- Jackie Opara-Fatoye is the Head Strategist, Jackie Opara Media, a Lagos-based company that provides clients with strategic media campaign and prepares aspiring Journalists to kick-start their career in Journalism. She takes TMG through her journey in journalism which she says began from childhood.
TMG> Please introduce yourself:
I am Jackie Opara-Fatoye, a B.Sc holder in Mass Communication with a Certificate in Communications Skill and Protocol, Protocol School of West Africa. I am the Head Strategist of Jackie Opara Media in Lagos, Nigeria.
TMG> What sparked your interest in Media?
Jackie> I have always loved the media since I was a child. My Dad always made me read newspapers and watch the news. Each time I did that, I would always say to myself that this is what I want to do with my life. So I started by joining press clubs in primary school and when I got to secondary school, Reagan Memorial Baptist girls secondary school, I actively got involved with the press club. It was so natural that I study Mass Communication.
TMG> How long have you been a Journalist?
Jackie> I started my journalism career professionally in 2007.
TMG> What other form of training did you get and what is it like to be a journalist?
Jackie> I studied Mass Communication at the Madonna University and attended Protocol School of West Africa to get a certificate in communications skill and protocol and then attended a special training on science communication at the Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch Institute of Advance Study, South Africa.
My career as a journalist, despite its ups and downs, has been very rewarding so far and this is just the beginning of the great opportunities to come.
TMG> Is it difficult to be a journalist and how hard is it to reach out to your readers?
Jackie> Sometimes. Especially when I was working with the local media in Nigeria. You see, the proprietors of local media houses in Nigeria have little regard for Journalists; you would work for months and not get paid. This makes it difficult to do the job as I don’t understand how one would work for months without pay and you are expected to deliver.
TMG> What makes one successful in journalism?
Jackie> It is very important that you find new ways of practicing journalism. The world is moving at a very fast pace and every journalist must understand that you have to move with the trend or the train leaves you behind.
TMG> How would you evaluate your work and what kind of feedback were you receiving from readers?
Jackie> I get amazing feedback from my readers. This actually led me to launch my own media platform, Jackie Opara Media in Lagos this March. For the few months of existence, the response has been tremendous.
Apart from organizing press conferences for organizations and covering news and events, we also run a preparatory media school for aspiring journalists. It’s amazing that the students we have are graduates of mass communication who are eager to run with what they have learnt in the university. So we brush up what they know already and incorporate them into the journalism world
TMG< What do you find most challenging about your practice?
Jackie> I think the most challenging aspect is organizations that believe media professionals are bound to do everything for free. We have families to take care of and we have bills to pay. We are a profit organization and we expect to make profit with our jobs. If we do everything for free, I wonder how we are going to survive.
TMG> Tell us 3 things that you consider to be your strengths as a Journalist?
Jackie> Timeliness in delivery; Networking/ keeping in touch with clients, and my entrepreneurial mind.
TMG> Tell us about a memorable day of your journalism career you can’t forget?
Jackie> That would be when I won the 2014 Canada’s International Development Research Centre Science Journalism Award.
TMG> Apart from your journalism practice, tell us about your company and when it was established?
Jackie> We provide our clients with strategic media campaign. We work with clients from all sectors, including universities, institutions, government agencies and private individuals. We also run a preparatory school for aspiring journalists to kick-start their career in Journalism. The company was officially established in March 2017.
TMG> What are the aims and objectives of your company?
Jackie> To deliver individually tailored services that are vibrant innovative, outstanding, and efficient.
TMG> What do you like most about your practice?
Jackie > Getting to talk to and meet great personalities.
TMG> How do you stay educated about new trends to develop yourself?
Jackie > By going for trainings regularly, reading and catching up with other Journalists around the world.
TMG> Who are your role models and people that motivated you into this profession?
Jackie > Journalists that are sincere and toil day and night to be best at their jobs motivate me to do more.
TMG> Tell us about an accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Jackie> Establishing my media company.www.jackieoparamedia.com and getting to work with media organizations in South Africa, London, Sweden and Switzerland.
TMG> What way can you encourage others to be independent in any profession?
Jackie >They have to be entrepreneurial, put their best foot forward and focus on their strength.
TMG> How do you spend your free time?
Jackie> I watch movies and spend time with my family.