Is not for you to get a certificate to add to the many you already have. But the essence is that you learn things and ideas to practically implement and find useful tools to do so going forward”

The above will form part of Mr. Isaac Ezechukwu’s opening remarks on our first day of the programme. We are only just in the second month and the scales are falling off my eyes and that of many others.

There have been the “Aha” moments for me, the moments of questioning, moments of inspiration (NOT as per Motivational Speech) but ideas that illuminate my mind on how best I can function and remain relevant and sought after in the business of journalism; there have been moments of conflicts in the ideas I hold strongly to been shattered for free! But above all the moments of surprises and new ideas and practical solutions to employ. And not just the quality of resources- materials and lecturers, but even my fellow participants- oh, the heated arguments such as “will AI replace journalists”? that stemmed from the very revealing session from Mr. Anthony Osae- Brown. The diverse and yet very convincing opinions. It is a room full of experts and strongly opinionated and intelligent minds. Where else would I rather be. I say, such a time to be alive!

Several times within the different classes I have had to disconnect and quicky send a few messages to some incredible media personnel and journalists I know to say “hey, lookout for this programme next year and make sure to apply”. And this is coming from the place where I am already seeing the value and hope for more people to leverage on the opportunity.

I like to say that this programme hits me hard. Every day I leave the class with the question “what more can I do and do so quickly” What new principle do I need to apply? Because it feels like “no time to waste time”. But at the same time, I am not pressurized, I am charged to change and adapt.

One of the classes that left me feeling this way was on content creation taken by Muyiwa Aleshinloye on New Media, Content Creation and Engagement where I grappled with the question is Content King or the consumer-audience, listeners, viewers is King?

What stays with me is how this programme propels me to begin to make the changes already even while in class and seeing real time where the issues are and what are possible solutions. It will be ambitious for me to say, I have all my answers. I still have grey areas; I am also challenging some thought patterns. But I am excited for the months ahead and at the prospect that things must be done differently in terms of the stories I tell, how I tell, to whom I tell them, the mode I employ and the manner to do same.

Again, I say, what a time to be alive.

And like my picture attached, my charge is to keep peeping into the eyes of knowledge to keep seeking it

Amaka Okoye

Amaka Okoye

A seasoned and an award-journalist who has practiced both in and outside of Nigeria. She has covered varied beats but her forte is Conflict and Crisis Reporting. She majors in reporting terrorism, banditry and abductions in the Northern part of Nigeria.

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