GV Board Elections 2017: Nwachukwu Egbunike

Nwach presenting the findings of his working group “Voices & Neutrality” in the 2012 GV's Summit in Nairobi, Kenya

I am Nwachukwu Egbunike, a poet, publisher and social media researcher. I live and work in Ibadan, Nigeria.

I was nominated for the Global Voices board elections. I wish to serve as your Volunteers’ Representative in the GV Board.

I joined Global Voices in 2011 and I have written posts for GV, Advox and Rising Voices. Asides my work in GV’s news room, I have also collaborated in many projects in the community. For instance, I mentored a young Nigerian in 2012 through the GV/Action Aid Activista bloggers’ training. In 2012, barely a year in Global Voices, I proposed that GV authors should have a ‘voice’. This suggestion ignited a series of pre- and post-summit discussions (virtual and visual). We later conducted a community wide survey, collated our findings and submitted same to the core team. As group leader, our recommendations later morphed into The Bridge. I was one of the panelists that discussed “Occupy Everywhere” at the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit held in Nairobi, Kenya in June 2012.

In 2014, despite being then, the only GV author in Nigeria, I organized the first GV Meet-Up in Lagos. Working with the director of Rising Voices (Eddie Avila) and former Managing Editor of GV (Solana Larsen), I was able to strike a partnership with a university in Lagos, sold GV to Nigerian bloggers/digital activists and personally funded the event.

I was a member of the defunct Advox Core Group (2013 – 2014). With the arrest of the Ethiopian Zone9 bloggers, I worked closely with the regional editor of SSA and the Advox Director to place their plight on the global front burner. Our main strategy was through a social media campaign that took advantage of our diverse the GV community. I co-hosted the 1st African Global Tweetathon which held on May 14, 2014. This massive tweeting about #FreeZone9Bloggers that trended in various parts of the world was also picked up by mainstream media. This was followed by “They Have Names” series of posts on Advox which humanized the individual members of the Zone9 Bloggers Collective, who are incarcerated in Ethiopia on trumped up terror charges.  They have since been released.

Reading statements for Jailed bloggers — with Arzu Geybullayeva, Jannie Lung, Mohamad Najem, Laura Vidal, Nwachukwu Egbunike and Thant Sin at Cebu City, Philippines. (Photo credit: Rai M Azlan)

Together with other core team GVers, we drafted and read out the Appeal to Free Citizen Journalists imprisoned across the world at the opening ceremony of our Citizen Media summit in Cebu, Philippines in January 2015.

My first Masters degree was in development communication and the second focused on social media and social movements. I am currently a PhD candidate with research interest in social media, youth political participation and ethnicity. I have published some papers in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. I have written two books: Dyed Thoughts, a conversation in and from my Country (2012) and a collection of poems entitled, Blazing Moon; which placed second in the 2015 Association of Nigerian Authors Prize for Poetry.

We are Global Voices! – Serving you as Volunteers’ Representative on the Global Voices Board

During the 10th anniversary of Global Voices I wrote that:

What struck me and has remained remarkable till now, is the strong family spirit. It’s so natural that despite the great diversity, GV community was built on a strong respect of each individual’s opinion and also world views.

This essentially remains the basis of my commitment to Global Voices. This is also what I hope to bring to the Board. I hope to, together with others, to deepen the links that makes us a unique community. This in my view remains the foundation of our engagement in today's world. As a community we have to constantly serve as bridges that unite and not walls that divide.

I therefore seek your votes in order to serve you as a volunteers’ representative on the Global Voices Board. I assure you that I will put in the same commitment that has guided all aspects of my engagement within GV since 2011.

We are the Bridge, We are Global Voices!

Global Voices group shot by non-drone! (Photo credits: Jeremy Clark)

With stories
We narrate history
With stories
We tell hidden tales

We’re the voice of the mute
We take it personal
We’re the Bridge
We’re Global Voices![1]

 

[1]  Nwachukwu Egbunike, “The Bridge” in Blazing Moon (2015), p 95

 

14 comments

  • Thanks for sharing, Nwach. Best of luck in the elections!

  • Good luck to you and remember to keep your head up high. All the best in the elections.

  • Many thanks MJ, a million thanks!

  • Thank you for your information dear Nwachukwu. I emphasize that sense of belonging.

    A warm hug,

    Lully

  • Good luck, Nwach. Btw, that poem of yours is amazing!

  • Hi Nwach – here is a question that I’m posing to all of the candidates, as a way to encourage discussion during the last couple of days of campaigning:

    1.) If you are elected board member, what would be the most critical challenge facing Global Voices that you would make your top priority to help address over the next three years? And why do you feel like addressing this challenge is especially important for our community?

    • Hi Eddie,

      If elected board member, I’ll make personal communication top priority.

      I do think that one of our main challenges as a community is both vertical and horizontal communication.

      By vertical communication, I mean the transmission of information, vision and the like between management and community. I have noticed that we have tried many ‘apps’ in the past – email thread, etc: yet there seems to be a certain gap in communication. There still remains, in my mind, a certain ‘mass’ type of communication between (management) the board and/or the community. I hope to change that. My strategy is simply working on existing bonds, or creating new ones in order to effectively transmit the vision of the board to other GVers across board.

      Considering the diversity of GV, there exists a weak interpersonal communication between members. Granted that those who have met in summits or conferences are able to forge bonds of friendships that make communication across lingua groups and newsroom easier, yet how about majority of GVers who do not have such opportunity? Another group are those members of our community who stand at the ‘peripherals’ – those who were once contributing but are no longer doing so; those who wish to unsubscribe from the mailing lists, active GVers who have gone dormant. I will wish to reach out to all these people. In addition, to find specific means of communication, that makes networking easier and more productive for active GVers.

      This I think is my number one priority — communication. For us to be the bridge, we have to be Global Voices!

  • Nwach, thank you for this detailed introduction! Following Eddie’s lead, I’m asking all the candidates a question too.

    Do you have any thoughts on how Global Voices can scale the trust we’ve built internally in our community to larger audiences outside of our community, so we can make more of the world look like GV?

    I don’t think there are any right or wrong answers to this question. In fact, I’m not sure I have answers myself (!), but would love to hear any thoughts that it inspires.

    Good luck in the election!

    • Hi Sahar,

      Thanks for the question and apologies for the delay… Just saw your comment this morning.

      On your question: I think the answer is simply ’empathy’.

      Permit me to regurgitate parts of a that email conversation I had with Lova after the Cebu summit which made it as a post: “Creating a media of Empathy,One Letter at a Time.”

      Thus I will re-propose these three factors which I think are still important in creating and sustaining empathy…

      1. Encouraging more co-operation between GVers to write post(s) from an inter-regional/cultural perspective.

      “The string of links for GV is a testimony to that. This conversation is another. Yet we need to be more proactive. I’d like to propose that our community write a series of posts framing global discussions on various topics, not just limited to tragedies. We should do it systematically over the span of, say, 6 months. Then we could review it and try to figure out how much of an impact these posts have had on the re-framing of conversations between the global north and south.”

      2. Doing what we know best in GV… Competence and understanding the context of news…

      “By doing the ordinary things we do in Global Voices: being bridge builders, adding context to stories, verifying our sources and above all, always seeking to understand the issues around the news. It might sound simplistic, but in my experience, the most extraordinary successes are often achieved by ordinary means.”

      3. Cherishing our common humanity and strengthening these bonds

      “I think you’ve ignited a thoughtful conversation, one I wish we actually talk about more often as media professionals. Empathy does not stand alone. It’s not just a beautiful concept that has no bearing to reality. As a matter of fact, being considerate flows from the reality of daily life and only then can it be abstracted and conceptualized as a lighthouse for humanity.”

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