When speaking of renowned, eloquent and eclectic Nigerian journalists we can boldly say Tolu Meduna is one of them. Tolu Meduna @mz_tolumeduna is a critical political analyst and news enthusiast. She has made a reputation of being affable, intelligent and a straightforward person for herself, and stuck with it. Affording Africanpride magazine the opportunity to interview her, she narrated how her inspiration and love for journalism came to be as well as her journey so far.
“I found my niche and I decided to carve it, despite limited resources and opportunity my love for the prestigious profession knew no bound..”
Growing up, she was inspired by the works of highly celebrated journalists like Funmi Iyanda, Tokunbo Ajayi, Hon Abike Dabiri and many other notable women. Highly opinionated and inquisitive herself, she found her niche and decided to carve it. Although, the hazardous nature of the profession was revealed through the story of Dele Giwa, that didn’t deter her from focusing on the intriguing part of the profession.
Initially, Meduna was an entertainment host, she hosted a couple of television shows in the early 2000, but for her it was not as much fulfillment as she would have loved so she decided to pursue other interests. She said “later blogging and microblogging changed the game and I was able to bare my mind without much restrictions so I went for it, fine-tuned my skills by taking a course at London School of Journalism”.
Then came her love for politics which started because she understands the “importance of leadership, governance and management”.
“Even though human beings are the most complex being to deal with, leadership is still not rocket science, it is doable with a leader that understands human capital investment/development. My love for the progressive political family is like a fire that burns within me and thus inspires me daily to give my own perspective on the way forward politically especially on African leadership”.
Reminiscing on the past, she confessed that the journey so far has “been a battle”. She said “many wanting to work against logic for their selfish interest makes things more difficult than it ought to be, some decide to be on the fence, but for someone like me, I choose to be vocal. My watchword is to say it as it is”.
Sure enough, she promised to continue to “propagate the truth no matter how hard it may seem”. She said, “although I am unhappy, with the way journalism, a profession I reverence so much is being used by some elements to propagate confusion, hate and manipulation, it is heart wrenching to watch how devastating these element’s actions leaves the masses”.
Not surprising, Meduna’s best topic of interest presently is the 2023 Nigerian Presidential election. She affirms that “Nigeria has a lot to recover from e.g recession, covid19, economic downturn, war around the world… we need a well-seasoned and prepared leader, who has studied the Nigerian system, a man who has been there, seen the good, the bad and the ugly, a man that understands world politics”. “This is why I am channeling my talent to project the candidate I deem fit for the Presidency of Nigeria. I do it day and night, with facts and figure. Nigeria is too dear to me to gamble”, she said.
Left to her, she would do more to improve the quality of information Africans and Nigerians have access to. According to her, “there are so many ways to improve the world and it must be tailored to each community”.
“What community “A” needs is different from what community “B” needs but what we all need in general is the right to proper in-depth information on issues such that it will help for direction”.
As for her career, she sees her mentees and trainees flourishing from her training programs in the next five years. As a journalist and highly curious intelligent woman, she uses social media for twelve to eighteen hours a day. She thinks that rather than suppressing social media users, some measures should be put in place to allow people use the medium more responsibly. She said “Rwanda genocide happened because of misinformation, there must be responsible measures put in place for such medium that will not gag users but will promote responsible usage of the medium, we can’t afford to bastardize such a useful medium”.
For Meduna, the most intense time in her career was “covering the EndSars judicial panel, it was a tensed period”. What keeps her going every morning is her “vision of a better future”. As for how she identifies an interesting story from a boring one, she said “the originality of a story gives a story the kick it needs and that’s what makes it interesting for me than make believe with loose ends”.
In her opinion, “there is often no direct clear source” to recognizing a fake story, “it is mostly sensational”, she said. When asked about her take on journalism, she asserts that “every society need a watchdog and just like the judiciary ought to be the conscience of any nation, journalism is the watchdog that keeps it real no matter what”. @mz_tolumeduna @ToluMeduna
INTERVIEW BY: Arowolo N. Ola.