Focus, hardwork, God factor has helped me in life – Prof Tola Sunday

By Funmi Falobi

Oloruntola Sunday, Professor of Mass Communication, University of Lagos has attributed his achievements in life to hardwork, focus and divine Providence.

Speaking at a forum organised by the Journalists for Christ (JFC) International Outreach, a faith-based organisation for journalists and allied professionals to celebrate his recent Professorial promotion, Sunday said there are always challenges in life but with focus and determination, one will overcome.

Speaking on the topic, “My Newsroom to Classroom Story: Lessons and Opportunities” the University don stressed that challenges will come but with determination, victory is sure.

Recounting how he moved from the newsroom to the classroom, Sunday said he spent 12 years as a reporter and it took him 10 years before his appointment was confirmed at UNILAG.
“God has really been merciful to me”, he declared.

Giving insights on the route in the path to being a professor, he disclosed that it took his determination and doggedness to attain his desired academic height despite many limiting conditions. According to him, he could not do his doctoral degree programme in Unilag because he did not have the required grade. So he went to the University of Agriculture Abeokuta, UNAAB, for his PhD in the field of Agric Communications.
“At every point in life challenges will come but don’t let what you pass through affect you.

“I always tell my students that you can become whatever you want. Don’t let anything bring you down,” he maintained.

While explaining that the association one keeps and one’s vision for life goes a long way in achieving one’s goal, he added that “if you’re in a place and your vision tallies with someone, don’t leave that person.”

“My path has crossed with some people who have been instrumental to my growth. I always pray that my promotion will not be delayed and God bless the work of my hands.

“Be focused, don’t be lazy. Do your little efforts but don’t forget God’s factor,” he said.
He said it took a lot of effort transversing Abeokuta, where he was a doctoral student to Unilag, where he was a lecturer, sometimes, attending lectures in the morning as a doctorate student in Abeokuta, teaching his class as a lecture in Unilag in the afternoon and going back to Abeokuta for a late afternoon lecture.

While advising students to be diligent in their studies, he said “you are lucky, mass communication has been unbundled. It depends on which aspect you want to focus on. If you’re going into academics, be focused. There are lots of potential for you if you know what you’re doing. There are lots of opportunities, there are scholarships if you are focused.”

To practising journalists he said, “do your job. Have a vision and don’t let the immediate needs take you away from the future. Do whatever you’re doing very well for somebody is watching and at appropriate time there will be reward.”

The fellowship members commended the University don for his contribution to the advancement of communication in Nigeria and at the global scene.

While recounting how they started together as colleagues in the newspaper industry, JFC President, Lekan Otufodunrin averred that his doggedness and determination has brought him the feat.

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