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Award winning Nigerian investigating journalist, Fisayo Soyombo has said that he has been working for seven days every week for the past sixteen years.
He also added that the last time he had a weekend was 2004.
Soyombo said this to students while speaking at the Association of Mass Communication, Abraham Adesanya Polytechnic Press week in Ijebu Igbo.
The pioneer editor of The Cable spoke to students on “falling for journalism” at the press week tagged ‘the press: speaking up, finding our muted voices’.
In his words, “Journalism is not what you do to earn a living, not like banking or any other field. You can’t be a medical doctor or a lawyer if you don’t learn it in school but you can learn to write without the degree.
“I won’t preach to you about sound sleep, the longest sleep I have had was 6 hours, I’ve been sleeping for four hours for a very long time. I won’t preach to you about reading your Bible, I read but not all the time. I am not a hypocrite, I won’t tell you to do what I don’t do.
“2004 was the last time I experienced a weekend, I can’t wake up and say today is weekend, yes, let me sleep, eat and watch TV. No! I can’t. I haven’t had a weekend for 16 years. I have been working for seven days a week since 2004. I have had opportunity to be the Chief Press secretary to the governor, a spokesperson for a presidential candidate but I said no.
“My dad told me that I am not the kind of person that will see something wrong and look away. If you are the kind of person that seek the good of everyone, then you can think of journalism
He said what Nigeria needs from journalism is brilliant writers, conscientious reporters and editors and public interest reporters.
He told the students that despite being trained a livestock breeder at FUNAAB he had watched journalists closely while his father was a clerk in the state House of Assembly and had took interest in it.
He said he began practising journalism on campus adding that the field of training is not an hindrance for anyone to practice.
On what has been the motivation for his investigation, Soyombo said “Impact” has been the motivation for all his investigative reports.
When asked about the dilemma between killing a story to graduate or publishing to risk graduation by student journalists, he said, “at every point in time, something will be at stake. If you are afraid of your certificate now, what happens when you are threatened with your life, child or family?”
He ended by encouraging students who might want a career in journalism to be persistent and accurate in their reports