Speaking on his move, Soyinka said he was grateful to the management of the BBC for the opportunity to be the first editor of the BBC Pidgin Service leading team spread across Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.
“It has been an exciting two years and seven months. As the first of the new language services launched by the BBC, we had the enviable opportunity to make history and with the support of the BBC management, I dare say we indeed made history in many ways,” Soyinka said.
“Within the last two years, I had the privilege of leading a team of young, talented journalists to produce several original stories that created great impact both locally and internationally.
A testament to this is the fact that content produced by the BBC News Pidgin Service have been severally referenced by other media organisations like Independent UK, New York Times, Washington Post and several other national publications in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon to mention just a few.
“Working with our colleagues in the Africa Eye team, we also produced Sweet, sweet codeine, and Sex for Grades, both of which are investigative documentaries that led to major policy changes not only in Nigeria but across the African continent,” he said.
Soyinka who is one of the first two Nigerian journalists to be nominated in the Current Affairs category of the International Emmy Awards in 2019 added, “Our journalism did not go unnoticed as it brought the team some well-deserved accolades from within and outside the BBC. Some of these include making history by getting the first ever International Emmy awards nomination, in the current affairs category, for the BBC World Service and for Nigeria.
“Apart from the Emmys, the team under my leadership also won the One World Media Awards in the Best TV Documentary category, 2018; BBC Digital Award, 2018 and BBC Media Awards, Best use of Social Media (2018).
“We were equally finalist in the Investigation of the Year category at the Association for International Broadcasting Awards, AIB, 2018; finalist in the Best Documentary category, Royal Television Society, RTS Awards, 2018 and finalist for the Global Investigation of the Year category at the British Journalism Awards, 2018.”
Looking ahead, Soyinka said he is poised to even do more working with teams at the Conversation Africa and colleagues in The Conversation across the globe to produce journalism that benefits from a rare combination of academic rigour and journalistic flair for which the global news agency has come to be known.
“The icing on the cake is that while with The Conversation Africa, I am also able to keep producing impactful investigative journalism. So watch out for more in that respect.”