The ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria

Over the last 12 months, the ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria has grown from one Knight to a team that is essentially a fact checking powerhouse. Africa’s most populous country is known for a lively and free-wheeling social media climate replete with rumours and false information.

The FactsMatterNg project engages Nigerian celebrities, humour and eye-catching videos and graphics to attract attention on social media. These techniques make the truth as compelling as fake news that can spread like wildfire on social media platforms.

Our project brings together influencers such as popular actress Kate Henshaw and Minister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare to amplify fact checks and other content aimed at spreading truth.

Other influencers who have signed on to help spread accurate information and fight misinformation include three medical doctors, a leading investigative journalist and a human rights lawyer – all of whom have large, loyal followings on Twitter and Instagram. 

They work with four prominent media partners to amplify fact checks produced by the news organizations: Africa Check, Dubawa, TheCable and the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

The ICFJ Knight Nigeria Team

Hannah Ajakaiye

Hannah Ajakaiye

Ajakaiye is an award-winning journalist and data enthusiast with a passion for development and social justice issues. Her Knight fellowship builds on her previous work as an ICFJ TruthBuzz Fellow in 2019, when she worked with Africa Check and Daily Trust.  

She  is a recipient of the 2017 Newscorp Fellowship and an alumna of the U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Centres reporting tour on human trafficking. She is also a recipient of the 2018 Reham Al-Farra (RAF) Journalism Fellowship hosted by the United Nations. 

As a journalist, Ajakaiye worked for The Nation, Nigeria’s widest circulating newspaper. A Chevening alumna, she holds a master’s degree from the University of Sussex in the United Kingdom, where she focused on Media Practice for Development and Social Change.

Oyinkansola Sadiq-Mabeko

Oyinkansola Sadiq-Mabeko

Oyinkansola Sadiq-Mabeko is a marketing communication specialist. As the assistant editorial programme manager, Oyinkansola supports the fellowship through the production of various digital media content, event planning and data tracking.

Prior to joining the ICFJ Knight Fellowship in Nigeria, Oyinkansola has previous experience as a Programmes Manager for Seedstars in Nigeria.  Asides producing multiple podcasts and videos, she has expertise gained over six years of writing for companies in 15+ industries including ActionAid Denmark, UrgentPoint, The END FUND, African Media Agency and DIYLaw.  She is a graduate of Lagos State University with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication.

The ICFJ Team

Maggie Farley

Maggie Farley

Director, ICFJ Knight Fellowships

As director of ICFJ’s flagship Knight Fellowships, Maggie Farley supports a global network of journalists who drive news innovation and experimentation worldwide.

Prior to joining ICFJ, Maggie has previous experience as a Los Angeles Times foreign correspondent, American University adjunct professor, and Google News Initiative Teaching Fellow. 

 She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from Harvard University in East Asian Studies. She has won the U.N. Correspondents’ Club, Gold Medal, for coverage of Darfur, and for the diplomatic wrangling before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

She is a member of the National Leadership Council of the News Literacy Project and co-developed a news judgment game called Factitious. 

Monica Lopez

Monica Lopez

Program Officer, ICFJ Knight Fellowships

Monica Lopez supports the ICFJ Knight Fellowships by providing financial and logistical support for the fellowships and helping to coordinate the review processes for the Knight International Journalism Awards.

She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a bachelor’s degree in international studies and a business minor. She’s passionate about human rights, and concentrated on social justice issues in much of her coursework. She is a native speaker of Spanish.