A candlelight procession was held on Friday evening, March 4, 2022, in honour of the late Ondo journalist, Shola llesanmi, an investigative reporter and fact-checker, who died on the 1st of March 2022 after a brief illness at the age of 36.
Some students of Adekunle Ajasin University, members of the SUG Union, colleagues, (including the NUJ secretary, Leke Adegbite, and the Chairman ethics committee of Ondo State Youth Network (OSYN), Comrade Bright Idemudia) and the family of the deceased turned up at the Ondo Pen House at Adegbemile in Akure, the Ondo state capital.
The mourning friends, dressed in black, raised candles as they sang a variety of solemn hymns while carrying placards with photographs of the late Shola llesanmi as they moved from the front of Adegbemile to other parts of Alagbaka.
Shola was once a campus reporter and is a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko. Shortly after leaving the university, he joined the state-owned TV station OSRC and moved to Orange FM as a pioneer staff. He left OSRC in January 2021 to join the BBC as an Ondo State correspondent.
He was a great journalist and writer who wrote with great empathy for society and has helped several upcoming journalists. The candlelight, no doubt, shall promote reflection and signify remembrance of a life cut short in his youth.
In memory of the late reporter, the launch of ‘The Shola Ilesanmi Solution Journalism Prize for Campus Reporters’ founded by his Committee of Friends in partnership with the National Union of Campus Journalists (NUCJ) was announced by John Paul Akinduro, Special Assistant on Media and Digital Communications to former Governor Olusegun Mimiko.
He stated that the committee will inaugurate a board of jurists who will coordinate the submission and review of entries and award of prizes to winners and also the award will come up every birthday of Shola Ilesanmi.
Akinduro further added that it was their special way of sustaining the legacy of the deceased who gave his all for the journalism profession and humanity.
“We pray that the almighty God shall comfort the llesanmi’s family during this trying period,” said Akinduro.
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