He says: “I read and watched plays written by Soyinka, I also used to read the Lagos Daily and I always dreamt of being a columnist one day”.
And: “Africa was in its independence mode and many were going back to celebrating their cultures, these writers were very creative and inspiring, full of our flourishing African culture and we looked to them as our heroes”.
He says also: “Newswatch took a stance against the ruling elite, We started crusading against this kind of rule by denouncing it in our editorials”.
Dele Olejede – Nigeria
Dele Olojede won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his series of stories examining the aftermath of the genocide in Rwanda. The series was published in New York Newsday, where he worked for more than 16 years until December 2004. He was foreign editor at the paper, and prior to that served as Africa Correspondent, based in Johannesburg, during the early 1990s. He also was the newspaper’s Asia Bureau Chief, based in Beijing, and had covered the United Nations as well as a variety of other assignments over a 25-year career that began in his native Nigeria. He has reported from more than 70 countries and his work has been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines around the world. Olojede was graduated from the University of Lagos with a bachelor of science in mass communication, and he received a master of science degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York. He also completed a program in media management at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He was a member of the board of the National Press Foundation in Washington, and twice served on the jury of the Pulitzer Prizes as well as the Alicia Paterson Foundation. He currently is executive chairman of Timbuktu Media, a startup based in Johannesburg and Lagos. He and his wife, Amma, have two daughters. (See on journalism.co.za).
Mr Dele Olojede, an award-winning journalist, has a vision for Africa — a daily newspaper for the continent with reporting from an African perspective, writes Nicholas Asego Despite his many achievements that would drive any person to gloat in pride, Mr Dele Olojede’s humility is remarkable. “I never thought of doing anything else,” says the 12th born of the 29 siblings. “We are now 28, one of my brothers passed away recently,” he says. Growing up in such a large family sharpened Olojede’s surviving skills. “You had to know what you wanted to be and work towards it,” he says. “By the time I was in high school I was certain of what I was going to be,” he says. Growing up in a country flourishing with great literary icons like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Cyprian Ekwensi flamed Olojede’s young mind to creativity. … // … As a young man aged 24, he had nothing to fear. “I was young, daring, single and naÔve and I was bubbling with life,” he says. “If I had a family of my own probably I would have thought some things over,” he adds. Things took a nasty turn however when his friend and editor, Giwa, was killed by a pipe bomb the same year after writing a statement against the military regime. “After his death things became rough and for sometime we had to hide and try running the paper from my apartment,” he says. “But it was just a matter of time before they came for me,” he adds. With the help of friends from neighbouring countries, Olojede left Nigeria in 1987 for his Masters degree at Columbia University in New York after securing a Ford Foundation Scholarship. As a student he won the Henry N. Taylor Award as the outstanding foreign student in the institution. Olojede joined the New York based Newsday on June 6, 1988, as an intern and excelled to become a special writer before being moved to the foreign desk in 1992. His coverage at this desk drew high praises and prizes. His diligence saw him promoted as Newsday United Nations Bureau Chief, where he covered a wide range of international stories. Prior to this he had served in various capacities, including as Newsday Asian Bureau Chief in Beijing. He also served as Africa Bureau Chief and was based in Johannesburg. He got the chance to travel extensively across the continent. While working as foreign editor, he came to South Africa to witness the first democratic election after the collapse of apartheid system in 1994. It was also the same time that horrifying events were taking place in Rwanda. “Here was an extraordinary historic moment in South Africa parallel with untold deaths in Rwanda,” he says. “Two great events of opposite nature were taking place in Africa,” he remarks. … // … Olojede is currently developing Africa’s first continental daily newspaper. “It will be printed simultaneously in cities of African countries,” he says. His vision is to capture the culture in Africa, their business and to capture the full spectrum of the African life. Other than the Pulitzer Award, Olojede has also won many other accolades. He won the 1995 Publishers Award from Newsday, the 1995 Educational Press of America Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism; the 1992 Unity Award from Lincoln University; the 1992 Clarion Club of Long Island and several other awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists. (Read the whole very long article on The Standard).
A new plan to help Africa’s poor, Apr 27th 2006;