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‘Nigeria seriously in need of developmental journalism’
Arowona Abdulazeez is the CEO of MODISULT Media Concept, a seasoned journalist and public analyst. In this interview with SIKIRAT SHEHU, he narrates how he started the journey of multimedia practising, importance of innovative journalism for national development, among other issues. Excerpts:
Briefly tell us your background?
I had my first degree in Political Sciences from University of Ilorin and I proceeded to University of Ibadan, where I bagged my masters
in Peace and Conflict Studies with specialisation in humanitarian and refugee studies and I also obtained post graduate diploma in journalism from International Institute of Journalism, Abuja. I am a member of professional bodies such as; International Centre Research (ICGR), Institution of Chartered Economists of Nigeria (ICEN), Chartered Institute of Administration (CIA) and the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ). I started my career as a journalist with Gombe Media Corporation in 2007, from there I moved to Fresh Facts Newspaper, a weekly publication, and then to National Daily Newspaper in Sokoto State. Later, I joined next.comNewspapers, and I proceeded to Nigerian Pilot Newspaper where I worked for about five years. Out of my own little way of contributing my quota to nation building, I started the move on how to have my own private media platform. That was what prompted me and I registered ‘MODISULT Media Concept’ with Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). With the advent of MODISULT Concept, a multimedia outfit, I do online publication, (www.royalnews.com.ng), also have a weekly television programme (Royalty Extra) which is personally designed to showcase the unique culture of the people in our society and looking at the roles of traditional rulers as they are the custodians of cultures and historical facts. We do jingles, adverts and consult people for events and programmes.
What brought about the book you launched ‘Royal Stools’ and its message to the society?
The programme I started barely one year ago on NTA Ilorin between 6:30 and 7pm everySaturday gave birth to ROYAL STOOLS – a Fluorescence of Traditional Rulers and Communities, series 1. The book is a product of our achievements on the program (Royalty Extra). Because of globalisation and need to preserve our culture and document facts, I deemed it fit to convert all research works from visual to be in a book. When I embarked on the sojourn, it seems daunting at the beginning and now it is a success story. In the Royal Stools, we have 15 chapters that showed all communities and the traditional rulers. The book focuses attention on roles of traditional rulers; the book is a direct source of information put together and becomes a royal compendium. We were able to cover about 26 communities from three states namely; Kwara, Osun and Oyo States. Readers would be able to know historical background of their domain and that of neighborhood, what is peculiar to one community is not the same with others. We want to advance to the point of having all the research works in our libraries, our homes and even among the academics so as to assist them in quest for knowledge and aid teaching and learning in their respective tertiary institutions.
You engaged in multimedia practice, will you share your experience with us?
Practicing multimedia business is so interesting, impressing and tasking. It is interesting because it takes mature minds to still remain in the business.
If you are there to make money, you will see the money but you may not be able to sustain the tempo but if you are there for a particular purpose which has to do with nation building, a kind of cohesion, to
bring people together both in cash and kind, definitely you will achieve it thus, I dwell more in establishing relationship and I know the sky is the limit.
I am highly elated today; I usually think and ask myself where am I coming from; where I am today and what next? In essence, we have drawn our plans to go about continuous activities and sustain it. We will visit all other states of the federation.
What are the prospects and challenges?
There are so many hurdles, ranging from logistics to other challenges. First one is the driving force, one needs courage to embark on all these; it has not been easy, you only know when to you are
going out you cannot really predict when you will be coming back. My main target, for instance, is to meet traditional rulers which is not always easy, but because of some of them are very humble, they would still attend to me. I used to have unscheduled appointments with some of them. This may hold me for about two to three days in their communities but despite that, they still granted me audience.
Another thing is issue of funding. The financial implication is so enormous that I have to cater for the cost of production to the point of airing it on TV and I do not charge them anything but if they give me I collect.
When you look at the cost of production, and the efforts put in place is so tedious and it takes very a courageous mind, dedicated and steadfast for continuous development in such a sojourn.
They are just embodiment of peace and they are full wisdom so, no one goes to traditional rulers for research work and has anything to regret because God created them in a special way.
Concerning prospects, I usually see genuine love, peace and patriotism in traditional rulers and it is worthwhile to dig more into their lives and histories. Also, the Royal Stools is part of achievements.
Your assessment and comment on the practice of journalism in Nigeria?
My advice to colleagues in journalism is that we should all look in-ward and see journalism as a very wide profession that goes beyond what is happening in our immediate environment. We need to go out and see what is obtainable in our neighborhood, but is unfortunate that most of us are carried away by political activities.
There are so many opportunities in journalism, if you dig deep into education sector, you cannot finish research, if you go into health you cannot finish research there and so it applies to other sectors.
This project I am doing has to do with tourism, culture and traditional institutions; this is part of happenings in our society every day. So, we should be more focused and dwell on developmental
journalism, we should look at what binds us together the more than what divides us in order to ensure meaningful contribution in integration and nation building. We hope to continue in earnest on the journey of series to come and hope to achieve more and more. I pray that Nigeria continues to remain united for the growth and benefit of humanity.
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