From being the best graduating student to becoming a full fledge Professor, here is an account of 50-year life journey of Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, third female professor of Mass Communication in the entire history of Nigeria + the roll call at her surprise-birthday event
The Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, on Monday April 5, 2021, led other distinguished scholars and accomplished administrators across Nigeria to honour the first female Professor of Mass Communication in the history of the University, Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika, on her 50th birthday.
Like Ogundipe, other guests at the surprise birthday, witnessed the launch of a Media Advocacy Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) where they, one after another, poured eulogies on the celebrant.
50 years in Pursuit of Excellence
Her education: A foundation of Merit
Professor Abigail Ogwezzy-Ndisika holds a B.A. in Linguistics, University of Port-Harcourt; PGD, MSc in Mass Communication, University of Lagos (Unilag), M.A. in Gender and Development, University of Sussex, England; and PhD in Communication Arts, University of Ibadan. Professor Ogwezzy-Ndisika started her career as an academic in the Department of Mass communication, University of Lagos on March 22, 2001 as a Lecturer II and rose to the rank of a Professor, on August 11, 2016. She is the first female Professor of the Department of Mass Communication, University of Lagos; at different times, she had served as the Head of this Department.
A British Chevening Scholar and an International Development Consultant, she was the best graduating student in Department of Linguistics, University of Port Harcourt.
Furthermore, she has been external examiner and mentor to various universities both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is an expert in Development Communication, and Public Relations and Advertising (PRAD); and her specialisation is gender studies.`
Her Career: In Pursuit of Excellence
Her work experience reveals versatility and covers so many areas of human endeavour. Indeed, she has an enviable track record of work experience, a sure reservoir to gain immensely from. Her training in Linguistics, Mass Communication, and Gender and Development equipped her with the conceptual, analytical and practical skills needed to deal with sundry issues.
As an International Development Consultant, she has worked on multi-sector projects and with a number of international organisations across Nigeria. At present, she is a consultant on Social and Behavioural Change Communication (SBCC); Gender and Communication; Media and Communication; Public Relations (PR); Advertising; and Management. She also serves as an External Collaborator/Expert on projects.
Prior to joining the services of UNILAG, she had worked as a corporate communication officer in a leading financial institution; worked with a television house as a news reporter and also worked in an advertising agency as a client service executive. So, she has industry experience in journalism, television broadcasting, public relations and advertising; and at present she engages in professional activities seamlessly.
She has been involved in various activities and programmes and acted either as a resource person, member of jury or chair of a panel for media and communication activities. Similarly, at various times she has been reviewer of several technical documents; chair, keynote/guest speaker, discussant and panellists at various fora; and producer of several development documentaries.
So, apart from her primary assignments of research, training and community service since 2001 at the University of Lagos; she has been involved in media advocacy, researches, design and implementation of communication strategy & action plans, training (curriculum/module/manual development and facilitation of trainings), training of trainers, conceptualisation and development of technical papers; review of technical documents; development of information, communication and education (IEC) materials, monitoring and evaluation of development activities, documentation and knowledge management, communication, media and gender. She has been involved in multidisciplinary researches: she the lead researcher and coordinator of a pan-Nigeria Rapid Assessment, and also wrote the national analytical report on the study; and have produced several development documentaries.
On strategy development, she has about two decades hands-on experience on strategy development and review on gender, media, communication and management. In addition, she is an experienced top-rated facilitator and have trained different participants on sundry corporate and development issues within and outside Nigeria. Again, since 2003, she has been a course facilitator and business development partner for a management consulting firm that offers Learning Solutions, Strategy and Advisory consulting, Risk and Talent Management consulting; and over the years, she has developed competences in business communication, project management, learning methodologies, leadership and management, and marketing communication.
The role call at Her 50th birthday event
The role call at her 50 th birthday ceremony with strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols includes the Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe; Director of Academic Planning, UNILAG, Prof. L. O. Chukwu; Communication legend, Prof. Ralph Afolabi Akinfeleye; Dr. Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi; Justice Yomi Olukolu, PhD; Chair, Nigeria/Ag. Regional Chair & Regional Manager AML/CFT CSO Forum West Africa, Barrister Efe Anaughe and Mr. Tim Melaye, ECOWAS Office, Lagos.
Others are Mr. Gbola Adiamoh, ECOWAS Office, Lagos; veteran journalist, Mr. Martins Oloja; Bishop Ossai; Pastor Kayode Sam Oluwafemi; and Mr. Babatunde Faustino.
She was a visiting scholar under the Erasmus+ staff mobility teaching programme at Birmingham City University (BCU), United Kingdom in April 2018; a recipient of ELF Petroleum Coy Ltd and British Chevening scholarship; laureate of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA); laureate of the African Association of Political Science, (AAPS)/Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation (HFGF); laureate of Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, Washington, DC; and 1991 best graduating student in Department of Linguistics, University of Port Harcourt.
She also won various research grants; and conference grants to attend Women Deliver 3rd Global Conference, at Kuala Lumpur in 2013; Women Deliver 2nd Global Conference at Washington, DC in 2010; and International Association for the Study of Forced Migration (IASFM), to attend a conference on forced migration at Pontifical Catholic University, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2005. She also won the Future Creative Leaders Academy (FCLA) Best Teacher of the year in 2018, a competition, sponsored by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
In addition, she is a member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (MNIPR); Associate Registered Practitioner of Advertising (arpa); member, Network on Behavioural Research for Child Survival in Nigeria (NETBRECSIN); member, Association of Communication Scholars & Professionals of Nigeria (ACSPN); Association of Women in Development (AWID); Association for Promoting Nigerian Languages and Culture (APNILAC); and International Association for Mass Communication Research (IAMCR). She is also the Vice-Chairperson, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of Saint Gregory’s College, Lagos.
Also, she has presented several keynotes on gender; delivered many empowerment lectures to girls, women and youths in different fora (churches, schools and during special events); and written so many editorials on gender and social issues being a member of the editorial board of the defunct Compass newspaper and currently The Guardian, a leading national newspaper in Nigeria. Again, she is a member of the Editorial Boards of Journals of Media and Communication Studies; and an external examiner at the undergraduate and post graduate levels to various universities.
Apart from being a keynote speaker at different fora, she has attended various local and international conferences; and she has research collaborators within and outside Unilag. She has published articles and books locally and internationally.
In all her accomplishments, she has consistently demonstrated enviable hard work, ingenuity and a strong commitment to being the best in her assigned task. She has also demonstrated exceptional intellectual comportment, a good grasp of the fine features of scholarship and the value of consistent hard work. She has shown over time that she can meet every demand of diligence and excellence. She is a good academic, administrator, manager of resources, motivator, writer and personality.
SELECT AWARDS/ HONOURS
• Best Graduating Student, Department of Linguistics and Communication, University of Port Harcourt (University Convocation Merit Award), 1992
• Future Creative Leaders Academy (FCLA) Best Teacher of the year in 2018, a competition, sponsored by the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
• Member, Superbrands Nigeria Council, Monday, February 17, 2020 – Till Present
• Member, Board of Trustees, International Press Institute (IPI), Nigerian Chapter Wednesday, March 24, 2020 – Till Present
• Vice-Chairperson, Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of Saint Gregory’s College, Lagos.