Personal Stories

“I Was The Girl Selling Kerosene By The Bottle In Front Of My Mother’s Shop At Ilasa, While Racking Up By-lines For ThisDay” – BBC Senior Broadcast Journalist

   

Image via Explore Magazine

Who doesn’t love beautiful grass to grace stories?  Not us!

Wherever personal stories of triumph about Nigerian women are been shared, you’ll find us there giving the loudest applause.

I have read different well written news stories by Ruona J. Meyer over in the past few years but became really impressed when I heard her winning entry for the Presidency’s Pidgin Explainer Contest for its whistle blowing policy. Ruona recently became a senior broadcast journalist for the BBC’s new pidgin service and she shared her story in a Facebook post. Good read.

 

“Today, 12 June 2017 is my official start date with the BBC. God sure has a sense of humour; my first ever by-line in journalism came in a THISDAY newspaper on 12 June 2003. Today makes it exactly 14 years of sweat, tears, grit, sacrifices, smiles, successes and blessings. I have had the privilege to be mentored by great journalists including Simon Kolawole, Paul Ibe, Ijeoma Nwogwugwu, Kadaria Ahmed, Dele Olojede, and sound professionals like Femi Adeniran, who picked me to work under him at GTBank HQ. I cannot thank you all enough. You have raised me to be a go-getter;

I was the girl who would walk all the way from Cele Bus-stop back home through Ilasa to Isolo at midnight after “production;” the one who had a small business selling kerosene by the bottle in front of my Mother’s “chemist” shop at Ilasa, while racking up by-lines for Thisday. I was the girl who had no degree, yet wrote speeches for Tayo Aderinokun (God rest his beautiful soul).

These people moulded me in a way that it has become second nature to me to see every setback was a learning curve, every challenge as an exercise to overcome and smile back on. Thanks to you all, I have had the privilege of an extensive professional life; Reuters, the FT, and who knew I would now be paid to go to work, for the BBC, and be “allowed” to speak Pidgin?? I am literally in Journalism Heaven right now! I have not stopped intermittently crying happy and sad tears, as my Dad Godwin is not here physically to share in this joy. Then there is Micha, who has never stood in the way of my professional progess, and has instead made extensive emotional and financial sacrifices for me and supported me roundly to be the best at this role since I moved back to Lagos. My siblings have been just THE BEST, even though the one that drives me mad of them all is Ronke.

SEE ALSO: “I Realised That My Mum Is Going To Forget Me, She’s Not Even Going To Know That She Had Me” – Uriel Oputa On Her Mother’s Struggles With Dementia

Those who knew when the process began months back (yes this has been from way back) often asked me: why would you move from Germany? Well, because the BBC is pioneering a great thing for Africa, opening a Pidgin Service, and I would NEVER turn down the privilege to be a witness and worker at the start of what is going to be a great shift in my continent’s media landscape. I am so excited to be back in the newsroom, I feel…alive, and…I cannot say too much, but we hope to show you all what is possible, so help us God. 14 years since it all started, I am back here, in Nigeria, and if anybody reads this, just know that with hard work, EVERYTHING is possible and what is yours will be yours.

Invest in yourself. Do things the right way. Surround yourself with the right partners, mentors, family members and friends – quality over quantity. Cutting corners and being ashamed of being thought of as a nerd/efiko/mumu is not cool. Own your straight-mindedness and unique personality aka Ibile factor. Own your degree and the opportunities it brings. Own your career and be strategic about it. Work hard, and then…play hard. Like, laugh HARD. No one is guaranteed a long life, so it is better to live your best professional and personal life.

As I take on this role, I want to ask you all to please make sure I never walk alone o. Abeg, if there are ways I can serve you the public better, let us know. When I make a mistake, tell me; critique me, because we are all in this o. Na me and una waka come!”

Ruona has been published in many newspapers including – The Financial Times, Reuters, South Africa’s The Mail&Guardian  the defunct NEXT newspapers, Premium times, The Cable, etc.

 

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11 Comments

11 Comments

  1. Mujidat Ayorinde

    Mujidat Ayorinde

    June 16, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    Your deed has help you remain blessed

  2. Beeky Johnson

    Beeky Johnson

    June 16, 2017 at 11:24 pm

    Good one

  3. Akindele Bunmi Abiodun

    Akindele Bunmi Abiodun

    June 17, 2017 at 8:01 am

    Nice one.. Ilasa babe.. I represent Ilasa

  4. Nwachukwu Julia

    Nwachukwu Julia

    June 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

    That’s talent you are really blessed

  5. Ibe Toyin Aganga

    Ibe Toyin Aganga

    June 17, 2017 at 10:50 am

    Hard work pays

  6. Uzomechine Glad

    Uzomechine Glad

    June 17, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    God has blessed you

  7. Magdalene Edet Emg

    Magdalene Edet Emg

    June 17, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    God is faithful. More grease.

  8. Chizo Chiada Odunna

    Chizo Chiada Odunna

    June 17, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    That’s oil and gas.

  9. Yinka Adeyinka

    Yinka Adeyinka

    June 18, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Thank God oooo

  10. Kingsley Chukwuezi

    Kingsley Chukwuezi

    June 19, 2017 at 11:57 am

    Where there’s hope god is always make away for the pore hard working good pay at last

  11. Ritamarie Agu

    Ritamarie Agu

    June 19, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    It is God”s doing

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