Wilfred Mong- There Is Need To Improve Journalists Remuneration

Wilfred Mong- There Is Need To Improve Journalists Remuneration

Wilfred Mong, popularly known as ‘DsilentG’ is a radio presenter in Nigeria with City105.1FM, Lagos. He leads the sports team at the station. Our correspondent caught up with the soft-spoken broadcast journalist and he shared his career path with us.

Why sports broadcasting?

Specialising in sports journalism was an easy decision after I graduated from the University of Nigeria with a Bachelors degree in Mass Communication. Career counselors always encourage you to do what you love, and sports is that one thing I love. I first tried my hands at print journalism as an intern at The Sun newspaper, where several sports articles of mine were published. However, it was while interning at Minaj Broadcast International that I decided to settle for broadcast journalism. My phone rang around 4.30 am, it was my boss at the other end. I sprang on my feet when he asked if I could come to the office to co-host the breakfast show because the co-anchor was unavailable. As I journeyed to the office, I could feel sweat patches around my palms despite the cold morning breeze that met me in the ‘danfo’ (commercial bus in Lagos). A positive feedback from my boss after the impromptu programme was all the conviction I needed to go on, and here we are 14 years after. I have covered different sporting tournaments, such as the FIFA World Cup in Russia 2018, received international sports nominations and even mentored younger colleagues. The complexity in television and radio productions and the ability to reach different people around the globe from a room also contributed to my choice of broadcast journalism.

What would you say was the biggest achievement in your career?

Being nominated by the number one Sports Association in the world, AIPS was quite humbling. When I submitted my work for consideration, I only did so to fulfill all righteousness, but I was really shocked when my name my published in the top 20 of the Audio category of the AIPS Sport Media Awards in 2018. This remains my proudest moment since becoming a journalist and the biggest achievement in my career.

How did it feel hosting Rio Ferdinand on your show (earlier in 2020)?

This was another proud moment of my career. My station, City 105.1FM was the first medium to host the England and Manchester United legend when in Nigeria and I was the host of the programme. My phone kept ringing before, during, and after the interview, everyone asking how we were able to pull it off. Funny story, the vehicle Ferdinand rode in missed the entrance into the station, so he had to alight from the car to walk into the office premises. Of course, other motorists recognized him, some abandoned their cars in an attempt to get a selfie with the legend. It was a good sight, one memory that still remains fresh in my mind.

What are your opinions about sports journalism in Nigeria?

A lot needs to be improved upon, especially remuneration and professionalism. Some practitioners dabbled into the profession and know nothing about the ethics of the profession. Having a good understanding of a sport does not make you a sports journalist, it is imperative to get trained.

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