LAGOS, Nigeria; October 25 2018
Nigerian youth corps member, Taiwo Jolaade has emerged winner of the third edition of #WritingGamesNG, an essay writing competition created to examine issues of global relevance while showcasing the immense talent and resourcefulness of young Nigerians.
Jolaade was announced winner at an award presentation event held on Tuesday, 23 October, 2018 at FBA Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Jolaade’s essay touched on the damning influence of fake news on Nigeria’s democracy as the country inches ever so closely to the 2019 general elections.
“I am grateful to the University of Sussex and all its other partners for organizing this essay competition which gives people like me an opportunity to make our voices heard,” Jolaade said while reacting to the announcement. “I will like to encourage other young Nigerians to believe in themselves and their ability to make positive changes in whatever they choose to do.”
Guest lecturer, Professor of Political Journalism at University of Sussex, Ivor Gaber spoke on the topic, ‘Media in the Era of Fake News’ and also facilitated an engaging session with a select group of Nigerian journalists and media enthusiasts to examine the depth of the subject within a global perspective.
“You can take individual facts and present them in a misleading way, accurate facts do not equate to the truth,” Prof. Gaber told the audience. “The concept of truth is not black or white, one person’s truth is another’s lie. Journalists have to use their judgement to present the best version – the objective truth to their audience,” he added.
Also speaking at the ceremony, Tosin Adebisi, Senior International Officer, Africa and the Middle East, University of Sussex, said: “With the 2019 general elections around the corner, we thought it was necessary to get young Nigerians involved in the political discourse especially at a time when fake news has become a critical part of the global lexicon and a recurring decimal in information dissemination across channels.”
This year’s edition of #WritingGamesNG attracted over 140 entries from university students, youth corps members, and other young people across the country with each candidate presenting fresh perspectives to the discourse.
The winning essay was picked by a team of professionals in the media and political space including Prof. Ivor Gaber, University of Sussex; Prof. Ralph Akinfeleye, University of Lagos; Prof. Ayo Ojebode, University of Ibadan, Dr. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwun, University of Uyo, and Dr. Lanre Oguntade, International Press Centre, Lagos.
Jolaade’s entry beat others from Michael Eze and Emeka Ugochukwu to win a University of Sussex scholarship of up to £6,000, N50,000 cash, and a certificate of recognition. The first and second runners up were presented with cash prizes of N30,000 and N20,000 respectively.
The annual #WritingGamesNG essay competition was organized by foremost research institution, the University of Sussex in collaboration with Nigeria’s leading media platform, NigeriaPresslog, with support from Y!/YNaija and SparkleWritersHub.