The Courtroom Nigeria, a nationwide campus-based column, held its second annual induction ceremony on Friday and Saturday, January 4 and 5, 2019, respectively.
The two-day event, which took place at the SU Guest House, Samonda Ibadan, witnessed the official welcome of 18 new scribes, cutting across nine universities across the country.
The event featured a series of interactive training sessions facilitated by some of the past columnists of The Courtroom: Osho Samuel, Tijani Mayowa, Oredola Ibrahim, Kanyinsola Olorunnisola, ‘Kunle Adebajo, Yusuf Akinpelu and Habeeb Asudemade.
‘Fisayo Soyombo, pioneer editor at TheCable, managing editor of Sahara Reporters, and multiple-time winner of the Wole Soyinka awards for investigative reporting, served as the keynote speaker at the induction.
Talking in the topic, “Becoming a Total Writer: Investigative Journalism, Writing and Editing”, Soyombo advised the inductees to focus on maximising their skill set so as to become “complete” journalists.
Soyombo also charged the inductees on integrity while speaking on the qualities of an editor and stating that editors are like the gatekeepers to ensure sanity in the journalistic profession.
Founded in 2012 as the brainchild of Oluwamayowa Tijani and Samuel Osho, The Courtroom Nigeria was initially limited to the University of Ibadan, where it has been the best column for six years running.
It has since grown into an award-winning national column with a reach on campuses all over the country.
Speaking on the future of the column, Tijani said that the target is for further expansion across the continent.
“The goal is to build the largest network of writers, thinkers and campus journalists across flagship Universities in Africa,” Tijani said.
“So. what you see today is a glimpse into that future that is just around the corner.”
Similarly, Osho revealed plans to broaden the reach of the column.
“I am elated about the success of our induction event and excited to see the meaningful investments in a new generation of young writers,” Osho said.
“The Courtroom is gradually becoming a powerful network of intellectual writers that love to engage in the public discourse of controversial topics with facts and figures.
“It all started in the University of Ibadan and we believe that the time is ripe to extend this beautiful initiative to other Nigerian universities. It’s been a long and arduous journey to get here but we love what we do and that makes all the difference.”
Reacting after the two-day event, Abidemi Oguntunji, one of the inductees from Tai Solarin University of Education, joyously declared, “I don’t think metaphors have been invented for the experience and for how breathtaking the event was”.
“I can’t believe for just two days, I can know a whole lot about campus journalism, writing, investigative journalism, data journalism, handling of digital tools and others. The maxim comes to my mind, “you don’t have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great. The event was a hit!”.
His counterpart from the same university, Adelekan Abosede Kafilat, added, “it’s one of the greatest I’ve attended so far, I’ve attended lots of similar events but this one is unique on its own”.
Soyombo was given an award of honour for his impact on many of the successful writers and journalists The Courtroom has produced.
The Courtroom Nigeria is a group of young writers, thinkers, and campus journalists with a strong passion for intellectual debates and insightful discourses.
The network of writers uses “column writing as a tool for exploring advocacy journalism in the parlance of controversial topics on societal and political issues”.