Award-winning DMU student furthers writing career with first novel

By Kerri Stevenson

A PhD student at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) is set to further his award-winning writing career after publishing his first novel exploring unethical journalism practices in Nigeria.

Anietie Isong, who is researching New Media at DMU, looking into how technology affects African literature, wrote Radio Sunrise after working for a radio station in Nigeria, following his studies for a Communications degree, and witnessing first-hand the issues journalists face.

Radio Sunrise, which is Mr Isong’s first novel, paints a satirical portrait of ‘brown envelope’ journalism in Nigeria, which he claims is rife in the country, where journalists are expected to accept cash from news sources when they provide information.

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Anietie with his first novel, Radio Sunrise

He said: “I am very excited about this as I have had an interest in writing since secondary school and this developed even more while studying for my degree, where I published my first short story along with articles in journals, anthologies and newspapers.”

The novel follows Ifiok, a young journalist working for the government radio station in Lagos, who, after travelling to his hometown to make a documentary about a band of ex-militants, is forced to confront the ugly truth about the future of his country and his existence.

Mr Isong was awarded a prestigious Authors’ Foundation grant by the Society of Authors in the UK to enable him to complete his novel.

“I wrote the novel five years ago and it was supposed to be published then, but there were some issues with it, so I was surprised that there was still an interest.”

Mr Isong has won several awards for his writing, including the Commonwealth Short Story Award, the inaugural Olaudah Equiano Prize for fiction and the maiden Remember Oluwale Writing Prize.

Mr Isong, who also has a master’s degree in Communications and Globalisation from Leicester University, hopes that the publication of Radio Sunrise will help him continue his writing success and he also aims to publish more novels in the future focusing again on journalism.

Stage school stalwarts say farewell in style at annual show

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By Kiran Bedder-Patel

A sell-out crowd  were treated to a stream of acrobatics and delicate ballet by the DuPont Dance Stage School on a lively Saturday night at the De Montfort Hall.

For some students, aged from three to 18 years old, who performed at the group’s 25th consecutive annual show, this was the first time they were performing live on a large stage in front of a large audience whilst others were heading for the next step.

Cerise Bedder,18, has been performing with the Stage school in the East of Leicester for 14 years and completed her last show with them on Saturday night.

“I was emotional because my set dance was an Adele song and of course it’s a sad one and it reduced me to tears at the end,” she said.

Cerise performed alongside another dancer who was a veteran at the school, Morgana Byworth,18. It was also her last show and she is heading to further her education in the dance world.

“When the curtains closed and was time to head off, it hit me. This is it now. I’ve loved it dancing for DuPont and to dance at De Montfort Hall with my friends with family watching is amazing.”

Both, Cerise and Morgana received a lifetime of dance award from the school for all of the years success they have brought.

Both performers are heading to London after successful auditions with Royal Ballet.

DMU Class of 2017 celebrate at graduation ceremonies

By Matt Earth

Students have been celebrating the “amazing” feeling of graduating from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) in the graduation ceremonies held last week.

Lucy Stebbings, who graduated from the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Adult Nursing on Wednesday, said: “It was the best day of my life.”

She added: “To have got through three years of hell and to have a whole room of people congratulating you on it all is overwhelming.”

“I didn’t expect to feel so happy when I received the piece of paper.”

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DMU kick-started its Class of 2017 Winter graduation ceremonies held at the award-winning events centre, The Venue@DMU on Tuesday last week.

Miss Stebbings said many of her fellow graduates were nervous prior to the ceremonies but were relieved to have finally finished their degrees.

She now works full-time as a nurse in Peterborough, and her parents are “really proud” of her achievement.

“I remember sitting back down and feeling really emotional. I had to open the envelope just to make sure the degree was actually in there,” she added.

Among the graduates on Wednesday was Claudio Ranieri, the Leicester City manager and the man behind last season’s Premier League triumph.

Mr Ranieri was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

Dominic Shellard, the Vice-Chancellor of DMU, said Mr Ranieri was honoured “for what he has done for our city of Leicester and for his personal qualities which represent all that is best in sport.”

Leicester City player Christian Fuchs was also present, where he paraded his ‘No Fuchs Given’ fashion range and officially opened the new-look Students’ Union building.

Prof Shellard simply tweeted that Wednesday was a “super day”.

Students score Goals for charity

By Holly Hume

Students from DMU sports societies joined together to raise money by playing football.

Goals is one of the tournaments DMU sports societies host throughout the year, others include Netfest, run by DMU Netball, and Scrappies hosted by DMU Rugby Union.

Goals is run by DMU Football Club and enters teams of students from various sports societies into a tournament at Goals Soccer Centre in Leicester.

All teams who entered contributed £15 and despite grey weather played on from 12pm until 6pm.

Captain of DMU Women’s Football from 2014 – 2016, Toni Mallin, said: “Goals might not raise as much money as Netfest because it costs so much to hire pitches but it’s all in the name of charity and we’ve raised as much as £700 previously.”

Students from DMU Women’s Rugby, Holly and Katie said, “Goals is a great chance for the sports societies to get together, have fun, and make an impact for charity.”

Students competed for the winning spot whilst dressed in costumes ranging from onesies, to school girls or lads on tour.

DMU boasts many fundraising events as well as the Square Mile project which has altered the lives of people in both Leicester and India.

Ben and Alex from DMU Rugby said: “DMU goes the extra mile for charity so it’s great to be able to get involved in events run by the sports teams, it feels like you’re giving something back.”

DMU Square Mile has won several prestigious national and international awards, including The Mahatma Gandhi International Award 2013.

On the 7th of February students will abseil down the front of Gateway House to raise money for DMU Square Mile India.

 

Claudio Ranieri awarded honorary degree by DMU

By Declan Lloyd

Leicester City’s manager Claudio Ranieri has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree at DMU’s January Graduation Ceremony.
 
Mr Ranieri collected the award in person alongside hundreds of other graduates from DMU.
 
The degree recognises Mr Ranieri’s ‘incredible triumph’ with Leicester City.
 
Leicester City were famously 5000-1 to win the Premier League before last season started but Mr Ranieri led them to becoming only the fifth team to win the trophy.
 
DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard said: “Leicester City’s achievement last year was a thrilling feat that captured the hearts and minds of football fans worldwide, and of everyone with a love of adventure and a sense of the unlikely.
 
“Long before he won the title, Claudio Ranieri won the admiration and respect of our home city, and all of us at DMU.
 
“We are delighted to honour him today for his footballing achievements, for what he has done for our city of Leicester and for his personal qualities which represent all that is best in sport”.