Award Winning Reporter, Kola Adeyanju graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Economics. His achievements seem effortless, but his journey to stardom includes some obstacles and sacrifices.
A master storyteller, he did not have anyone willing to tell his story properly. I knew then that I had to get the complete picture of the mesmerizing portrait being painted by his writing career and hope it inspires others as it had me.
Kola Adeyanju’s journey from lecturing to journalism working with some of the most acclaimed sports networks deserves keen attention.
Yours sincerely sat under the gentle warmth and calm breeze with Kola Adeyanju. He had an iridescent glow in his eyes and his voice tinged with experience and confidence. The first question I asked was why he thought there was no buzz on his success story. His remarks hinted at elements of his character, he does not really care about the politics of journalism.
He is happy with the luxuries and experience being at some of journalism’s hallowed grounds has given him and yearns to tell those daring stories no one else seems interested.
In an exclusive interview with editor of Futbalgalore.com, Ademetan Abayomi, the Oyo-born reporter shared his experience and success story.
Futbalgalore.com: You were actually a Lecturer before delving into Journalism. How did the journey started?
Kola Adeyanju: I grew up as a young boy who loved and played football. I played football at Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Institution. Following the completion of my Tertiary education, I moved to Abuja to start teaching. It was actually a College of Education that I lectured. After classes, I took time to Script Sports.
Oviedie Kordeso, a veteran at AIT featured me on Sports File. I became known by people. Frank Ilaboya mentored me, I started reporting for Channels TV and Sports Metro. I then decided to quit lecturing for Journalism. I wasn’t paid working for AIT and Channels TV. The zeal to excel kept ringing in me. That galvanized me to greater things. I then pitched tent with Hot FM, where I reported the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) for them.
Futbalgalore.com: Did you actually studied Mass Communication at the University?
Kola Adeyanju: I didn’t study Mass Communication at the University. I’m a graduate of Economics. The passion for the job helped me learn the roots. I tried as much as possible to learn from people who are professionals to put me through.
Futbalgalore.com: What drove your momentum for the game of football?
Kola Adeyanju: Like I said earlier, I played football in school. Right from age 7 my best recreation centre was Kano Pillars Stadium in Sabon Geri. I loved to see Raka Rovers and Dantata FC play. When Kano Pillars was formed, they became my favourite team. I must confess that Ahmed Garba “Yaro Yaro”, Baba Lungu, Manga Mohammed, Clement Odigie and a host of others gave me reasons to fall in love with Pillars. Sai Masu Gida!
Futbalgalore.com: Did you actually gave it a good thought before dumping a salary paying job for Freelance Journalism?
Kola Adeyanju: It was a difficult decision leaving a salary of N86000 per month in 2006. As a freelancer, you’re not entitled to salaries. You just try to grow in the job and earn recognition. I remember vividly the likes of Cordezo and Ilaboya tutored me.
They are my mentors as far as Sports Journalism is concerned. I won’t forget the Late Felix Okugbe. These are people who taught me on the need to be professional. My father and mother have always been supportive. Mum told me that, “Kola you are an adult and should know what is the best for you.” Her encouragement was the tonic I needed to excel in the job.
Futbalgalore.com: What is the secret to your success story?
Kola Adeyanju: I write for passion. I see story as the air I breath. Infact, if I don’t write story in a day sickness will takeover my body. When I wake up, I put up five to six stories. I love hunting for stories like the air I breath. I write in the bathroom, I write when am passing faeces, I write when driving. I try to travel to source for information all over the country. I make efforts to meet with the gladiators of the game (Administrators, coaches and players). My duty is to get first hand information, understand their lifestyles and also know them in person.
Futbalgalore.com: Are you the most successful Sports Journalist in Nigeria?
Kola Adeyanju: Wow……If you talk about being the most successful journalist, I beg to disagree with you. To be modest, am just okay. My sense of comfort comes from putting three-square meals on my table. My drive not to live in the world of “Penury” gets me scared. I try to save for the rainy days.
Futbalgalore.com: Can you share your success story to aspiring journalists and fellow colleagues.
Kola Adeyanju: There is a business angle to football. It is diversified. You can do a lot of things with clubs. You can sign contracts, be their Media Manager or Software Manager. You can also recommend talents to clubs. There are lots of ways to improve our standard of living. You know how the job is in this country. Some organizations owe their workers five to six months salaries. One needs to think outside the box. In doing that, one needs to be professional in order to earn respect from the gladiators. We should think outside the box. Pastor Emeka Inyama (Abia Warriors Chairman) and Charles Ehiedu Aniegwu (Delta State Commissioner For Information) are seasoned Journalists that rose to become well respected administrators.
Futbalgalore.com: You’re known as an Award Winning Journalist. Which of them is the most memorable?
Kola Adeyanju: I have won many like Nigeria Sports Award, FCT Best Sports Writer, Mascot Award and Nigeria Football Supporters Club Award. But the most memorable is the one by the Sports Writers. You practise the same profession and your colleagues unanimously see you fit as the best. That tells you that the award is credible, professional and highly recognized.
Futbalgalore.com: What is your advise to aspiring and upcoming journalists?
Kola Adeyanju: Sports Journalism is very demanding. It is a job that could make or mar a person. You’re left with many options before delving into it. It is passion that makes a person successful in the job. There is need to be dedicated, diligent, disciplined, meticulous and focused. Hardwork pays when skills fail you. Hardwork brings recognition.