CNN honors TMP member
The prize-winning story was born after a colleague at The Punch had taken her child to the Children's Centre and was disappointed with the treatment. The editor assigned Ogunseye to investigate.
"The main challenge was staying in the ward for two days," Ogunseye said. "I had to pretend to be an aunty to one of the sick babies with her mother's help."
"Getting pictures for the story was another challenge because it was a very small ward, and I couldn't have taken pictures without anyone noticing me. I taught the mother that helped me how to use my camera, and she took the pictures in the middle of the night when other mothers were sleeping," Ogunseye recounted.
While the story is gripping, it was Ogunseye's approach to reporting the story that ultimately got her noticed by the committee.
"I liked her tenacity. I liked her initiative, and her consistency," award panelist Zippora Musau, Managing Editor, Magazines, for Kenya's The Standard Group, explained to CNN. "She stayed on the story, and she wanted to get her story at the end of the day. It didn't matter how long it took."
Ogunseye says that the award has been one of the best things in her life, and her career has already seen a boost as a result, including a scholarship, cash prize and a promotion to Acting News Editor of Sunday Punch. Even her long-time sources trust her more.
She hopes the attention the award brings will help build faith in Nigerian journalism. Her country has a reputation for pervasive corruption in government and media, but Ogunseye focuses instead on the good work being done in spite of the obstacles in a developing nation.
"It's amazing how much we do considering the fact that getting information in Nigeria is a Herculean task," she remarked. "Nobody wants to talk! And this is not restricted to government. Even among the people, the functions of the media are yet to be fully understood."
She is optimistic about journalism and democracy in her country, and she is optimistic about her role. Nigerian journalists excel at everything they set their minds on, Ogunseye insists. And she wants to be an inspiration for the younger generation, and a visionary leader that people can follow without fear.
As a Christian, she is committed to finding and telling the truth in everything she does. And with so many important life-and-death stories to tell, she says she's already got a dream job in journalism that allows her to do that.
But Ogunseye is not content to be a CNN African Journalist Award category winner. She wants to be CNN's overall winner, a prize that this year went to Kenyan Fatuma Noor.
Ogunseye says she will keep trying until she earns CNN's top prize for herself, following in the footsteps of another Nigerian journalist and TMP member Shola Oshunkeye. And after that, she wants a Pulitzer. With her track record of persistence and excellence, success is, it would seem, only a matter of time.