By: Abiola Durodola
While many have found themselves in the middle of a heated debate about the role of women in the contemporary society, Hannah Ojo has gracefully made her way to the podium of history among men of great competence in the field of journalism.
According to Patti Stanger, an Advice Columnist for www.PattiKnows.com; “the secret to being a successful woman in today’s market is to walk to the beat of your own drum, listen to your intuition, and always follow through”.Perhaps, her words of advice were enough for the young and tenacious Hannah Ojo who has found her feet strong in a profession largely dominated by the masculine gender.
Hannah Ojo hails from the historic royal town of Owa Adimula, Ilesha, a city in the state of Osun, south west, Nigeria.Reporter and writer with The Nation newspaper,Hannah Ojo graduated from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, where she decided to dive in to journalism. She began her journalism career as a campus reporter in the campus life section of one of the country’s most widely read national newspapers.
Hannah Ojo has remained one of the reporters that have further asserted the power of the pen and also affirmed the popular cliché“the pen is mightier than the sword.”Through her detailed and well researched reports, Hannah has carved a niche for herself in the field.
She is a great example and a model to young African ladies.She was the pioneer winner of“Cocacola/NBC reporter of the year” a national campus journalism award organized by Nigerian Bottling Company and Nation Newspaper in 2009. In 2016, she was named Winner of the Etisalat Prize for Most Innovative Reporter at the Nigeria Media Merits Awards. She also emerged winner of the Fisheries and Animal category in the 2016 Zimeo Awards, Kenya.
In November 2017, the tech-savvy Hannah Ojo was again on the podium of history as she came second in the Agriculture and food security category of the 2017 Zimeo Excellence in Media awards. Recently, she was announced as an impact Africa grantee, where she was a finalist for the best reporting entry with her investigative report into contaminated sachet water brands in Lagos called “Sketchy Sachet Water”.
Despite the challenges she had in the early stage of her career, she remains undaunted as she purses her dream. “For a time”,”Hannah explained in an interview on iJnet.com,”I was discouraged. People told me, you’re going into journalism? You’re not going to make a lot of money.”According to her, the drive to succeed and make a name in the field has been the reason behind her success since joining in 2015.
She has since made impact and created positive change with the stories she wrote.
Although,the beginning was small and the journey has been rough, the determined award winning writer was never deterred from pursuing her dreams.
She expresses staunch optimism and abiding faith in the possibilities of this great nation, she also believes young and emerging journalists should not be discouraged. According to her “It’s not about making money; it’s about being a voice in your generation.No amount of money can really compare to that”.
Since she forayed into the field, energetic Hannah has travelled beyond the shores of Africa’s most populous country and her stories have earned her recognition both far and near.
Earlier this year, Hannah Ojo and five other journalists as were announced as BudgiT media fellows for 2017. She has also teamed up with NaijaDataLadies, a group of female journalists and data experts working assiduously to change the face of reportage through the use of data in Nigeria.
Her story remains an inspiration to the myriads of young women pursuing their dream in Africa.