WHY I CAME........
August 2010 I resigned my job as an assistant producer drama for the BBC World Service Trust in Abuja, Nigeria because as much as I loved the job, I wanted more. For some reason, I had become restless; I wanted to understand the new wave called social media which some quarters (online and offline) were almost touting as the panacea to all the world’s problems. I wanted to be a part of it for my country, wanted to know what this ‘big thing’ was about. It would be the only branch of the media I hadn’t professionally explored, having done short stints with print, television, and radio. I had already secured admission and so in September, I packed my bags, left the life I had known for 24 years, and moved to Birmingham to study social media for a Master’s Degree at Birmingham City University.
Passionate as I am about youth participation in governance, human rights, and an unhindered flow of truthful information from a government to its people, I was intrigued by the concepts (and practise of) open data, community collaboration (offline initiated online), and the idea of intelligent societies. I started to think of my country every single day, the vast opportunities for development with social media, and to dream of a period when the only issue on the front banner for my government would be ‘a race to digital inclusion’ which is a project going on in the UK now to get everyone online by 2012. That would be our main issue, not electricity, which is haphazard in some areas and non existent in others; not security, what with the spate of bombings that have rocked the country since the beginning of last year, and definitely not the debasement and rapture of morals in our youth, manifesting in five university undergraduates making a one hour video of themselves gang raping a female undergraduate. Did I mention they put this video online? No, I dream of digital inclusion because it presupposes that we would have sorted out these other issues.
It is in wanting to be a part of the ‘sorting out’ that I found World Pulse. After attending an event where I learnt about the power of networks, platforms and collaboration, I went on Google and using different keywords, searched out Journalisted (www.journalisted.com), Red Tent of England (www.redtentengland.ning.com), and World Pulse. I joined all three for different reasons; World Pulse and the Voices of Our Future program for three:
1. to take advantage of the opportunity to tap from the vast knowledge from the training materials and the essays from other women,
2. to see what projects other members of the class are working on, and align myself with the ones that interest me
3. to get equipped with skills I can share with other young people that they in turn can share with others; there’s no limit to the ripple effect it would create!
This is why I came.....