Archive for the ‘United Nations Special Days’ Category

World Press Freedom Day: A Stroll With Milliscent Maduagwu by Ebeneza Wikina

Source: Milliscent Maduagwu

Source: Milliscent Maduagwu

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day. This was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of UNESCO’s General Conference. Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

According to the United Nations’ website, World Press Freedom Day presents an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom; assess the state of press freedom throughout the world; defend the media from attacks on their independence; pay tribute to journalists who have lost their
lives in the line of duty.

In collaboration with a UN Volunteer Ebeneza Wikina, a young and visionary Nigerian at Write Paragraphs, we bring to you his stroll with Milliscent Maduagwu, a young Nigerian journalist. Enjoy the interview, and don’t forget to drop a comment, and share! Happy World Press Freedom Day!

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It’s not really easy to get an ‘On Air Personality’ for a ‘down to earth’ interview, because just like their name suggests; they’re always ‘on air’ and hard to reach.. But somehow I was lucky to break the barriers and got one of Nigeria’s finest OAPs to have a stroll with me. She’s currently working with NigeriaInfo(92.3 Fm) Port harcourt. I was also lucky to get her autograph too (smiles).. well here is what we discussed;

Ebenezar: thank you very much for your time, I feel honoured having this stroll with you. First question; Is being an ‘On Air Personality’ your Childhood dream? Is this what you’ve always wanted to be?

Milliscent: Well, yes and no. No because I never had a particular course or profession I wanted to study, I really believed I could do anything I set my mind to. Then yes, being the fact that deeply I always wanted something that mattered, to be in the eye of the storm, to make a change, a difference, to help and we all know that the media is one of
the tools,but it never struck me at first…

Ebenezar: What was growing up like for you? Was it fun all the way?

Milliscent: LOL(laughs). . . it’s just like saying someone had the perfect childhood, I think not. It was a mixture of pleasant and the unpleasant. I remember always wanting to have my way (which I still do every now and again) but sometimes I met bulwarks from either of my parents, and my siblings. Now the latter, literally a thorn in the flesh I had to put up with a lot of things from my elder brothers coming from a family of 5 kids being the 1st girl and number 4 on the list. I had to conform to a lot of punishments, lol, and yeah some perks from having boys before me no one dared get on my other side.

Ebenezar: what is your favourite genre of music?

Milliscent: Hmmm music… No particular one. I love all kinds it all depends on my mood.

Ebenezar: The Midday dialogue; the radio show you co-host with Joy Eberebe gives the audience the oppurtunity to call in and air their views on different issues. What do you think are the benefits of Freedom of Speech to a country?

Milliscent: Freedom of speech is amazing. Imagine being dumb, not being able to speak or be heard because of fear or government restraint, incarceration. There’s nothing like what I’d call the freedom of the tongue, especially in a democratic setting as ours, where the people’s votes count. Free speech is an indispensable tool of self-governance in a democratic society. It enables people to obtain information from a diversity of sources, make decisions, and communicate those decisions to the government. Beyond the political purpose of free speech, is a “marketplace of ideas.” Rather than having the government establish and dictate the truth, freedom of speech enables the truth to emerge from diverse opinions. In the words of Justice Louis Brandeis “freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth.”

To continue with this interesting interview, simply click here


World Day of Social Justice: A Stroll With Jessica Minhas by Ebeneza Wikina

February 20 of every year is World Day of Social Justice. It is a special day set aside to bring the world’s attention to issues of social justice in our society today. In various countries across the world, including Nigeria, social injustice is actually rising.

With our collaboration with UN Volunteer Ebeneza Wikina, a young and visionary Nigerian at Write Paragraphs, we bring to you his stroll with Jesseca Minhas. Against the background of social injustice, Jesseca Minhas grew up to become a jewel in her neighbourhood, and a voice for social justice in the globe.

Enjoy the interview, and don’t forget to drop a comment, and share! Happy World Social Justice Day!

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up in a thousand fold in the future.” ~ Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

jessica5F8143E4-4A1D-413F-9F42-A48F74E965B3Image Credit: Jessica Minhas
Jessica grew up in an environment no parent will wish for their child.
One filled with addiction, racism, and curse words, and these in turn had so much negative effect on her mind that at a point she even began to think she was black–no thanks to how Grand Pa treated her. Now all this can set-up a child for a sad, depressed, inferiority complex-filled adulthood right? Well, that’s the twist in today’s story. Just as gold passes through the heat of the mine to become pure, Jess grew above the limitations of her childhood into an
adulthood filled with hope, love, and beauty. Jessica is a speaker, activist, TV Host and producer specializing on culture and media’s impact on women. Her work has taken her around the globe exploring issues such as human trafficking, child labour, medical tourism, youth advocacy, and much more.

Also former Miss Florida USA and 4th Runner-up for Miss USA in 2003; Jessica told me about her passion for volunteering and fighting for justice; and also explained how she grew from the very many ugly things said to her as a child to winning beauty pageants. Here’s my stroll with Jess;

Ebenezar: So let’s start from where it all began. What point in your life did you look at yourself in the mirror and say, “I want to become a social Justice activist, and a humanitarian”?

Jessica: You know, growing up in a house where all you see is abuse and addiction day in, and day out, can make you really start to question life, humanity and, “What does all of this mean?” For me, I felt so silenced and broken that I started from a pretty early age trying to help others live better lives because it gave me hope in the midst of my circumstance. So I was constantly volunteering to; one, get out of my house; and two, to see that life could get better. So I think the first time I actually did something in line with my future calling as an “activist” was when I was in middle school and I convinced my best friend, Lindsey Knight, to make wreaths and decorated pine cones for the neighborhood nursing home. We spent a few weeks every day after school with hot glue guns making this pathetic Christmas ornaments and then went to the
nursing home after school where I tried to slowly make my way through Christmas Carols key by key on the piano, and Lindsey sang with the elderly. It was quite a pitiful show but it reminded me that even the talents we think we are miserable at can be a part of making an impact in the lives of others.

Ebenezar: Awww, that was cute. The UN says we advance social justice when we remove the barriers people face because of gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, and the likes. My question is, why do you think we still have these barriers in this 21st Century Internet age? Despite all the civilization.

Jessica: Yeah, that’s a great question. I am sure we have all wondered why there’s so much hate, and how it’s possible for humans to treat each other the way we do. I think the first thing that comes to mind is one of the first stories in the Bible, where God kills an animal to cover Adam’s shame. So this idea that shame is the strongest human emotion next to love, I think dictates the way we interact with one another. Our behavior and choices are likely always coming from a place of love or of fear and shame. I think having conversations around the difficult topics like war and inter-religious conflict will, and have already, continue to break down the barriers between us by creating understanding and working towards peace together.

To continue with this interesting and inspiring interview, simply click here

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