Patriotic Journalism Key to Decolonizing of Africa’s Neocolonial Mindset — Prof Emeje


Professor Martins Emeje, the Director-General and CEO of the Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA), has emphasized the importance of decolonizing the mindset of Africans, highlighting journalists as key agents in achieving this goal.

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Speaking at a meeting with Fellows of the Africa Disease Reporting Fellowship (ADReF), organized by the Africa Disease Prevention and Research Development (ADRAP) Initiative in Abuja, Professor Emeje underscored the abundant resources nature provides for human well-being in any environment, including Africa.

He pointed out that Africa’s struggle to progress is not attributed to colonial influences but rather to its own challenges, emphasizing the need for a shift in mindset. Professor Emeje highlighted health as a significant area affected by colonial legacies, noting that Africans were historically self-reliant in healthcare.

The ADReF Fellowship, which convened 13 journalists from six African countries, aimed to address biases in disease reportage, tell stories from the continent’s perspective, and destigmatize traditional health practices. The program, spanning six weeks from March to April 2024, focused on equipping Fellows with skills to accurately reflect African realities, especially in health-related narratives.

Dr. Joseph Enegela, Founder and CEO of ADRAP, urged Fellows to be effective ambassadors by presenting authentic African narratives, promoting education, supporting traditional medicine, and advocating for policy support. Partnerships with organizations such as Isumedia, AkweyaTv, Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID), and Africa Science, Technology, Innovation were instrumental in the success of the program.

During the Fellowship, Fellows engaged with professionals and academics, including Dr. Zainab Shariff, a pharmacist and advocate for traditional medicine. Dr. Shariff emphasized the cultural significance of traditional medicine and encouraged Fellows to embrace and promote their heritage.

The ADReF Fellowship provided a platform for journalists to deepen their understanding of African health issues, foster cross-cultural exchange, and advocate for holistic approaches to healthcare rooted in indigenous knowledge and practices.

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Gbenga Samson
Gbenga Samson
Samson Gbenga Salau [Editorial Board Adviser] Gbenga Samuel Salau is a professional journalist with over 17 years experience in journalism, he is a graduate of Communication and Language Arts, University of Ibadan. On completion of his youth service, he joined The Guardian as a freelance journalist and was later absorbed as a staff. While in the University, he was a campus journalist reporting for the Independence Hall and Faculty of Arts Press Clubs. As a campus journalist, he won the following awards; Independence Hall Press Best News writer; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best News Reporter/Writer; First Runner-up, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism; Association of Faculty of Arts Students’ Press Best Reporter; University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Political Writer; Winner, Reuben Abati Award for Investigative Journalism, and University of Ibadan Union of Campus Journalists’ Best Interviewer. He served the Association of Communication and Language Arts Students, as the Public Relation Officer, the same year he was appointed the News Editor of the Association of Faculty of Arts Students Press. The following session, he was made the General Editor, and a member of the 13-man University of Ibadan Students’ Union Transition Committee. As a reporter in The Guardian, in 2014, he won the Promasidor Quill Award Best Report on Nutrition and DAME Business Reporting category. In the 2015 edition of the Promasidor Quill Award, he won the best Report on Nutrition and Brand Advocate Categories, while in 2016, he won the NMMA Print Journalist of the Year, first runner-up Golden Pen Reporter of the Year and SERAs CSR Awards. Gbenga Salau loves traveling, reading, and listening to songs with good lyrics no matter the genre.

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