IWD: Celebrating Nigeria’s Women in Journalism 

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Every March 8, the International Women’s Day is celebrated globally. This year is no different! To mark the day, Chiemelie Ezeobi and Mary Nnah profile some amazons in the newsroom across Nigeria who operate behind the scene in churning out news, changing the narrative and above all, touching lives with reports in their respective beats. Day-in, day-out, these crop of fearless female journalists brave the odds to get news worthy stories notwithstanding the challenges as they multitask in being reporters, gate keepers, and in some cases, successfully manage the home front as wives and mothers, including the career templates.

Although most journalism and mass communication institutions in Nigeria are dominated by females, the flip side is that the males dominate the field of practice. It is not out of place, therefore, to conclude that gender imbalance exists in mass communication education and practice. While the imbalance in education tends to favour females, the imbalance in the field of practice tends to favour the male.

It is therefore not surprising that females who practice are faced with numerous challenges, from sexism to prejudice, stereotype, conscious bias, discrimination and gender misrepresentation etc.

That notwithstanding, women in journalism have evolved from being relegated to beats like fashion and religion to heading crime, politics and even energy desks. In some cases, some women have even becomes editors of papers and managing directors of television houses, case in point- Ijeoma Nwogwugwu who edited THISDAY Newspaper before moving over to Arise TV News Channel, Africa as the managing director.

You can say she has completely shattered whatever glass ceiling in the profession. She has risen from business reporting to becoming the Business Editor, Saturday Editor, Sunday Editor and then the editor of THISDAY. For the record, she is the third person and the only woman to have edited the three titles of the newspaper, coming after Mr. Eniola Bello, now the Managing Director, and Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, the Editorial Board Chairman.

Does it mean everything good has come for the women folk? No! But that hasn’t stopped them from continually breaking the glass ceiling in using the power of the media to advance humanity.

So, in marking the 2020 International Women’s Day (IWD) themed ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’, which aligns with UN Women’s new multigenerational campaign, Generation Equality, which also marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, here are some of our Women in Journalism (WIJ) who are making their marks either in print or broadcast

Ijeoma Nwogwugwu: Managing Director, Arise TV

I am Ijeoma Nwogwugwu with THISDAY Newspapers. I have been on Business Desk for 25 years and counting. I edited the desk and the Saturday, Sunday and Daily titles before moving to Arise News Channel, Africa.

The journey has been exciting, tasking and fulfilling. But who says hard work does not pay. Journalism is one of the few professions where you can get excellent exposure.

If you are by nature competitive and want to stand out from a seminal and creative perspective, it is the ideal job for those with the listed personality traits. But it can take a toll on your personal health and life because of the long hours and sacrifices that you have to make. But at the end of the day, it’s all been worth every late night and tasking assignment.

Nike SotadeSaturday Editor, The Guardian 

I joined The Guardian as a reporter in 1991 and I have since had a career progression from becoming a correspondent to assistant Features Editor, Metro Editor and presently title editor.

So far, I have been in the profession for 29 years.  It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice of your time to be able to gain recognition among your peers, as journalism is not a 9-5 job, but a 24/7 profession that keeps you on your toes.

Jemi Ekunkunbor: Vanguard, Fashion & style

I have practiced for 25years. It’s been an interesting journey. I started my career same year the 4th World Conference on Women took place in Beijing, China. For the journalists covering the women’s beat, it was quite a busy time for us. Several NGOs sprang up that became the biblical “voice in the wilderness” preaching the gospel of gender equality.

Most of the female journalists were either covering fashion or women. A few were scattered in the other beats. But as you know, most print media are male dominated. Some of the women,  as they got married and had children, finding balance between work and family became too overwhelming and many resigned to pursue other less time-consuming professions or businesses.

With their exit, the gender gap widened; tools for work were limited so also were sources of news.  The advent of the Internet, mobile phone etc opened the communication space and made work easier. Today, through your phone, you can conduct an interview with somebody in Nigeria or abroad without leaving the office.

If there is one thing that has remained a recurrent decimal with the practice of journalism, it is the poor remuneration. We still pray and hope things improve so we can do more for the profession we love, that has given us a name and opened us to some rare opportunities.

Chika Amanze-Nwachuku: Deputy Editor, THISDAY On Saturday 

I have practised for 25 years. I hold a Masters Degree in Media and Communication, and a Post Graduate Diploma Certificate in Journalism both from the School of Media and Communication, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos. I previously obtained a HND Certificate in Mass Communication from Federal Polytechnic, Oko, Anambra State.

I joined  THISDAY Newspapers in January, 1996 as a reporter and was at different times, Chief Crime/Police Affairs Correspondent; Lagos State Government House Correspondent; Judicial Correspondent; Energy Editor;  Group Business Editor and currently Deputy Editor (SATURDAY THISDAY). The long hours of work that characterises the journalism profession has been a very huge challenge for me and being efficient at work while providing the necessary care for my home has been an uphill task.

Working sometimes very late at night has been one of my greatest challenges, especially with the heightened insecurity in the country. However, I still love my job and will continue to discharge my responsibilities as a wife and mother satisfactorily.

 

Chimdimma Ndubisi: Nigerian Television Authority, Network, Abuja 

I have been a broadcast journalist with the Nigerian Television Authority, Network, Abuja for more than seven years now.

I double as a Health & Science & Technology correspondent as well as the News Information Officer for my organisation. The journey has been exciting, but at the same time challenging as one tries to meet up with deadlines, bearing in mind the ethics and professional guidelines.

As a woman, combining  journalism and taking care of the home front is not an easy task, mind you, there’s no preferential treatment, that is, considering you are a woman, when it comes to assigning duties between you and your male counterparts. Sometimes, one has to be the last to leave the office late at night report to work early the next day. Not to mention if you are pursuing a special report.

But be that as it may, passion for the job is what gives the drive and motivation to push on and push through every day. I must mention that the enabling environment created by my organisation helps women like us to thrive.

Funke Olaode: THISDAY Newspapers, Assistant Editor, GLITTERATI, Sunday Desk

I have been practicing since 1997 as either an intern or freelancer. I joined main stream media in 2004. The journey so far is challenging, overwhelming but above all I have found fulfilment.

Well, the journey began in 1997 when l did my internship at the then Osun State Radio Broadcasting. In 1998, l joined THISDAY as an intern again. And after youth service, l was employed in March 1, 2004. I can say THISDAY opened the window to my career world. For me, it has been a journey, the path I have toed over the last 16 years without looking back.

Women face a lot of challenges; prejudice, stereotype, conscious bias, discrimination etc. But the passion has kept me going. Ability to think outside the box by not allowing myself to be boxed into one corner, or just being an ordinary flower beautifying the newsroom  has helped too.

I have no regret being a woman journalist because it has always been my heart desire. Challenges or not, l believe l am fulfilling my life purpose. Journalism or life as a journalist gives one enables observe society and talk about it.

I did a column ‘Memoirs’ for Saturday THISDAY for 13 years where l focused on Nigerians who have made giant strides in their endeavours. And those who rose from zero to becoming a hero. How would l forget in a hurry my article on Pa Akinsanmi who designed Nigeria’s flag? It caught the attention of the then sitting President Jonathan who set up a committee. That singular act earned Pa Akinsanmi salary for life. So it a journey that is full of challenges but impactful.

 Oyeyemi Gbenga-Mustapha: BBC 

I work with BBC and on the Health beat. For me Journalism is dynamic. Its unpredictability has helped me in all facets of my life. I feel good each time I do stories that impact. I have both local and international awards for this.

News reporting is the most energy sapping, especially breaking News.

For instance, TB, HIV/AIDS, SARS, Ebola, cancer, death or health condition of a high profiled personality- inspite of the law that says only deceased Kith and kin, or the person can comment on same; and now COVID19. I enjoy reporting on developmental stories like reproductive health, state of health facilities and workforce. It takes a deep understanding to report on abortion, nutrition, and new technology.

A journo is as good as his contacts. I keep and treasure my contacts, and I network a lot across analog and tech. Revving up reliable contacts to get facts, then sieving through all information gathered, to dish out factual, concise, objective, and balanced report takes a deep commitment. I started as a reporter, then rose through the rank and became Senior Correspondent/Head, Health desk.

I reported on health and traditional medicine/alternative medicine for almost two decades for The Comet, then The Nation combined; before joining the BBC, to continue reporting on health which is dubbed ‘Life Clinic’. The program is basically to demystify myths and unfounded beliefs that impede healthy living, and create more awareness on good lifestyle across the Africa continent. There is a clear cut path for career progression, here. So far, so good, no regrets being a female journo.

Yetunde Oladeinde: Assistant Editor, The Nation Newspaper 

I am Yetunde Oladeinde with The Nation newspaper, an Assistant Editor, in charge of the FLAIR pull out on Sunday. I work on interviews, features and write a Column on relationships called Pillowtalk.  I have been in the profession for about twenty eight years. I started with Weekend Concord in 1992 and I have worked with some magazines and Newspapers. It’s been a very interesting journey, challenging as well as fulfilling.

It’s been great because being a woman brought me closer to the issues affecting women especially leadership, the challenges, opportunities and their journey to the top. Of course, there had been challenges like juggling career with family life. This usually affects a woman’s growth like you have in other profession. However, I have enjoyed my job, working with colleagues and bosses who keep you constantly on your toes.

Agatha Emeadi:

The Sun Newspaper (SUNDAY Desk)

My name is Agatha Emeadi.  I write for THE SUN Newspaper. I am on SUNDAY Desk. Apart from works done for the partial fulfilment of university degree, I started full-time journalism on May 15, 2003; 17years and counting.

For me, journalism has been an exciting, wonderful and interesting profession in the sense that it has afforded me the opportunity to touch a few lives in my own little way. I feel elated when my stories and column wipe out tears, heal wounds and put smiles on someone’s face.

I am happy when I receive calls that says…”Thank you for educating or sharing this topic with us”… A woman had once called me to say your piece healed my marriage… Now, I realise my mistakes… Thank you. It is an exciting journey because there are some interviews that one conducts, and becomes fulfilled as a journalist who knows one’s onions. The likes of the late Chief Alex Akinyele would say it voluminously as it is. It has also been an interesting journey when one’s works are being recognised and celebrated.

Adenike FagbemiCivil Society, Advocacy & Health, NixxHash Communications

I started off with The Nation Newspaper in 2007 to 2012, freelanced for Guardian even till date on the Online Beat, worked with Airtel as the Lead Content Specialist for Airtel Mobile Newspaper when it kicked started in 2013 and for five years I did that. Presently, I run my own coy NixxHash Communications, a growing Media, PR and Advert Agency).

The journey has been interesting and challenging. At first it looks like it’s ‘a man’s world’ but the moment one starts carving a niche and designing her special genre, the story changes.

I started off with the print media and as an intern years back in 2017. Took my time to understand how the newsroom operates, the various processing of laying a story to bed and all. Some days are cool, other days are so choked. The experience of being a female journalist or media person is pretty challenging cos you need to consistently prove your self-worth if truly you want to maintain that position.

Journalism is interesting. I love the networks it brings without spending a dime, at the same time it’s full of risk (most jobs are though) but as a journalist you are in the face of your audience hence you need to act and behave responsibly.

 Juliet BumahEditor, Sunday Telegraph 

I have been in the industry for 18 years. Journalism is not an easy career path to tread as a woman. The popular mode of address, ‘gentlemen of the press’ screams masculinity and presupposes that there are no women in the media. For years, the industry has been struggling with female portrayals, as men dominate the newsroom in number and key positions.

So, looking in from outside, a successful career in journalism looks like mission impossible for the woman, but when you get in, you realise that it’s not as dark as it appears. Of course, a woman will have to work extra hard in the newsroom to assert her worth.

The good news is that the hitherto phallic-dominated newsroom is becoming supple because more women are proving that gender has not placed them at a disadvantage. It’s now easier for hardworking, purposeful women to operate and work their way up in the newsroom.

Margaret Mwantok: The Guardian newspaper

Practicing journalism in Nigeria has been great, tough with so much to learn, as I combine it with the home front; being a daughter, sister, friend and mother. Of course, these roles and relationships come with a lot of responsibilities too.

I was lucky to have gotten my current job five years ago, being that I was one of many that applied for it. It was a tough selection process but I scaled through the hurdles. I love being a journalist. It makes a great difference to me every day to be able to write stories and report events that keep people in society abreast of happenings around them.

Vivian Onyebukwa: The Sun Newspapers

I cover Life and Style. I have been in Journalism for 19 years. Since then I have worked in various media houses including Concord Newspapers, Post Express, Daily Independent to mention a few. It has been a nice experience. Journalism is what I have flair for, so because of that, I don’t really feel the challenges associated with the job.

It has helped to build my confidence and exposed me to a lot of people. Journalism helps you to walk into a place that ordinarily you won’t be able to. It has attracted a lot of prominent people to me that if not Journalism I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet them.

It brings a lot of goodwill if you are diligent, honest, and have the right attitude to associate with people. The only regret is that women are not allowed to grow as fast as men in the job. You can hardly fine women occupying the big positions in the job not until recently few women are beginning to come up after so much complain by women journalists. Women are more hardworking than men because they can multi task. They are better managers too.

Christy Anyanwu: Assistant News Editor, The Sun Newspapers

The journey has been great. The salary is not fantastic but with hard work and God’s grace on your side you will sail through and your needs met beyond your expectations.

I’m on the Life&Style beat. In Sun Newspapers you are not limited to your specific beats. I also handle personality interviews.

I started my journalism career in the early 90s. I was employed in Daily Times of Nigeria by Chief Tola Adeniyi as a reporter shortly after my Diploma in Times Journalism Institute, Iganmu, Lagos. Thereafter, I went back to read Mass Communication at University of Lagos (B.sc).

 

Ngozi Okpalakunne: Business Day, Consumer Watch

l have been in the media for 19 years. I started with Daily Champion Newspapers as a reporter on the Women’s Desk in 2001.

I left Champion as the Head of Women Desk after working there for 13 years. I joined Newswatch Times in 2013 as the Deputy Features Editors, l left in 2016 for National Mirror as the Features Editor.

Working in the media as a woman for nearly two decades is interesting and challenging as well. It has been an opportunity to travel far and wide. I recall that my first trip to US was to attend and cover UN proceeding on CEDAW. It was an eye opener to various issues affecting women in the glove.  My second trip there which was sponsored by the US government was also on women issues.

The challenges are quiet enormous. Balancing the office work, work as a mother and wife and a leader in the church has been the greatest challenge l have ever faced in life.

The issue of irregular payment of salaries in the media industry is also a huge challenge and set back to some media practitioners.  I have also discovered that men in the media are often promoted than women.

Mary Nnah: THISDAY Newspapers, Feature Desk

When I graduated from the University of Lagos with a 2.I in English Language 2000, I was filled with high hopes and honestly, the last thing that came to my mind was practising journalism.

So, it actually took the prickling of a brother in my former church, for me to come to THISDAY Newspapers for my mandatory one year National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) programme. Perhaps he had noticed my flair for writing, which prompted him to encourage me to take up writing as career.  So, I started journalism with THISDAY in 2001 as a Corper.

When I started, it was like the newsroom was waiting for me all along. I got myself engrossed in journalism with so much passion writing on various topics, especially as I was deployed to the News Desk then. I found journalism so stimulating that I got so much immersed writing, especially human interest stories at a point, that even after I finished my youth service, I never wanted to leave any more.

So, for almost 20 years, I have been a journalist!

It was soon after my service year, that I was employed and posted to GLITTERATI, a THISDAY pull out on Sunday, where I worked for many years with Kunle Hamilton who was then editor of that title.

Afterwards, I was moved to the Sunday Art Desk, where I worked very briefly with Okechukwu Uwaezuoke, covering the Arts Beat before I was eventually posted to Features Desk to work with Max Amuchie and Roland Ogbonnaya, who were the feature editors at one point or the other.

After those, I worked with other male editors on the desk as a General Beat Reporter; I also covered the Health beat at a point, till when eventually we got, Chiemelie Ezeobi, the very first female Features Editor. Her appointment came with so much excitement, to me personally – at least for once we had a female editor on Features Desk who understands the peculiarities of a woman practising journalism.

However, Journalism, for me, is a tough terrain for women to survive. You sacrifice a lot personally and also put double the effort your male counterparts put into work to remain abreast and relevant. You spend last nights in the Newsroom, trying to meet up with deadlines and then you go on official trips constantly while your home, perhaps, is abandoned. So, for me, balancing the home front and work has been the biggest challenge.

More so, the Newsroom policy hardly allows room for women to grow in this field. It’s like only the men folk are favoured. But nevertheless, it is exciting to know that these days; a lot of women are seen climbing to the pinnacle of their careers in journalism.

Even though I would love the remuneration to be improved upon, the opportunities and experiences THISDAY has afforded me are overwhelming and priceless. I will do it over and over again!

Yemisi SuleimanVanguard Media Limited, Fashion and Style 

I have practised for more than 15 years. Being a female journalist has been an interesting journey so far. Apart from the fact that you get to meet a lot of interesting personalities in the line of duty, it also broadens ones use of vocabulary amongst other advantages.

Traveling to different countries to cover different events is something that is best experienced than imagined. Although there are some disadvantages, but the good part out rightly outweighs the bad.  In all, being a female journalist is one experience I won’t trade for anything.

Josfyn UbaDaily Sun Newspapers, Women’s Desk; Deputy Woman Editor

Women have come a long way in the Nigerian media. They have broken the glass ceiling with their competence and professionalism.

I have been in journalism for over two decades. I started off from the defunct celebrity magazine, Fame Weekly. I practice humanitarian journalism using the power of my tool to advance humanity.

Chiemelie Ezeobi: Group Features Editor, THISDAY Newspaper 

Chiemelie Ezeobi, works for THISDAY Newspaper as the Group Features Editor. I started off as a youth corps member 10 years ago after I obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communication from Anambra State University. I also went ahead to pursue a Master of Science degree in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos.

Over the years, I have covered the health, crime, defence beats and even general news as a reporter before my elevation to my present position in 2018.

During my reportorial days on the crime and defence beat, it was a Herculean task to stand out in such a male-dominated beat. I worked twice as hard as I was also a newbie in the midst of veterans. So far, it has paid off.

Being in such a male dominated beat, I also battled sexual harassment on all fronts and even from the police. I faced all types of risks as a female covering the crime world- being accosted by suspects, getting threatened to drop stories and even held hostage (like what happened when pipeline vandals held us hostage at gunpoint for an hour in Akaraba Island).

Being female in the newsroom is tasking but for us in THISDAY, it is less given that we have a pro-female Publisher, Prince Nduka Obaigbena, who believes women are not just capable, but can head desks that were hitherto male-inclined.

One of the major challenges I face is balancing the home front with the job I love so much. Moving forward, I would love to see media houses inculcate crèches in the newsroom setting so that young and nursing mothers can still do their jobs without their babies suffering for it.

Precious Igbonwelundu: Defence and Crime Correspondent, THE NATION Newspaper 

Precious Igbonwelundu joined The Nation Newspaper as a reporter in 2012.  I grew through the ranks to become a senior correspondent and  have covered the Judiciary, news/investigative and metro beats.

With a Second Class Upper Mass Communication degree  from Anambra State University, I proceeded to the University of Lagos where I obtained a Master’s degree also in Mass Communication.

My knack for investigation and reporting breaking news has stood me out in a male-dominated beat.  My work at The Nation as the Crime Correspondent entails investigating crime stories and covering, holding law enforcement agencies to account.

On the Defence beat, my work involves covering the Nigerian Army, Navy and Air Force, a task that has afforded me the opportunity of witnessing first hand, how members of the Armed Forces toil, even in hostile environments, to keep Nigeria safe, united. I have had the rare privilege of sailing with the Nigerian Navy across the coast and the Gulf of Guinea for real time operations and exercises including countries like Ghana, Cameroon and Benin Republic for multinational sea exercises and maritime conferences.

I was also privileged to be one of select journalists from West and East African countries drafted by the African Union to visit Somalia for on-the-spot reportage on conflicts, war and the strength of unity. I was also the first Nigerian journalist and one of few across the globe to visit Cameroon in the heat of the crisis between the government and southern agitators clamouring for secession.

Mary Abayomi FatileDefence and Investigative  Reporter, Radio Nigeria, FRCN

Mary Abayomi Fatile is a very vibrant goal getter who has won several awards, both locally and International in four years of her career. 

She has won the Best  Investigative  Crime Reporter  of the year at the 16th African Security  Watch  Award in  Dubai (2019); Best  Investigative  Crime Reporter  of the year at the 15th African Security Watch  Award in The  Gambia  (2018); Rotary District 9110, Nigeria, Third Position (Humanitarian Reporting, 2018); Winner, The Nigerian Media Merit Award (N.M.M.A), for Radio Reporter of the Year, 2017; The Nigerian Media Merit Award (N.M.M.A}; Winner: (Radio Reporter Of The Year, 2016); Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (D.A.M.E); First Runner Up: (Editorial Integrity, 2016); Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (D.A.M.E); First Runner Up: (Radio Reporting, 2016); Diamond Awards For Media Excellence (D.A.M.E); Secondrunner Up: (Reporter Of The Year, 2015); Alimosho Times, Outstanding Crime Investigative Journalist of  Distinction, 2015; Alimosho Times, Security Conscious & Friendly Media.

 Despite these awards, I would be the first to tell you that the journey has not been easy. But with God I have been able to scale through and I am still going higher. One of the challenges I face is in terms of investigation. At times, I spend my funds to get stories, but when you try to get justice for the victim, you are asked to drop story because of fear of police or being killed by the suspect. Another challenge is that of getting home late and at times, our homes bear the brunt.

Evelyn UsmanAssistant Crime Editor of Vanguard Media Limited

I started my career in Journalism after obtaining a degree in Modern Languages, from the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo State and at the completion of the mandatory one year NYSC in Abuja.

I cover the crime and defence beats and have over 3000 human interest and security related stories published, since I started reporting a decade and half years ago.

Some of my write-ups had initiated government policies. One of them on the plight of ‘ Pensioners turned beggars’, formed the basis of discourse  at the House of Representatives in 2005 and  consequently resulted in the increment  of  allocation to the pension office, to ameliorate the sufferings of pensioners.

In the course of my job, I have embarked on sea operation exercises between the Nigerian Navy and various navies of the world, both at home and abroad. I have also received several awards in recognition of my performance and dedication to duty.

Josephine Agbonkhese: Journalist at Vanguard Newspapers 

For Josephine Agbonkhese who has worked with Vanguard Newspapers since 2006, it is quite disheartening that decades after women’s sojourn into journalism, they are still grossly under-represented both in the newsroom and at managerial positions in spite of their dominance in schools of communication across the country. This is most pronounced in print journalism.

A 2018 study titled ‘Gender Representation in Print Journalism in Nigeria’ carried out by my humble-self with three national dailies: Vanguard, Nation and Guardian as case-studies, painted a gory picture.

That study revealed a huge male domination of the reportorial and editorial units of newspapers in Nigeria.

The study showed that only 19.6 per cent of the bylines featured in news reports contained in six editions of VanguardNation and Guardian Newspapers, cumulatively, belonged to women.

Meanwhile, 80.4 per cent belonged to male reporters. The ratio is 4:1. That is, for every female reporter, there are four male counterparts. Also, as indicated by the responses of respondents interviewed, at the editorial level, women are also similarly under-represented.

Being an agent of socialisation, the media is supposed to be a societal change agent. To think that it still reeks of gender non-inclusiveness, is shocking and unacceptable. It is quite an error; considering the fact that the media has been the institution advocating for a more gender-balanced world.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I want to urge industry leaders to embrace gender diversity and inclusion because their importance to the success of newspaper companies cannot be overrated. History has proven that the companies in the best position to draw new readers and increase circulation are the ones which tend to have greater diversity in gender, both in the workforce generally and in positions of influence.

Diversity in a media company may help to ensure that news content are more relevant to readers and that companies have more innovative and adaptive cultures.

Print media organisations should therefore ensure measures are put in place to address the under-representation of women in their organisations as it certainly will amount to a win-win situation for both women journalists and the newspaper houses themselves.

Juliana Ebere Francis: Crime Editor, New Telegraph Newspaper

I have practiced for 18 years. It has simply been an exhilarating experience. Whenever I take a stroll down memory lane, recollecting myself as a cub reporter and where I am right now, I grin with achievement.

I may not have acquired material wealth, but I have gathered and gained the greatest wealth hidden in journalism. Being a woman journalist is not always easy. We have to juggle too many balls and none must fall. If truly there is reincarnation, I’ll definitely want to come back as a journalist. Journalism called my name.

Diana Omueza: Covers political parties and CSOs for the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

I have spent three years and counting in practice. The journey into journalism has not been easy. It’s been challenging especially in a time and era where the media and journalists in particular are endangered species.

Journalists in practice, especially those in government media houses are working under strict rules by the government, which has been observed to be an attempt to silence the media. There is a need to enact laws that should guide and protect journalists and media houses from the government and other external state and non state actors.

This I believe would make the media practice in Nigeria balance in its reportage and journalists would be reporting events and especially national issues at liberty without fear or bias.

Nume Ekeghe: Finance Correspondent, THISDAY Newspaper

I have practised for seven years. It has been an interesting and challenging journey being able to to balance taking care of my family with my work schedule and the constant traveling.

Rebecca Ejifoma: Features Desk, THISDAY Newspaper 

I have practised for eight years and three months now and it has been an interesting and adventurous journey, taking me from places to places and broadening my narrow horizon.

I started journalism as a timid, petite intern girl, who was not confident in herself. I was always too frightened to stand before those editors, who made me, pushed me to greatness. I have experienced the day and night of the profession despite only being in the field for eight unwavering years on different beats.

The most challenging part of the journey for me has been transcription. But for the undiluted love I have for journalism, I keep on pushing. I’m not there yet, but I will soon.

Editor’s Note

Although we profiled few of some of these amazons, nonetheless, there are several others who are doing great things too that unfortunately weren’t captured! But we see you and believe the world does so too! Happy International Women’s Day (IWD) from us to you!