Kenya’s Fatuma Noor of The Nairobi Star recently won the CNN African Journalist of the Year Award at this year’s ceremony held in South Africa.
Noor was awarded for her investigative three-part series on the ‘Al-Shabaab’, which was chosen from among 1407 entries from 42 nations across Africa.
According to Joel Kibazo, Chair of the CNN African Journalist of the Year’s judging panel, “The judges were impressed with the high quality of entries to the competition this year, and this intrepid young journalist has shown great courage and determination in going the extra mile to tell this fascinating story. Fatuma Noor’s three-part series on the Al-Shabaab provides a detailed and personalised portrait of the young men who leave their comfortable western lives to join one of the world’s most ruthless militant groups in Somalia.”
The CNN MultiChoice competition is now in its 16th year. The Awards’ 27 finalists from 13 countries enjoyed an all expenses paid five-day programme of workshops, media forums and networking prior to the Awards Ceremony.
Here are a list of winners in other categories:
Winners in the individual competition categories are:
ARTS & CULTURE AWARD, presented by Mwambu Wanendeya, Vice President and Head of Communications, Ericsson sub Saharan Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Winner: Kofi Akpabli, Freelance for DailyGraphic,Ghana.
Title: ‘What is right with Akpeteshie?’
Judge’s Citation: “Kofi Akpabli’s story uses the most enriching and fantastic language to explain why Akpeteshie, a local brew, is the equivalent of a liquid national heritage. Kofi not only educates and enlightens us to the history and best practices of this national beverage – but he also does it with humour and style. A worthy return winner.”
DIGITAL JOURNALISM AWARD, presented by Craige Fleischer, regional
director for Southern Africa at Research In Motion (RIM), the company behind
the BlackBerry® solution.
Winner: The Dispatch Online Team on behalf of ‘The Daily Dispatch’ inSouth Africa.
Title: ‘Failed Futures’
Judge’s citation: “This website won because, for the second year in a row, the ‘Daily Dispatch’ team has displayed a wonderful creativity to produce first class journalism with the new tools of the digital age. The website is about the many problems, but also the hopes and dreams of the teachers and pupils of a very poor area of Eastern Cape, South Africa. The Mbizana area has one of the worst records for education inSouth Africa.”
ECONOMICS & BUSINESS AWARD, presented by William Asiko, President of The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation.
Winner: Sylvia Chebet and Kimani Githae, Citizen TV,Kenya.
Title: ‘An uphill task’
Judge’s Citation: “The story highlighted the fact that in spite of the millions of dollars spent on ensuring wide coverage, there are still potential profit centres not yet reached. This story demonstrates that the demand inKenya is there.”
ENVIRONMENT AWARD, presented by Richard Uku Head, External Relations & Communication, African Development Bank.
Winner: Lamia Hassan, Business Today Egypt, Egypt.
Title: ‘Washed up’
Judge’s Citation: “She covered a fairly technical subject – the environment in simple but attractive language. It is an issue we are seeing in many parts ofAfrica.”
FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: PRINT, presented by Ethar El-Kataney, Egyptian journalist and winner of the 2009 Economics and Business Award, CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.
Winner: Rabin Bhujun, L’Express Dimanche,Mauritius.
Title: ‘Le vrai pouvoir des castes’
Judge’s Citation: “This story stands out in the Francophone Print category as yet another master piece on investigative journalism in Mauritius. In his insightful account about the casts’ influence on the political system – one of the un-stated realities of Mauritius – Rabin demonstrates integrity, well-organised research and good writing skills.”
FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: TV / (RADIO), presented by Ethar El-Kataney, Egyptian journalist and winner of the 2009 Economics and Business Award, CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.
Winner: Claudine Efoa Atohoun, ORTB, Benin.
Title: ‘Le barrage de Nagbéto: Outil de développement ou source de nuisance’
Judge’s Citation: “The ‘Nagbéto Dam’ story stood out among Francophone Radio entries as an excellent piece of radio journalism. Claudine demonstrates good journalistic skills – research, balance and clarity – and tells a very relevant story through a competent use of radio techniques.”
FREE PRESS AFRICA AWARD, presented by Joel Kibazo, Chair of the judging panel.
Winner: Mahamud Abdi Jama,Waaheen Media,Somalia.
Judge’s Citation: “The freedom to operate as a journalist is at the core of the media industry and this award is acknowledgement and recognition of the efforts Mahamud has gone to, in order to tell the story.”
HIV/AIDS REPORTING IN AFRICA AWARD, presented by Sam Rogers, CNN MultiChoice African Journalist, 2010.
Winner: Beryl Ooro, K24 TV, Kenya.
Title: ‘HIV infection among senior citizens in Kenya’
Judge’s Citation: “The story is brilliant and fascinating. For too long, the story of HIV / AIDS pandemic in Africa has been told that one begins to wonder if there is anything new to say. And then, here is a story that throws up an entirely new perspective which shows that an age group (octogenarians) hitherto considered not at risk can also be vulnerable.”
MSD HEALTH & MEDICAL AWARD, presented byAshley Pearce, CEO MSD South Africa.
Winner: Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye,Sunday Punch,Nigeria.
Title: ‘Luth’s Ransome – Kuti’s Children’s Centre’
Judge’s Citation: “It is a good investigative story, well written yet told in a simple manner. It is activism journalism at its best, since after the story was published something was done to improve the situation.”
MOHAMED AMIN PHOTOGRAPHIC AWARD, presented by Salim Amin, Chairman, A24 Media.
Winner: Norman Katende, freelance for The New Vision, Uganda.
Title: ‘When death strikes’
Judge’s Citation: “This entry was not chosen for the depth of its composition or the framing. When you are shooting within minutes of a massive bomb-blast, those elements of photography are not top of mind. Instead, these shocking, heart-breaking images won for news value, for flashing across the globe the pain of the Ugandan bomb-blasts that placed such a pall over the World Cup.”
PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by Arlindo Lopes, media consultant
Winner: Selma Marivate, TV Miramar, Mozambique.
Title: ‘O Movimento Rastafari em Mocambique’
Judge’s Citation: “This story stood out in the Portuguese language category as a comprehensive piece of TV journalism, an in-depth account of a group of followers of the Rastafari movement in Mozambique. It is a well balanced story, with a wide range of interviews, beautiful video shots and soundbites, which makes it a reference in this particular category.”
PRINT GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by Sebastian Ashong-Katai,
Group Head Financial Institutions & international organisations, Ecobank group.
Winner: Fatuma Noor, The Star,Kenya.
Title: ‘Investigative three-part series on the Al-Shabaab’
Judge’s Citation: “The judges elected this story in its category but also unanimously agreed this was the overall winner of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2011. It is an investigative story about the Al-Shabaab, which brings to the fore an insight view about the militia group, through comprehensive accounts from its own recruits and representatives, as well as through the journalists own experience of a dramatic encounter with armed militiamen in Somalia. Thanks to Fatuma’s excellent writing skills, the story also emerges an engaging piece of reading.”
RADIO GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by, Graham Wood, Managing Director – Southern Sun Hotels.
Winner: Melini Moses, SABC,South Africa.
Title: ‘Hillbrow – Den of Iniquity’
Judge’s Citation: “Melini brings the listener on a journey of discovery to a neglected, crime-ridden and rundown area ofJohannesburg. Her ability to describe the small details makes the audience feel that they are there walking the streets with her. Melini is a true story-teller and a clear winner in this category.”
SPORT AWARD, presented by Collins Khumalo, President MultiChoice Africa.
Winner: Kamau Mutunga, DN2 Magazine, Daily Nation, Kenya.
Title: ‘Soccer and Superstition (Animal body parts and snake blood on the pitch)’
Judge’s Citation: “This is an informative romp through the story of superstition in soccer in Kenya. It is elegantly written and while it spans several decades, it moves quickly and with a light touch. A sidebar shows this is by no means only an African issue – it gives insight into all countries from France to Brazil. “
TELEVISION – GENERAL NEWS – FEATURE/CURRENT AFFAIRS AWARD, presented by Reginald Mengi, Executive Chairman, IPP Media, Tanzania.
Winner: Lindile Mpanza, e.tv, South Africa.
Title: ‘Silence of the innocents’
Judge’s Citation: “The story won because it was well researched and comprehensive. The reporter went to the village where she spent some time and spoke to all the dramatis personae – the young girls that are being kidnapped, the men who do the kidnappings, parents of the abused girls and the police. It is a great piece of journalism which exposed the debilitating practice that many people ordinarily will not associate with a country as developed as South Africa. It is everything that good television story should be – absorbing and flawless delivery.”
TELEVISION – GENERAL NEWS – NEWS BULLETIN AWARD, presented by Jeff Kupsky, President, Turner Broadcasting System Europe Ltd.
Winner: Farouk Kayondo, UBC,Uganda.
Title: ‘Watching in the hood’
Judge’s Citation: “The story is a winner because it’s well told and it focussed on the other side of Johannesburg that’s easily forgotten during such big events. No one is too poor to catch the soccer actions, according to the story.”
TOURISM AWARD, presented by Thandiwe January-McLean, Chief Executive Officer, South African Tourism.
Winner: Benon Herbert Oluka, DailyMonitor,Uganda.
Title: ‘Why Ugandans would rather watch goat races than visit their national parks or heritage sites’
Judge’s Citation: “This story won because it displays a very well documented work on the reasons why Ugandans don’t go to visit their own museums and national sites.”
Again this year the Judges highlighted some excellent work and awardedCommendations in nine categories. These journalists participated in the finalists’ programme in Sandton and received a cash prize and Certificates of Commendation:
Sonny Serite, Freelance for The SundayStandard,Botswana
Virgil Augustin Pascal Houesson, L’événement Précis, Benin
Nigel M. Nassar, The NewVision,Uganda
Portia Solomon, TV3 News, Ghana
José Bouças de Oliveira, Televisão Santomense, São Tomé
Nkula Zau, Televisão Pública de Angola, Angola
Kipchumba Some, The Standard,Kenya
Nnamdi Okosieme, NextNewspaper,Nigeria
Mark Klusener, eNews Africa,South Africa