Home Opinion Walk Slowly, But Not Backward: Oyoinsight.com’ Rise To Journalistic Stardom | Muftau...

Walk Slowly, But Not Backward: Oyoinsight.com’ Rise To Journalistic Stardom | Muftau Gbadegesin


A little over 8 months ago, I was a participant at the West African students for Liberty program at the Subomi Balogun conference center of the University of Ibadan. I had arrived Ibadan from Ilorin a day before to catch up with the first session of the event stipulated for seven am the following morning.

While entering UI main gate, I asked my childhood friend who’s a Uite to join me at the event. He eventually came after one of his exams. As planned, I was one of the few participants who arrived early and this gave me the luxury of sitting upfront and enjoy the comfort reserved only for the panelists at the program.

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In the first session, the special assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Media, Mr. Wale Ajetunmobi of the Nation Newspaper walked us through the brambles and the nettles of politics, media and governance and laid emphasis on the fact that “we are all politicians whether we agree or not”. The reaction of those present that day showed that we accepted his postulation.

After the first session which was followed by a short siesta. I saw Egbon Sikiru Akinola face-to-face after years of following him on Facebook like lapdog. I thought he was taller on the infosphere but seeing him that day cleared my doubts. My UI friend was the first to spot him from afar — and with his close affinity walked straight to him.

As our big brother, he extended his hand to us; I shook him last and probably very long. And from there, we listened as he discussed the Nigeria project.

Watching him that day, I knew I shared almost four distinct yet interconnected things with him: one is our ancient Oyo affiliation; two is our EACOED or OYSCOED sojourns, third is our progressive mindsets and lastly is that we both love AMALA and GBEGIRI. I look forward to taking Egbon to one of my favorite joint in the metropolis of Ibadan!

There are many ways people hit the jackpot. One is to be at the right place, the right time doing the right thing and with the right people. This can actually be the holy grails that will separate the wheat of winners from the chaff of the losers. The other is to build a social capital. That vault of human resources you can tap, nest and lean on anytime; and I bet only few youths can outwit Egbon in Oyo state and across the entire south west.

Starting as campus correspondent for the Nation Newspaper in OAU, then having to serve in the South west Bureau of the same Paper for ten months must have influenced Egbon’s understanding of the dynamics of Media in the society thus beginning a career into New media that will make him distinct in his success story.

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell declared that the story of success to a large extent is the story of underserved opportunities. This he chronicled in the story of Bill Joy, Bill Gates, the Beatles and other success stories.

Writing about Gates, Gladwell reported that Gates’s father was a wealthy lawyer in Seatle and his mother was a daughter of a well-to-do banker. “As a child” he says “Bill was precocious and easily bored by his studies. So his parents took him out of public school, and at the beginning of seventh grade, sent him to lakeside, a private school that catered to seatle’s elite family. Midway through Gates’s second year at lakeside, the school started a computer club”. And as the saying, the rest they say is story.

I watched Egbon speak in my native Oyo dialect, he picked his words with clarity and gusto. He talked politics starting from Ibadan, and on that day, I knew his connection with powerful people transcend what we know of him on Facebook. He told us of the sharp memory of Chief Omololu Olunloyo, the ex-Governor of the state. He walked us through survival tactics and coping mechanisms in a harsh country like Nigeria. And through his Facebook posts, I got inkling into how OyoInsight became the daring of readers.

“In other words” as Egbon concluded which I interpreted biblically “I returned” the book of ecclesiastes says “and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to the man of understanding, nor yet favor to the men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all”.

As this authoritative and reputable newspaper mark it’s second year of existence, I pray the good Lord increase it in leaps and bounds.

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