Prior to joining theEmerging African Leaders Programme (ELP) of the Centre for Social Awareness Advocacy and Ethics (CSAAE) as an Emerging Media Leader, I had great so many dreams, but I had no clear idea on how to go about achieving these dreams. So in seeking for associates and companions to learn from, I have over the years come in contact with a number of volunteer organisations, engaing with them to gain experince. Some of these organisations include: being anonline writer for the blog of Asante Africa Foundation (an NGO based in USA and East Africa); a Peace Journalist with Pax Christi International, gathering stories about refugees/internally displaced persons (IDPs) and human rights abuses in Nigeria; a member of the World Catholic Association of Communication (SIGNIS) and most recently, one of the Emerging Media Leaders of CSAAE.
Even with these few engagements, I have outlined above, there is still the urge in me to ask and push for more. This urge pushed me to apply for series of academic, professional and practical workshop related to media and journalism. The most recent of these workshops, was the just concluded Television Seminar organized by the TV Desk, of the World Catholic Association of Communication (SIGNIS), held in Dublin, Ireland, from 25-30 September, 2018. Even though I had the clearance to register for the workshop, I was not confident, I was afraid it was not going to be possible for me to obtain an Irish visa to attend the seminar, as such I sought for the assistance of travel agents to package this for me.
Few days for me to travel to Abuja to meet up with the agent, I decided to first attend the Mid-year Leadership and Entrepreneurship Summit of CSAAE, taking place in the month of May, at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State. A summit in which I was to be inducted into the Emerging Media Leaders of CSAAE. This summit gave me the confidence to abandon the idea of traveling to Abuja to see the agent. Listening to the founder of CSAAE, Fr. Dr. Godswill Agbagwa, narrate how people who wanted to travel abroad made mistakes through agents, I thought twice about using an agent. He encouraged us to complete the visa application by ourselves and avoid going through agents, who falsify lots of documents and ruin peoples’ chances of getting visas.
I reflected over these thoughts and decided to take the bold step of going through the visa process on my own. Few weeks later, I got a package from DHL, from Irish embassy. Behold, in the last page of my passport was an Irish visa. In other words, my contact with CSAAE, made me see reason to be confident in my abilities and capabilities. This saved me thousands of naira that I would have lost on transportation to Abuja from Aba and packaging fees. I have gone to the seminar, had wonderful experiences, made great contacts and connections, and I am back to Nigeria, to explore opportunities to implement my experiences and bring development to my community. While there, the Founder of CSAAE called me on the phone and told me to learn well and prepare to work with him on a media project that sounded like one of the things that I have always wanted to work on. Watch out for the project in the weeks and months ahead.
Another CSAAE summit is coming up in Abuja. I am going again. Check out the application form: http://emerging Africa leaders foundation conference timeline
Innocent Umezuruike Iroaganachi
Emerging Media Leader, CSAAE