Dele Olojede

Dele Olojede (born 1961)[1][2] is a Nigerian journalist and former foreign editor for Newsday. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his work covering the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. He serves on the board of EARTH University, in Costa Rica, and he is a patron of the Etisalat Prize for Literature.[3]

Dele Olojede
Modakeke, Nigeria
OccupationJournalist and former foreign editor for Newsday
EducationUniversity of Lagos
Alma materColumbia University
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize


Olojede was born in January 1961 in Modakeke, Nigeria.[1] He was the 12th of 28 children. In 1982, he began his journalism career at the National Concord in Lagos, a newspaper owned by aspiring political figure Moshood Abiola. Olojede left the paper in 1984 after he became concerned that Abiola was using the paper to advance his personal political ambitions.[4]

Olojede enrolled at the University of Lagos where he studied journalism. As a student he was particularly influenced by Nigerian literary luminaries like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Cyprian Ekwensi and other African writers like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o.He also acted Shakespeare in grade school and dabbled in poetry in Yoruba and English[2]

Olojede became one of the founding staff writers of a Nigerian news magazine called Newswatch in 1984. The magazine was edited by Dele Giwa, a well-known Nigerian journalist who was killed by a mail bomb on 19 October 1986. Olojede publicly accused Nigeria's military leader Ibrahim Babangida of being responsible for the murder. In 2001, eight years after leaving power, Babangida refused to testify before a human rights court about the murder.[4]

A 1986 investigative report by Olojede on the imprisonment of the popular Nigerian musician Fela Kuti led to Kuti's release and the dismissal of the judge who imprisoned him. In 1987, Olojede's efforts earned him a US$26,000 Ford Foundation Scholars grant which Olojede used to get a master's degree at Columbia University. At Columbia he won the Henry N. Taylor Award for outstanding foreign student.[1] Olojede eventually became a US-Nigeria dual citizen.[5]


On 6 June 1988, Olojede joined Newsday, the Long Island-based newspaper, first as a summer intern and later as a reporter covering local news, including a stint in the Hamptons, on the East End of Long Island. He eventually became United Nations Correspondent, a perch from which he began to cover Africa, making several extended trips to the continent. He was subsequently named Africa Correspondent, based in Johannesburg, South Africa, following the release of Nelson Mandela from prison.

Olojede later worked as a correspondent in China from 1996 to 1999, after being named Asia Bureau Chief, based in Beijing. His reporting took him to all but a handful of Asia countries. Following his assignment in Asia, he returned to Long Island where he became foreign editor of Newsday. In January 2004, Olojede took an opportunity to return to Africa as a correspondent to write about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, ten years later.[5]

In April 1994, when the genocide broke out in Rwanda, Olojede was covering the South African general elections, the first free elections at the end of apartheid. Olojede has said that while the South Africa story was important, he has often wondered if he could have helped the situation in Rwanda if he had gone there instead.[6][7]

Olojede's 2004 series on the aftermath of the Rwandan Genocide was well received. One story that drew particular attention was "Genocide's Child" about a mother who was raising a son conceived during a gang rape during the war.[6]

In 2005, Olojede won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for his "fresh, haunting look at Rwanda a decade after rape and genocidal slaughter had ravaged the Tutsi tribe." The series was viewed as a major accomplishment for black journalists. Olojede was assisted by African American photographer J. Conrad Williams, and much of the series was edited by Lonnie Isabel, another African American journalist who was the assistant managing editor for national and foreign coverage.[5]

By the time he won the Pulitzer, Olojede had already left Newsday. The Tribune Company had purchased Newsday from its previous owners in 2000, and by 2004 were trying to trim costs. At the end of 2004, Newsday offered a round of buyouts. On 10 December 2004, Olojede took the buyout and moved to Johannesburg, where he was living when he learned he had won the Pulitzer.[5]

Back to Africa

As of 2006, Olojede was living in Johannesburg with his wife and two daughters. In November 2006, the East African Standard reported that Olojede was hoping to launch a daily newspaper that would be distributed across the entire African continent.[2]

Returning to Nigeria, Olojede launched 234Next in 2008, first on Twitter and then online and in print. Hiring 80 new journalists fresh out of college and working out of a diesel-powered 24-hour newsroom, NEXT worked to expose government corruption in the face of much resistance.[8] Most famously, NEXT scooped the story that the president, President Yar'Adua was secretly brain dead and not "returning soon from a Saudi hospital" as promised.[9] While this story resulted in the elevation of Goodluck Jonathan to the presidency, other stories such as the revelation that the Oil Minister Rilwanu Lukman was still in the oil business and involved in massive bribery were utterly ignored by officials.[10] NEXT also exposed extreme corruption in Nigeria's oil industry in a series of detailed investigative reporters that were subsequently confirmed by independent investigators. The then oil minister, Diezani Alison Madueke, still faces corruption charges in a London court as of July 2018.

In 2011, Dele Olojede won the John P. McNulty Prize,[11] which was established to reward the most innovative projects driving social change created by Fellows of the Aspen Institute.[12] The Prize was awarded for Olojede's vision and efforts in creating NEXT in Nigeria.[13]

Under Olojede, NEXT paid its journalists a living wage, opposing the usual local practice of politicians paying journalists and expecting only favourable coverage in return. It scooped many stories of public interest, but found that advertisers would no longer support it. When it collapsed in 2011, it owed its staff more than five months' wages.[14]


In addition to the Pulitzer Prize, Olojede has won several journalism awards.[1]

  • 2011 McNulty Prize
  • 2010 Prize for Ethical Leadership, World Forum for Ethics in Business
  • 2010 100 Most Creative People, Fast Company
  • 2009 Distinguished Alumni Prize, Columbia University in the City of New York
  • 1992 Unity Award from Lincoln University
  • 1992 Media Award from the Press Club of Long Island
  • 1995 Publisher's Award from Newsday
  • 1995 Educational Press of America Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Educational Journalism


  1. ^ a b c d "Dele Olojede Biography". National Association of Black Journalists. 13 April 2005. Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  2. ^ a b c "Dele Olejede – the Pulitzer Award Winner". The East African Standard. 11 November 2006.
  3. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b "Dele Olojede: The first citizen of journalism". The Financial Times. 15 May 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d "African-Born Pulitzer Winner Catches His Breath". 6 April 2005. Archived from the original on 6 August 2006. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  6. ^ a b "Pulitzer-Prize Winner Dele Olojede". National Public Radio. 8 April 2005. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  7. ^ "Olojede: The Pulitzer laureate opens up". 22 April 2004. Retrieved 12 August 2007.
  8. ^ Prize, McNulty. "Dele Olojede". 2011 McNulty Prize Winner.
  9. ^ Press, Propaganda. "NEXT: President Yar'Adua Is Brian-Damaged". News Story.
  10. ^ Mojeed, Musiliku. "Oil Minister in Oil Business". NEXT Article (reposted).
  11. ^ John P. McNulty Prize
  12. ^ Fellows of the Aspen Institute
  13. ^ Prize, McNulty. "2011 Winner". Dele Olojede, 2011 McNulty Prize Winner.
  14. ^ Nigeria's 'brown envelope' journalism. Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani. BBC News 5 March 2015. accessed 10 07 2015.

External links

2005 Pulitzer Prize

The Pulitzer Prizes for 2005 were announced on 2005-04-04.

9mobile Prize for Literature

The 9mobile Prize for Literature (formerly the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2013–16) was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013, and is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first-time African writers of published fiction books. Awarded annually, the prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the University of East Anglia.The 9mobile Prize for Literature also aims to support publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of all shortlisted books, to be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent.In 2017, Etisalat Nigeria renamed itself 9mobile and the award name changed at the same time.

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Adaobi Tricia Obinne Nwaubani is a Nigerian novelist, humorist, essayist and journalist. Her debut novel, I Do Not Come to you by Chance, won the 2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (Africa), a Betty Trask First Book award, and was named by the Washington Post as one of the Best Books of 2009.

Ama Ata Aidoo

Ama Ata Aidoo, née Christina Ama Aidoo (born 23 March 1942) is a Ghanaian author, poet, playwright and academic. She was the Minister of Education under the Jerry Rawlings administration. In 2000, she established the Mbaasem Foundation to promote and support the work of African women writers.

Dele (name)

Dele is a Nigerian given name and surname of Yoruba meaning "come home"

International Freedom Foundation

The International Freedom Foundation (IFF) was a self-described anti-communist group established in Washington, D.C. founded in 1986 by former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Its purported aim was to promote individual and collective freedoms worldwide: freedom of thought; free speech; free association; free enterprise; and, the free market principle. It came into being after Democratic International in Jamba, Angola. The IFF campaigned against regimes and movements it described as Soviet allies. To achieve its aim the IFF, with offices in London and Johannesburg, sponsored symposia with high-profile speakers such as Henry Kissinger. Among its eight periodicals, the IFF published a monthly newsletter—the Freedom Bulletin—with three editions: International; UK/Europe; and, Republic of South Africa. The IFF ceased its activities in 1993.

Jack Abramoff

Jack Allan Abramoff (; born February 28, 1959) is an American lobbyist, businessman, movie producer and writer. He was at the center of an extensive corruption investigation that led to his conviction and to 21 people either pleading guilty or being found guilty, including White House officials J. Steven Griles and David Safavian, U.S. Representative Bob Ney, and nine other lobbyists and congressional aides.

Abramoff was College Republican National Committee National Chairman from 1981 to 1985, a founding member of the International Freedom Foundation, allegedly financed by apartheid South Africa, and served on the board of directors of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank. From 1994 to 2001 he was a top lobbyist for the firm of Preston Gates & Ellis, and then for Greenberg Traurig until March 2004.

After a guilty plea in the Jack Abramoff Native American lobbying scandal and his dealings with SunCruz Casinos in January 2006, he was sentenced to six years in federal prison for mail fraud, conspiracy to bribe public officials, and tax evasion. He served 43 months before being released on December 3, 2010. After his release from prison, he wrote the autobiographical book Capitol Punishment: The Hard Truth About Washington Corruption From America's Most Notorious Lobbyist which was published in November 2011.

Abramoff's lobbying and the surrounding scandals and investigation are the subject of two 2010 films: the documentary Casino Jack and the United States of Money, released in May 2010, and the feature film Casino Jack, released on December 17, 2010, starring Kevin Spacey as Abramoff.

Jeremy Weate

Jeremy Weate (born in September 1969 in Wheaton Aston) studied philosophy at the University of Hull, the University of Liège and the University of Warwick, graduating with a PhD in European philosophy from Warwick in 1998. His PhD thesis was Phenomenology and Difference: the Body, Architecture and Race.

Weate is the author of the children's book A Young Person's Guide to Philosophy, which was published by Dorling Kindersley in 1998 and translated into 9 languages.

After completing his PhD, Weate became an international development consultant, focusing on transparency, accountability and good governance in the extractive industries. He has worked in over twenty-five countries across Africa and Asia on projects related to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, policy and legal frameworks as well as political economy analyses.

During his time living in Nigeria, Weate worked closely with Dele Olojede to set up NEXT, a pioneering newspaper that aimed to raise standards in Nigerian journalism and challenge vested interests. Weate also co-founded Cassava Republic Press, one of the most influential publishing companies in Africa. He has also written a number of articles about African literature.After fifteen years as an international development consultant, Weate switched careers and now runs an ibogaine-assisted retreat centre - Tabula Rasa Retreat - in Portugal. He is also Executive Director of the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance. Weate was featured in a December 2017 article on ibogaine in The Observer and was one of the organisers of the European Ibogaine Forum in Vienna in 2017.He is also a keen film-maker, currently working on two projects - one about an abandoned airfield near Wheaton Aston, and the other a documentary about ibogaine - The Ibogaine Stories.

List of Columbia University alumni

This is a sorted list of notable persons who are alumni of Columbia University, New York City. For further listing of notable Columbians see: Notable alumni at Columbia College of Columbia University; Columbia University School of General Studies; Barnard College; Columbia Law School; Columbia Business School; Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism; Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation; Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons; Columbia University Graduate School of Education (Teachers College); Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science; Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences; Columbia University School of Professional Studies; Columbia University School of the Arts; and the School of International and Public Affairs.

List of Columbia University alumni and attendees

This is a partial list of notable persons who have had ties to Columbia University. For further listings of notable Columbians see notable alumni at:

Columbia College of Columbia University

Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science

Columbia University School of General Studies

Barnard College of Columbia University

Columbia Law School

Columbia Business School

Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons

Columbia University Graduate School of Education (Teachers College)

Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Columbia University School of the Arts

School of International and Public Affairs


Newsday is an American daily newspaper that primarily serves Nassau and Suffolk counties and the New York City borough of Queens on Long Island, although it is also sold throughout the New York metropolitan area. As of 2009, its weekday circulation of 377,500 was the 11th-highest in the United States, and the highest among suburban newspapers. In 2012, Newsday expanded to include Rockland and Westchester county news on its website. As of January 2014, Newsday's total average circulation was 437,000 on weekdays, 434,000 on Saturdays and 495,000 on Sundays.The newspaper's headquarters is in Melville, New York, in Suffolk County.

Next (Nigeria)

Next is a newspaper in Nigeria that was founded by Pulitzer Prize–winning writer Dele Olojede in 2004, covering news, opinion, arts & culture, business and entertainment.Next is published by Timbuktu Media group, which is based in Lagos, Nigeria, and South Africa and is involved in publishing, printing and broadcasting. Other Timbuktu Media publications are NEXT on Sunday, Elan (a fashion glossy), X2 and the website

Olojede is a former staffer on New York's Newsday who won a Pulitzer prize for a report on the Rwandan genocide. He was a co-founder of the Nigerian Newswatch magazine in the mid-1980s.In an unusual sequence, Next first appeared as a "tweet" on Twitter in December 2008. Two weeks later the website went live, and the print edition first appeared on 4 January 2009.

A welcome message from Olojede in the first edition said: "NEXT is launched now to provide news and informed opinion fairly and accurately to the Nigerian public in any land, based on the best judgment of the editors, and in a way that serves the public purpose and is compatible with the demands of an open and democratic society." It went on to say the newspaper would be delivered through a variety of media including print, internet, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and so on.In 2011, Dele Olojede was awarded the John P. McNulty Prize for founding NEXT. The McNulty Prize is available to Fellows of the Aspen Institute who have created a project to solve pressing social problems using innovative entrepreneurial techniques.

Next ceased publication in September 2011.

Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting

This Pulitzer Prize has been awarded since 1942 for a distinguished example of reporting on international affairs, including United Nations correspondence. In its first six years (1942–1947), it was called the Pulitzer Prize for Telegraphic Reporting - International.

University of Lagos

Tagline: The University of First Choice and The Nation's Pride

The University of Lagos – popularly known as Unilag – is a federal government owned research university in Lagos State, southwestern Nigeria.

Wyandanch, New York

Wyandanch (, WY-ən-danch) is a hamlet and census-designated place (CDP) in the Town of Babylon in Suffolk County, New York, United States. The population was 11,647 at the 2010 census.

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