Tom Mboya and Evanson Nyaga, from Kenya, were awarded 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.
Tom and Evanson were among the 34 finalists at the Awards ceremony on Saturday evening and were winners in the category ‘Television Features Award (TV60).’
The Awards, which rotate location each year in tribute to their pan-African credentials, were held at a Gala ceremony hosted by CNN and MultiChoice at Auditorium Hall, Government Complex Convention Centre, Lusaka, Zambia.
Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa, Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President for CNN Worldwide in charge of International Newsgathering, and Hon. Given Lubinda MP, Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented Tom and Evanson with the Award.
Evanson said: “I am truly humbled by this. Few organisations recognise cameramen so this is a big step in my professional career and I hope it opens new doors.”
Member of the judging panel, journalist and media consultant Joel Kibazo said: “This story introduced the viewer to something new, an African tribe in India few know about. The journalist took the viewer with him to India, and the village to speak to the tribe members. An all round detailed story that was well told.”
John, won for his story ‘Inside the Life of Nairobi Male Sex Workers’, which was chosen from among 1799 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.
Chair of the judging panel, Editor-in-chief, City Press, South Africa, Ferial Haffajee said: “Through his colourful and well-painted characters and compelling writing, John bravely illustrates part of a growing generation of male sex workers in Kenya, and effectively highlights a new risk group. John takes us into his subject’s room, into his life, without judging or moralising. But his message is clear: unsafe sex is common and deadly.”
John said: “I was tackling a very controversial subject and feel honoured that the judges recognised the effort. I hope it can inspire others to do more investigative stories on HIV/AIDS and help end the stigma.”
Nimrod and Charles, who work for NTV, Kenya, won for their story ‘Pokot Water Challenges’, which was chosen from among 1799 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.
Nimrod said: “To win this in the English language shows that journalists don’t need to use just one language to tell their story.”
Charles said: “ I find myself being a voice for the voiceless.”
Waihiga Mwaura and Jepitha Mwai Mwangi, also got awarded in the Sport Award category, presented by Andre Venter, Director Media Solutions Africa, SuperSport.
Waihiga and Jepitha, who work for Citizen TV, Kenya, won for their story ‘Maasai Cricket Warriors’, which was chosen from among 1799 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.
Member of the judging panel, Editor-in-Chief of France Télévisions, Jean-Paul Gérouard, said: “It’s a clash of cultures. But a wonderful, positive clash of cultures. It’s about the universal lessons and values that can be spread by sport, in a way that lectures, pamphlets or the minister guy never could. What’s wonderful is also that Waihiga Mwaura gives you a sense of remoteness: we’re very far from Lords.”
Waihiga said: “This acknowledgement pushes me to want to do unbelievable things. We’re going to be back!”
Jepitha said: “I feel so motivated and appreciated, and I want to do this again and again!”
Collins Khumalo, CEO MultiChoice South Africa said: “We salute the finalists and the winners of the 2012 awards. These journalists give a voice to Africa and help to make that voice heard around the world. We encourage journalists from around the African continent to continue to tell the stories of Africa – who knows, your story might be celebrated at the 2013 awards.”
Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: “Each year we are amazed at the growing number of entries we receive for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award and we continue to marvel at the growing quality of entries – a great indication of the talent and skills pool in the continent. All tonight’s winners should be very proud of
their achievements and we wish them well as they advance to a higher level of global influence. The selfless nature of the trade often displayed in the work done by our journalistic community is once again to be commended and honoured. As MultiChoice we are committed to the empowerment of Africa’s communities, and telling stories of their lives to raise awareness of their plight is commendable. We salute all journalists and tonight’s winners for their contribution to the development of open and democratic societies, creating future hope for generations to come.”
The evening also recognised Enenche Akogwu and Zakariya Isa as this year’s recipients of the Free Press Africa Award, for their work in Nigeria. Zakariya, a cameraman for the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), was killed in October 2011, and Enenche, a news reporter with Channels Television, was shot and killed, having covered the Kano bomb blast in January this year.
The CNN MultiChoice competition is now in its 17th year. The prestigious sponsors include: A24 Media; African Development Bank (AfDB); The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; Ericsson; Intercontinental Hotel, Lusaka; IPP Media, Tanzania; MSD; Nokia; SuperSport; and UNICEF.