“For me, a perfect day growing up was whenever I had lots of free time to read,” Uboho Ubong Akpan says. “I especially loved reading story books.”
Uboho, a content curator at Radiance Creative Media, is still passionate about the written word and about empowering her peers to read and reflect on the media they consume.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Uboho took to the messaging platform WhatsApp to organize a YALILearns session on the topic using the YALI Network Video Vignettes Stop, Reflect, and Verify.
The three-part series walks viewers through the fundamentals of media literacy and consumption. For Uboho, these skills are critical — especially today — in advocating for a more equitable future.
“A lot of conspiracy theories are being circulated,” Uboho says. “Especially against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Media literacy is critical, now more than ever,” Uboho adds. “From participants’ comments and reactions, I found that a lot of people are really tired of misinformation and want to do everything possible to combat it.”
The key to leading a meaningful discussion, Uboho explains, is learning to listen and to bring new voices to light.
“You need to be a very good moderator in order to keep the conversation flowing,” Uboho says. “It’s up to you to keep all participants engaged, especially in a virtual session.”
Though some of Uboho’s participants experienced connectivity issues, she was able to pull off a successful session, owing to her close study of the material and to her interest, first and foremost, in educating her peers.
“Don’t get discouraged; simply focus on the opportunities you’ve been given and work at them excellently,” Uboho says. “In life we may not always get what we want, but we can do our best and enjoy what we have and where we are.”
For Uboho, that resilience stems from putting others ahead of herself and combating misinformation.
“An inspiring leader, to me, is selfless and people-centered,” Uboho says. “She listens to others, understands their problems, and works hard to solve them.”
Uboho hopes to continue advocating for the state’s less fortunate in her pursuit of a transparent world, “a world free from violence.”