The well-known resilience of the Nigerian media has been formally rewarded with CNN/ MultiChoice Free Press Award 2012.
At the Auditorium Hall, Government Complex Convention Centre, in Lusaka, Zambia, where the award ceremony of the CNN African Journalists of the Year 2012 was held, Nigerian journalists were commended for working under very hostile conditions.
While handing over the award to President of Nigerian Guild of Editors Gbenga Adefaye, the organisers stated “We see today that Nigerian journalists have become targets, face intimidation and pay ultimate sacrifice in journalism practice. This is very unfortunate.”
Multichoice Africa CEO Nico Meyer (left), Tom Mboya of Citizen TV-Kenya, Zambian Foreign Affairs Minister Given Lubinda, Evanson Nyaga of Citizen TV, Kenya and Parisa Khosravi, Snr VP, CNN Worldwide International.
Nine months ago, the Boko Haram insurgence claimed Zakariya Isa, a journalist with Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) as he was shot dead in front of his home in Maiduguri. Three months later, Ameachi Enenche, a 31 year old journalist with a private television station, Channel TV based in Lagos was shot dead while covering the activities of the insurgence in Kano.
Also in April this year three newspapers: Thisday, The Sun and The Moment were bombed simultaneously in Abuja and Kano. Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the killings and bombings.
Tom Mboya and Evanson Nyaga, from Kenya, were the joint winners of the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2012 Awards Ceremony.
Tom and Evanson, won for their work ‘African Tribe in India’, which aired on Citizen TV, Kenya and was chosen from among 1799 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.
The work tells the story of an African tribe in India, long forgotten and little known about, based in Karnataka, Southern India.
In the Arts & Culture Category, presented by Mwambu Wanendeya, Vice President and Head of Communications, Ericsson sub Saharan Africa (Pty) Ltd,
Andrew Mulenga, Freelance for The Post Newspaper, Zambia won. His work titled ‘In Mali, The Kora Is No One-Night Stand, It Requires Commitment was described by the jury as: “Focussed around the importance of the relationship between people and their musical instruments, the story is well put together, full of colour and interesting to read. It just pulls you into one of the most amazing stories of African culture.”
In the Photographic Category, Antoine de Ras of The Star, South Africa won with ‘Pulse of the People.’
The jury says of the work: “The body of the work smartly captures the contrasts and contradictions which have rocked Africa in 2012 from the Arab Spring to the famine in East Africa. A serious indictment of African media houses where a freelance journalist uses his own resources to go and cover some of the big stories of the continent.”Ahaoma Kanu of National Daily Newspaper, Nigeria won in the Tourism Category with ‘Badagry: A Walk Through the Slave Route.’ Jury’s Citation: “Ahaoma Kanu tells a familiar story on the horrific slave trade museum at Badagry but with his writing he is able to bring the reader with him and experience this terrible place with him. Ahoama is not afraid to reveal his emotions and let the reader know when he could no longer keep the tears in. He doesn’t just want to observe this place but tries to experience what it was like to go through this place by asking to wear the chains. A lovely storyteller who brings an awful part of world history to light and is able to convey the experience to his audience.”