Oluwatoyin Segilola Awolesi is Head Consultant at ADspice Global Communication. An experienced radio presenter with vast experience in brand management, television and radio production, creative writing and public speaking.

Her passion for human capital and national development which spurred her to start Mindscope Naija, a radio program on Eko 89.7 FM focused on fostering national development by repairing the eroding attitudinal values in our society.

Read on as she shares her perspective on the role of media in development.

What prompted you to leave your banking job for broadcasting?

Broadcasting found me I would say. All my time working in the bank was quite fulfilling to an extent. I was earning well and the environment was comfortable. While in the bank, I had the opportunity of working across almost all the departments. I worked in funds transfer, customer service and marketing but after going round most of these units I just had the feeling that there is more to life. I realized that I could attain a higher level of fulfillment. Moreover, most of my colleagues were always telling me “Segilola, you love to talk and when you talk people always listen. Why not take this thing up fully as a job?”

So, after 7 years, I had this emptiness that keeps pushing me to attain a greater level of fulfillment and that was how I made the bold move and resigned. Then, to train myself further before launching out, I got an appointment with Poise Nigeria where I worked for about 2 years. Through that job I was able to develop myself in presentation, public speaking and business writing. I also had the opportunity to develop radio and television programs. With all that experience, I left Poise and launched Mindscope in 2016 fully to pursue my passion of addressing the issue of poverty of the mind.

What are some of the milestones that Mindscope has attained since 2016?

Mindscope started over 2years and it has evolved into a newspaper column as well from the radio training. We now have a column in The Nation newspaper. We now have a pool of over a hundred professionals who come on the radio to talk about issues ranging from the economy to illegal migration. And we have been getting amazing feedback.

How important is the role that the media plays in national development?

Talking about development, media has a critical role to play. Media is the voice of development as it is the bridge between the government and the people. Media passes the policies of the government across to the people and transmits the people’s feedback to the government in an ideal situation. In fact, the pivotal role of the media to development cannot be overemphasized and that’s why it’s important for the media to be very sensitive to the habit of the people. Media practitioners should be able to connect the habit of the people to the habit of the government. The government does not, often time have free access to the people and the government needs to get the feedback of the people so as to enact relevant laws and policies that will be effective in solving the challenges that the people face.

But is it always that the media has a positive impact on development?

Media professionals need to understand our role in development and play it diligently. Since we stand as the bridge between the government and the people, the media can have a negative impact on development if perhaps the policies of the government are being misconstrued by media professionals themselves. If media professionals do not understand the genuineness of policies and are not objective in their analysis of issues, they might pass the wrong message to the people. And if the people should get a wrong message, it creates a volatile environment.

Media professionals need to see and talk about things as they are, not to influence or try to window dress the people’s feedback. If people say they are hungry, let the government understand that the people say they are hungry. The media is not supposed to take sides with either the government or the people because in the event that the media is influenced by either the government or the people, then media will have a negative effect on national development ultimately.

Which is your favourite SDG?

I’m more passionate about goal 8; decent work and economic development and I also like goals 1 and 4.

How do we reach you if we have questions or comments?

My email address is [email protected] and you can also reach out to me on twitter @segilola2012.        

 

Elias Gbadamosi
Elias is a GRI trained sustainability professional keen on communicating sustainability and advising organizations and governments on how to achieve their overarching goals in a responsible manner. He is selectively quiet, and loves good tea.