Union of European Football Associations, UEFA has placed Nigerian sports journalist Oma Akatugba in its media portal as a video journalist.
Oma Akatugba who made the big announcement on Twitter wrote ‘UEFA has now placed me under the category of video journalist in their media portal. Fantastic category for me. Video journalist aptly describes me these days.’
Recall that few months ago, he disclosed that social media has been a blessing to him. On how he became a big brand, the sports analyst said;
At that time, I listened to almost all the sports shows on radio and watched all the football shows on television as well. My best was Larry Izamoje whom I listened to religiously every morning before going to school. On many occasions, I would leave our house in Ikorodu to go to the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos, to see the faces of those I watch on television or listen to on radio.
However, after seeing Wole Opatola, a young man, anchor a show on television, it sparked the fire in me. I then went to him and started going about with him. My elder brother, Theo Akatugba, who was then very big in the television and movie business started a consortium of TV shows on the Nigerian Television Authority network which included a sports show, and he gave me the chance to anchor my first ever sports show known as ‘Football at Play’ in 1999 and from there, I got noticed by Rebeca Ayuba, who was then a staff of NTA.
One day at the National Stadium, I met Ovedje Kodesoh of Africa Independent Television and told him how I enjoyed his shows. I asked for a chance to work with him so that I could learn from his wealth of experience, he agreed. I began to understudy him as he prepared for his shows and presented as well. I started to feature gradually on his shows as well as doing live match analyses with him.
At AIT, I had the ample opportunity to undergo my first formal training as a sports broadcaster as I took part in the BBC training on sports reporting, presentation and commentary. I moved on to become head of sports at Galaxy TV in 2005 and few months later, I met with the late Felix Okugbe. He said to me, “Oma, I like your passion and energy, I like you to join me on Mundial Sports on AIT”. This was a dream come true for me because at that time, Mundial Sports was the most popular sports show in Nigeria.
Working with Felix opened my eyes to so much. I learnt the art of producing and presenting sports in a captivating and entertaining manner. In 2006, I was selected as one of the reporters to travel to Egypt for the AFCON, and this was another significant milestone for me. It was the first time I ever went outside Nigeria, and it was to cover Africa’s biggest football competition. After that tournament, I decided to go independent and that was how Sportsbrand Ltd, my outfit, was born.