Yetunde Oladeinde: A Living Legend In Journalism

She was a trailblazer through the ink and beyond. In the realm of journalism, certain names become synonymous with excellence, resilience and a commitment to truth.

Yetunde Oladeinde, affectionately known as “Grandma” stood tall among other luminaries, leaving and indelible mark on the journalistic landscape with her amazing career spanned decades.

Born on October 7, 1967, to Cyprian Akinnola and Folashade Esther Francis in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Yetunde Oladeinde’s journey into journalism was not just a profession but a calling.

Her foray into the world of news writing began at the Staff Development Centre, Abeokuta, where she served during her mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), year.

However, it was at Concord Newspaper that she truly found her voice. As a cub journalist, she made her entry as Yetunde Francis and gained prominence through her column, “Grandma’s Diary,” earning her the endearing moniker that would stick with her throughout her illustrious career.

The popularity of her column not only showcased her writing prowess but also highlighted her ability to connect with readers on a personal level.

Her journey through the media landscape included notable stints at prominent publications such as the Weekend Concord, Classique Magazine, The SUN Newspapers, The Anchor Newspapers, The EMPRESS Woman Magazine, and The Nation Newspapers, where she served as Assistant Editor until her precocious demise on Monday, February 19, 2024.

Also fondly called YettyO, her impact extended far beyond the newsroom.

With a B.Ed in English and Literature from the University of Lagos (UNILAG), and a post-graduate diploma in Journalism from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ), Ogba, Lagos, Yetunde seamlessly blended he academic prowess with the practices of journalism, earning her a reputation as a well-rounded professional.

In a field where cliques and professional associations play a crucial role, Yetunde Oladeinde was a respected figure, actively involved in organizations such as the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Association of Nigeria Women Business Network (ANWBS), Business and Women Professionals (BPW) and Echoes of Women in Africa (ECOWA).

One of her significant contributions was at one of her professional associations where she assumed the role of president more than a year ago. Her dedication, sweet nature and unwavering commitment were evident as she tirelessly worked until her last moments, as she even participated in a virtual board meeting two days before her shocking passing.

While her professional achievements were impressive, it is her resilience in the face of personal challenges that truly defines YettyO. From marital to health battles, including a four0year struggle with Hypoglycemia, to navigating other complex family life, she remained a symbol of strength.

As a mother of nine children, both biological and adopted, Yetunde managed to balance the demands of motherhood with the pressures of a demanding career as journalis,

Her daughter, Dr. Busola Oladeinde, recounts her mother’s last words of wisdom, emphasizing the importance of kindness and forgiveness.

There’s obviously no way of ever forgetting the graceful woman, Yetunde Omolara Oladeinde, who lived this life with us and touched lives in her own soundless but impactful ways. She was a voice to the voiceless and a hand to the handless. She offered support to many in any ways she could even with her meagre salary in journalism.

As a lone hand, she packaged eight pages weekly for The Nation on Sunday without the support of any staff or younger journalist to contribute to materials to fill the pages. “Yet, she never missed a deadline, as her editor, Mr. Festus Eriye, testified during the Service of Songs held in her honour on Thursday, March 7, 2024.

Then, between 8.00am and 9.30am at the prestigious RCCG Memorial Gardens on Friday, March 8, 2024; life’s curtains eventually got drawn on this bright woman who had torched the lives of several others – old and young – that’d have gone down hopelessly in their lives had she not contributed her modest quota.

And so, Yetunde Omolara Oladeinde’s legacy lives on as we celebrate her as our first Veteran of the Week to immortalize the countless lives she touched, the stories she wrote, and the impact she made in the world of journalism.

As we reflect on her trailblazing feats, we celebrate the life of a veteran journalist whose ink-stained legacy will forever be etched in the annals of media history and in our hearts with loving memories.

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