Eseosa Eweka-Valentine is a recent journalism graduate at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and is currently working with Global News.
Talks with Sosa is described as a platform where experts come to discuss different mental health topics. With the SaltCity Advocacy Society, Eweka-Valentine provides new immigrants with the information on the resources they need to start their life in Canada.
When did you join the KPU community, and why?
I started my journalism degree in 2017 because I wanted to pursue a degree in journalism and love to write. I recently graduated this year.
What is your favourite story of your time at KPU?
A story I worked on that I was very proud of was about a woman who moved from Zimbabwe, and she’s an HIV patient. She had talked about being marginalized at the hospital, specifically Surrey Memorial Hospital. I interviewed her and wrote about it. I was very proud of that story.
A fun memory for me was when I took John Lehman’s photography class and we had to go out and take pictures. I’d go downtown for the most part — Chinatown, Downtown Eastside, and try to capture raw images of people. It was fun because I did get to speak to them a lot. I got to know them and see that people experiencing homelessness are people, and they’re not as bad as how they are sometimes portrayed.
I’m very grateful that I got to go to KPU. It’s indeed a school that students who want to pursue journalism should go to.
What is something you’d like to say to people new to the community?
Try to enjoy every moment of it because it goes by fast. Also try to be as active as you can in school — join clubs, join meetings, meetups, study abroad.
Looking back, I wish I had done things like that, instead of focusing on the academic part. I think I could have seized the opportunity to travel abroad. Those opportunities don’t come often. So squeeze in every moment of it and enjoy it. School can be quite stressful, but you’ll definitely get through it.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I work for Global News. I’m a journalist with them and I’m working on different community projects as well, like Harambecouver. I will be having a conversation with a group of young people about resilience after the pandemic.
I’m also doing some public speaking. I had an event recently where I had a conversation with some mental health professionals. We talked about taking up space, mental health, and self care at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Additionally, I’m just working on organizing community events and actual work to build my career.
I also host Talks with Sosa, which is focused on mental health. We did a charity bike ride at the Seawall and we had about 10 people attend and we raised a substantial amount of money that we will be donating to a mental health society in the Lower Mainland. It was really good to have community after a two year pandemic.
We’re going to be having an event for Black History Month in February.
What is something you would like people to know about you?
I’m left handed. I know we don’t have a lot of people who are left handed. I have four brothers. I’m the only daughter. Another thing I always like to talk about is the fact I moved to Canada when I was 19.
I immigrated here with my family from Nigeria. It’s been quite an adjustment. Two worlds apart trying to navigate my life here in Canada. It’s been good so far, I am very grateful to work, live, and play on this land as a settler.