By Daniel Akinte

Emmanuel Oluwadola, the president of the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) and a final year student of Mass Communication at Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko, emerged as the winner of the Punch Years book essay competition for mass communication students and campus journalists.

Emmanuel Oluwadola’s triumph in The Punch Essay Competition was announced with great acclaim by the organizers on April 8, 2024. 

His victory in the Punch Years book essay competition for mass communication students and campus journalists solidified his prowess in the field.

In an interview with this reporter, Oluwadola stressed the significance of his win, stating, “Winning this essay is a call to do more, just like the general saying that the reward for hard work is more work. So, it’s a call for me to do more.” 

This resounding sentiment echoes the ethos of perseverance and dedication emblematic of the journalistic profession.

When asked about the hurdles encountered during the essay writing process, Oluwadola candidly shared, “My biggest challenge was meeting the deadline because it was during the time that we were having exams and I was preparing for my exam coupled with some activities. As a campus journalist, there were a lot of things I was doing.” 

His ability to navigate these challenges with grace and determination underscores his commitment to excellence.

Moreover, Oluwadola attributed his success to adhering meticulously to the guidelines provided by the organizers. 

“There were guidelines that were given to us that we should highlight the interesting part of the book, the contribution of those who wrote the book in the chapter that we were given to review. So, these were the things that I followed,” he elucidated. 

Delving into the essence of his essay, Oluwadola expounded, “The essay was centered on the chapter 7 that I was given in the Punch YearBook. So the 7th chapter was written by Mr. Adegboyega (A.k.a Cyclone). He narrated his experience right from his University days.” 

This insightful exploration of Mr. Adegboyega’s journey exemplifies Oluwadola’s ability to engage with complex narratives and extract their essence for a discerning audience.

The title of the book reviewed was “Undying Flame of Passion,” which underscored the narrative experience of former editor of Punch newspaper, Mr. Adegboyega.

He said, “chapter 7 explained and narrated the experience of Mr. Adegboyega right from the University days; how he started nursing his ambition to become a journalist, especially to be employed in the Punch newspaper.”

He added, “the chapter explained Mr. Adegboyega challenges, what he faced right from the interview when he finished from the University, and the rate of unemployment then was very high and he and his friends saw one opportunity in the Punch newspaper. So, him and his friends were able to jump into that opportunity and they were interviewed. Out of 44 people that applied and participated in the interview, only 4 people were selected.”

Moreover, Oluwadola said the essay entails how the story of Mr. Adegboyega would inspire young and upcoming journalists that they should have passion for the profession just as he had passion right from his university days till this very moment. Adding that “passion is what will keep you going as a journalist.”

He also mentioned the challenges Mr. Adegboyega faced such as salary arrears and unfavorable job conditions, but passion kept him in duty.

“Mr. Adegboyega faced a lot of challenges that could have made him withdrawn, just like salary arrears that were not paid on time during that time in the organization. There were a lot of things; his friends, his colleagues quitted, they left  and went for better options but because of the passion and ambition he has for the profession, he was able to stay through.

He stated that Mr. Adegboyega was a last-man standing.

“He was the last-man standing. Like one of his words in the chapter, he was the last-man standing. The one man, one desk.

“So, this is just an inspiration for upcoming journalists that they should have passion for the profession. They should not be discouraged by whatsoever circumstances or challenges they encounter.

“Every profession has its own challenges and hazards but the ability to stay through, our ability to keep on going is what makes a difference,” he added.

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