By Chinaza Mgbemene
Fides Media seminarian, Valerian Sochima Ejiofor, has described his one year apostolic work in Fides Media as one that unlocked the hidden potentials in him.
Sochimma, a student of St. Johnbosco Minor Seminary Isuaniocha, Awka North Local Government, Anambra State, was posted to Fides Media last year for his compulsory one year apostolic work.
According to him, prior to his posting, he was not capable of carrying out some operations on the computer system. In his words, ‘Before coming here, I could barely type on the system, let alone design a package but today, I can carry out these functions excellently.’
The seminarian who is set to wrap up his apostolic work by the end of August, explained how the establishment welcomed him with open arms and created an enabling environment for him.
He recalled his early days at the establishment when he was asked to go for official assignments to cover events, take photographs and carry out some other functions expected of him.
In his words, ‘I used to be a very shy person who was afraid of talking in public. I had stage fright but Fides Media helped me overcome them all. I now go for official assignments, do video coverages, photography, editing, and even graphics design.’
However, it was not all rosy for the seminarian who disclosed the challenges he encountered while discharging his duties. He said he often overworked himself because there were few hands available.
‘I would have to work round the clock just to meet up with deadlines,’ he said, adding that he also faced challenges dealing with priests.
‘On many occasions, I had to deal with reprimands from priests, owing to the fact that I am very forgetful. So, whenever I was sent on an errand, and I probably forgot, I would have to face the priests. This got me infuriated most times. I can remember vividly on one occasion when I was ill and wasn’t able to work; instead of me to call and report to them about my health condition, I remained mute because I didn’t want to be reprimanded.
He added that those challenges in a way affected his attitude to work but he kept the ball rolling, seeing those hitches as motivation not to relent.
‘I was always afraid of the reaction of the priests, so that compelled me to always do the right thing. So, I can say that their reactions compelled me to always do the right thing; their reaction was more like a driving force to me,’ Ejiofor reiterated.
On areas the Fides Media should improve upon, the junior seminarian urged the news department to introduce entertainment stories, fashion tips, among others, rather than just dwelling on religious and political issues. He said doing so would increase the newspaper’s readership.
Ejiofor suggested the expansion of the paper’s circulation scope, being that the paper was mainly distributed in Awka, whereas, the Fides bulletin was evenly circulated in remote villages.
He advised that the newspaper be circulated alongside the mainstream newspapers so as to increase productivity.
‘My days in this establishment would have been dreary if not for the likes of Rev. Fr. Dr. Richard Anagboso, my able director, whose words of admonishment and encouragement kept me on track. Also Rev. Fr. Constantine Okoli, for moulding and grooming me spiritually, academically and otherwise. I cannot leave out my mentor in the person of Marcel Uzuanwu, for coaching and guiding me all through my course of learning. He is the reason I can edit, cover events and even operate the camera and carry out other functions.
‘You all have a special place in my heart I must say. I also want to use this medium to appreciate all the staff members of Fides Media for their unflinching impact on me. Right from my very first day here, you all accommodated me and made sure that my stay here was worthwhile. You all are definitely part of my success story. May the Almighty bless you all immensely,’ he gushed.