When a third-year mass communication student of Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State, was sent by one of his lecturers to be considered for internship at The Journalism Clinic, his mention of photography as his interest triggered an idea: a pictorial storytelling site.
Taiwo Obe, The Journalism Clinic’s Founder/Director, says that was the moment inspiration came, while providing the background to the creation of MyTori that went live on https://mytori.ng.
“I once did a LinkedIn article where I said that my pieces on the social and professional networks are to demonstrate to our trainees that everything I teach is possible. It took a while for this student to get started doing what I told him to do – interviewing and taking pictures of his neighbours in Ojo Local Government Area where he lives,” Obe, The Journalism Clinic’s Founder/Director, says, thereafter deciding to “start MyTori as a demonstration platform.”
Obe, a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors and Commonwealth Professional Fellow, says that the story of his classmate’s nephew he had been asked to help find a place for his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) primary assignment in Ibadan, Oyo State, was another buoy.
“When I asked this young man, who has a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Bowen University in Iwo, to tell me about himself, he said he has interests in photography, cinematography, content creation, and graphic design. Somehow, NYSC refused to approve his posting to Oyo State, and he sought redeployment to Lagos State. So, I have made a requested to NYSC to post him to The Journalism Clinic. That will be his work when he joins August ending after his NYSC orientation. He was excited when I told him that he would be learning a few things from me, although I did not go into specifics.”
Obe is also excited to have worked with one Stephen Oloh, a 2016 computer science graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, based in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State on developing the website. “This young man,” he says, “has a special story. We have only met virtually. One day in 2018, he sent me a Direct Message on Twitter, stating how he was robbed at gunpoint and dispossessed of his valuables, including his laptop, phones, and certificates, and since then things had not been the same for him. I have been trying since then all I could do to support him and find his feet again. When this idea came, I decided that he would play a significant role and he has proved that he is superbly competent.”
According to Oloh: “I hope that MyTori would show readers why it is okay to feel lost, and help readers realise that they are not alone; that moments of doubt and uncertainty are all normal on the journey of life.”
Obe cites a quote by Bishop Desmond Tutu who said that: “My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”