Mr Remmy Nweke, who, at first glance appeared stern and composed, broke out in this even smile after I began talking to him about his blog during the Highway Africa conference this year. Picture taken from http://www.diplointernetgovernance.org/profile/IkeMowete?xg_source=activity
Being a part of the Highway Africa conference gave me a chance to meet some of Africa’s finest media professionals. God fearing and dedicated Remmy Nweke, the first Nigerian to be recognized in all his international prizes, is one such person. He is the Senior Reporter and Head of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) desk at Champion Newspapers Limited in Lagos, Nigeria. He is also the editor of the award-winning blog, ITRealms Online.
Nweke sees blogging as a semi-occupation. “You can call it my hobby, and a serious hobby at that,” he remarks. Nweke’s work keeps him busy as he has to be online most of the time, especially after closing work. According to Nweke, this requires discipline and a supportive family and wife. He is the first in a family of ten and is married to a trained journalist, Mrs Nkemdilim Nweke. When he was in primary school and even afterwards, Nweke usually worked on weekends with his father in order to earn money for his school fees. “I believe so much in hard work,” he says.
Hard work is definitely a large contributing factor to Nweke’s many achievements. “There is no year since 2002 that my journalism work is not professionally recognized,” Nweke says. As a founding editorial member of Highway Africa News Agency (HANA), he won the first ever HANA-SABC Journalist of the Year award. He is also the first Nigerian to ever be elected into the HANA editorial board. At this year’s Highway Africa Conference, he was the first runner up at the Telkom-Highway Africa New Media Awards.
Amongst his other great achievements is being the runner up in research and innovation at the African Information Society awards organized by the United Nations Economic Community for Africa (UNECA). He was also presented an award in the category of the Information Technology (IT) business solution for the second time at the 2005 African Siemens Profile awards held in South Africa. These are just a few of the numerous awards Nweke has bagged and there is no doubt that more are on the way. Nigeria has a reason to be proud.
Ever since Nweke read about Nigeria’s first President, the late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, he has always wanted to be a reporter. “ I always wanted to contribute to the growth of my society, which now has become a global village; in the fight against injustice and other social vices and I think that journalism offers me that opportunity, more so to educate and entertain the populace and improve the condition of lives around me through my writings”.
Nweke graduated from The Institute of Journalism and Management Education in Enugu, Nigeria with a Diploma in Journalism and a Diploma in Computer Studies. He went on to receive his Advanced Diploma in Journalism and also completed a Post Graduate Diploma programme in Contemporary Diplomacy with the University of Malta in collaboration with Diplo Foundation in 2006. He recently defended his Master of Art (MA) in Contemporary Diplomacy with the University of Malta.
According to Nweke, blogging is a valuable tool for journalists to market themselves online as they remain active in this information age by communicating well with people and reporting their activities. “The role of journalists in today’s society is to embrace technology, especially ICT as it portends the tripod for the future survival as the information century unfolds”. Nweke also emphasizes the importance of training and retraining as it leads to eventual success.
“Above all, I think breaking even in my career to become who I am today is my greatest achievement and I give the Almighty God the glory for His love and blessings,” says Nweke. Amen to that.
Follow ITRealmsOnline on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ITRealmsOnline.