While some claim that investigative journalism is the most difficult aspect of journalism, there are others who have been taking great strides and making remarkable exploits in this field. One of such people is Adejumo Kabir.
Kabir is a multiple award winning campus journalist, public speaker, social media influencer & human rights activist. He is also a 300level student of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).
This week, the Tell Interviewers had a digital conversation with Kabir, trying to find out who is the man that writes such life-changing & policy-changing stories.
Tellinterviewers: When the name Adejumo Kabir is mentioned, big shots like Premiumtimes, Campus Reporter come to mind, who is the man behind the huge reputation in campus journalism?
Adejumo: Well it has been God Sir. My mother who refuse to abort me and took care of me from birth till now. My father for the financial support and to everyone who have influenced my life. It is normal.
Tell interviewers: When & how did your journey in Campus Journalism begin?
Adejumo.It all started in OAU Sir. I applied to study Law but I was offered English. However, since the reason why I applied for law has no other reason than to be the voice of the voiceless, I asked myself how I can do that even without Law. I started writing opinions and was later advised to go into campus journalism. I applied to more than six media outfits on Campus but did not get prompt response. I then told myself nothing is too big to achieve. I started NewsTrackPlatform which was highly welcomed by students because we focused on Investigative reporting.
Tell interviewers: So far…how many investigative stories have you written.
Tell interviewers: What made you develop a flare for investigative journalism especially… Considering the fact that there are many other aspects of journalism one could venture into?
Adejumo: Like I said earlier, since my childhood, I have always wanted to be the voice of the voiceless and tell the untold stories always.
Also George Orwell said: “Journalism is printing what others do not want printed. Every other thing is PR”
There are lots of people dying because there is nobody to tell their stories. Basically for the interest of the less privileged and humanity at large
Tell interviewers: As regards investigative journalism… have you so far received any extra training in the field?
Adejumo: Yes. I was very unprofessional when I started. Although, people gave kudos to us then and we were feeling like wooow. But through, Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism, and many online books, we are trying to be better now because our coordinators, editors, and platforms cannot afford to make deliberate mistake.
Tell Interviewers: Currently, how many newspapers have your works been published in?
Adejumo: Wow, Countless but I will mention a few.
National Mirror, The Nation, New Telegraph, Leadership Newspaper, Osun Defender, NewsDirect and so on
But presently, as a trainee of PTCIJ, I report for Premium Times and also Campus Reporters. I am the campus correspondent of an Ife based media outfit, IFE CITY NEWS and my very own platform, NEWSTRACK. However, my opinion articles still pop up on several online and media platforms.
Tell Interviewers: How do you source for facts in the said works you have done so far?
Adejumo: I am undergoing training under Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism and learning from the best heads. They have thought me that I need to know the core elements of journalism.
After comprehending the core elements and ethics, one needs to also evaluate the sourcing rule.
Under the core elements, we have truthfulness, accuracy, independence and verification of facts. When you apply all these you get correct facts.
Also, one must critically understand the sourcing rules such as authoritative sources better than random sources, independent sources better than dependent sources, multiple sources better than one and so one. You fact check the claims given to you and you will end up having good Investigative stories.
You may want to ask that who will investigate the investigation of the investigator. Well, facts and evidences investigate the investigator.
I don’t want to turn the interview to a lecture class.
Tell interviewers: Aside Campus Journalism, what other activities do you engage in at school
Adejumo: Public Speaking. I also write erotica, satirical poems and emotional ones.
Tell Interviewers: What’s your favourite food?
Adejumo: Investigative stories.
Tell interviewers: If you were to choose between receiving 100million dollars and being remembered as the best investigative journalist in the world…which would you choose?
Adejumo: First, we must know that money is useless. Yes, money is useless if not put into good use. The value of money is determined by the use you put it to.
I will prefer to be remembered for telling untold stories and live comfortably. I’m not a politician nor a business man. I only need to meet the necessary needs for a man.
Reputation beats riches.
Tell interviewers: What are the major challenges you have faced in the aspect of investigative journalism both on Campus & nationally.
There was a time that I couldn’t step out of OAU campus once it was 6pm. I have been threatened academically and also experienced days of student portal lock while trying to put the management on their toes. We have heard suspension rumours time without numbers. I’m in my third year, I hope it doesn’t happen…
Naturally, it is mostly from parents. I remember I did a photo news in December 2017 where I captured soldiers brutalising and my mum warned me against such, likewise friends.
Tell Interviewers: What do you have to say about the current ongoings on Ife campus? I mean the agitations on the allegedly illegal arrest of students on campus?
Adejumo: It is indeed a big slap on our institution. Regardless of the situation, the institution ought not to have taken such step.
Tell Interviewers: To feed the readers’ curiosity, what was the bone of contention that triggered off the rounding-up parade?
Adejumo: We gathered that management evicted students from halls of residence, threw their luggage out and some student activists came to their aid.
The university brought out an issue out of nothing.
Tell Interviewers: How well would you say your investigative campus journalism has helped to maintain sanity & keep both school managements & students in check.
I exposed the atrocities in the Students Union ranging from the bus saga, to owing of two accounts, to forging of signature of one another. I go for Faculties that are not mine to demand Justice and accountability. Our previous works have really put students on their toes
On the part of the management:
After I reported the poor state of classrooms, the administration of Professor Elujoba renovated classrooms. I have done stories on insecurity, delay in release of results, failure of varsity in giving students ID card they pay for and the likes.
Infact, the following day after PREMIUM TIMES published my photo story on how students read for exams with candle and torch light, the management restored the electricity the following day.
The aims is strictly to point out the ills and odds in the society, for improvement.
Tell Interviewers: How many awards have you won in journalism so far…would you mind listing some?
Adejumo: Over 9 awards in journalism.ACJOAU Newcomer of the year,Hotinc OAU Award Best Journalists,ACJOAU Article Writer
Nigerian University Best Campus Journalist, NUMA, 2017. Hmmmm, yes, I have been listed among 50 people who shaped OAU for two consecutive years and I should not forget the one I recently won in Abuja as the Best Campus Investigative Journalist. These are the ones I can remember for now.
Tell Interviewers: With all your amazing exploits.. Are you considering a career in Mainstream journalism?
Adejumo: Sure. Let me tell you, I am not just doing it because I want to multi-task.
I’m practicing campus journalism because I want to settle for it if possible even in the grave. When I was in 100 level I know the number of classes I attended even till now.
Recently, I was talking to Oga Deji, PTCIJ campus reporter coordinator. I told him I want to graduate fast. Although, he advised that i should enjoy my childhood while it last but strictly, I look at the mainstream media calling me
Tell Interviewers: Who do you consider as your role model in the aspect of campus journalism?
Adejumo: I don’t have a role model. My style looks different from others. Some persons will tell you Kabir is too controversial for their likings. The reason is simple, we cannot continue to report “the VC said, the chairman said and so on” kind of journalism and expect to change our environment. Some call me a radical journalist and most times, I tell them it is not a crime to be radical but a sin to be rascal.
However, I have some persons who I sucked from their breast of knowledge when I was admitted. Not just limited to OAU campus.
Sodiq Oyeleke, Olanrewaju Oyedeji, Kemi Busari, Lukmon Fasasi, Haleem Olatunji, Kunle Adebajo and couple of people doing great things out there. In fact, the people I mentioned have all graduated. It is in my interest not to disappoint them.
Tell Interviewers: There is an anthology out now called MONUS(Memoirs Of Nigerian University Students) Anthology, the anthology hopes to capture and preserve university memories and true-life experiences of Nigerian University Students & Alumni. Would you be submitting an entry to the anthology?
Adejumo: I must really commend the idea of the initiator of the Initiative. Writing is what I love and indeed, I will be glad to share my experience with the world.
Tell Interviewers: Any last remarks for the youths and aspiring campus journalist that want to be like you?(say something inspiring)
Adejumo Kabir: My last remark for youth aspiring to go into campus journalism.
See, I never pray to be a lawyer or a doctor or a president. My prayer is to be the change my generation is waiting for.
Every youth must stop the act of violence and indeed do things to change their immediate environment. I tell people, OAU is not the only institution where students pass through poor welfare, delay in release of results, harassment from the university security officers and all sorts. But the world get to know all these because myself and some other persons on Campus like Alfred Olufemi and Kewuyemi Samad refuse to keep quiet in the face of injustice on Campus.
The main reason why we try to go to several inductions of newbie campus journalists to educate them.
My advise is simple: Know your onions, stay focus, never be disturbed by threat and always expect threat at a times. Like Kunle Adebajo and Kanyinsola Olorunnisola said in their book that if you are doing Journalism and you have not encountered trouble, there is a need to change profession. And that’s true, while trying to put some persons on their toes, some will believe that you are stepping on their toes.
Don’t mind them, keep pushing hard for the best. It is also important to admonished them not to be too hungry for fame. When one is doing the right thing, you will be remembered in your grave. I have never done any story for award sake or monetary sake. It has always been for the interest of the masses. When you do this, you will surely be vindicated. I’m working on a book titled: “Camp Journalism: The Pain, The Push and The Pleasure” to serve as reservoir of knowledge for youths into campus journalism.
In a nutshell, to people interested in campus journalism.
Focus on your focus, when you focus on your focus, you will also become some persons focus one day.”
“a man cannot be happy when his neighbor is not at peace and a man cannot be at peace when his neighbor is not happy. I implore all campus journalists to have that at the back of their minds”
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