Arit Okpo is a Nigerian journalist and host CNN International’s African Voices Changemakers the trendsetters shaping Africa today. Its main objective is to shift from the stereotypical narrative of Africa that tends to define the continent only through poverty, conflict, disease, and corruption – to a more positive and uplifting approach when reporting on African stories.
She is also the former presenter and producer at EbonyLife TV. She is a professional media specialist.
Arit was a curious child who grew up to become a curious adult, her early education nurtured her innate gift for communication, however this was kept on hold for a while when she was moved towards the science field and earned her bachelors in Biochemistry.
She is a believer of nurturing and encouraging curiosity in children, and sees opportunities to explore that curiosity as valuable skills a child takes through to maturity.
“On presenting Africa to people who do not share the same lived experience as African, it is important for journalists to acknowledge how much we don’t know, and to not let sharing your reality discount the reality of others who had a different upbringing. Leave a good impression and own who you are so audience remembers you.”
For Arit, impression is like window dressing, and if there is no authenticity in that, you might be building an idea that isn’t true.
“In spaces, recognise the things that makes you special, and highlight on those things, it’s about identifying your best points and asking yourself how best you can present these points and remain your authentic you.”
Her advice to journalists is, to always remember you are telling a narrative not your narrative, remember to humanise the context you are sharing, your story should present that there is more than one way to be African and all those ways are valid.