A powerful story recounting the downfall of the man who ruled Burkina Faso for nearly three decades, has won overall at this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award.
Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou, of Burkina Faso's daily newspaper L'Observateur Paalga, wrote 'Nuit du 29 Octobre à Azalaï : Nous étions à la chambre 143', taking his readers to the heart of the action as former president Blaise Campaore struggled to cling on to power.
Boowurosigue Sanou said: "I feel so lucky to be named CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of Year. My story was about power and how people can fight against it -- I'm so proud that the story has been told and will now be remembered. I want to share my prize with all those who work at L'Observateur Paalga."
Chairwoman of the judging panel, Ferial Haffajee, highlighted the significance of the story: "Room 143 was a work of enterprise. Burkina Faso's parliamentary protest saw Blaise Campaore leave his seat and the country. This was a remarkable moment in a newsworthy year."
Haffajee continued: "This feature takes the reader to the night before -- the night of the long knives when members of parliament attempted to win sufficient support to extend Campaore's term. It was not to be and this story explains why not. A piece of dramatic reporting built on the reporter's clever decision to take a room (143) in the hotel where the action went down."
Boowurosigue Sanou was one of 32 journalists from 15 countries who were in the running for the award, which took place in Nairobi, Kenya on October 10th. In addition to the awards ceremony, workshops and media forums enabled the participants to make the most of the occasion.
Along with the main award, sub sections recognised a broad array of more specialist categories: the Dow Technology and Innovation Reporting award went to Sarah Wild of the Mail & Guardian, South Africa, and the Sports Reporting Award won by Arukaino Umukoro of Punch Newspaper, Nigeria. Certificates of Commendation were also awarded to 15 journalists.