Nigerian journalist visits Malmö University to both share and learn
After a chance encounter on Twitter, a Nigerian journalist has had his first teaching experience at Malmö University where he shared his experiences of development issues in his home country.
Eromo Egbejule writes for, among other titles, The Guardian, Reuters and a number of Nigerian publications. He has just completed a month long visit where he led and participated in seminars and lectures for the Communication for Development master’s programme.
He was invited to the university by senior lecturer Tobias Denskus.
“I had written an article about the 244,000 children facing the risk of hunger in the north east of Nigeria, where Boko Haram is. Then Tobias reposted and blogged about my work. I wrote to him to thank him, saw he was in Malmö and made a joke about the footballer Zlatan Ibrahimović and then after a few days I got a message saying ‘do you want to come over?’ I jumped at the chance!"
It was agreed that Eromo should come over for a month to observe and talk about his experiences.
“I have been talking about the paradoxes of contemporary Nigeria, how regardless of the crisis and despite the stereotypical negatives coming out of the country, there are still positives.
“There is a boom that is threatening to bust through, we have one of the most blossoming tech industries in Africa. Mark Zuckerberg was in Nigeria last year because he had made an investment of 330 million USD in an Andela, an initiative which trains and recruits software developers. There is a district called Yaba, a growing technology hub and cluster of hundreds of institutions and start-up companies poised to offer home-grown solutions in Africa.
“We have ‘Nollywood’, by way of number of titles released per year, it is the second biggest movie industry in the world. There are so many positives, no matter how small they are, which are coexisting. We are not denying the negatives of war and the economies of stagnation, and that is what I have been trying to do here, juggle the balance.”
Eromo found the teaching methods here very different from those he had experienced as a student in Nigeria, and admits being a teacher in the classroom was a steep learning curve.
“I would be happy to do some more teaching in the future and I think I would use what I have learned here back in Nigeria, having an open conversation in the classroom is a great way for students to learn. I have had a great time here, and would be happy to come back.”