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1995 - 2008 Finalists and Winners


Richard M. Kavuma, the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2007 pictured with (from left) CNN's Jonathan Mann, e.tv's Nothemba Madumo, Nolo Letele, CEO MultiChoice South Africa and Tony Maddox,Executive Vice President and Managing Director of CNN International

Richard M. Kavuma, from Uganda, has been awarded the top prize at this year's CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2007 Awards Ceremony. Richard, who works for The Weekly Observer in Uganda won for his series of articles, 'To assess the country's performance on Millennium Development Goals.', which were chosen from among 1670 entries from 40 nations across the African continent.

Richard was one of 26 finalists at the Awards ceremony on Saturday night and was the category winner in the MKO Abiola Print Journalist Award.

Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, CNN International and Nolo Letele, Chief Executive Officer, MultiChoice South Africa presented him with the award at a gala ceremony hosted by CNN and MultiChoice at The Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday 21 July.

Richard M. Kavuma said , "In accepting this award, I dedicate it to my colleagues at The Weekly Observer in Uganda, and to my fellow journalists in Africa. This is in recognition for journalism that strives to put people at the forefront. With this award, I give my renewed dedication to act as a voice for the voiceless."

Chairperson of the Judging Panel, Joel Kibazo, said: "This was a truly impressive body of work, one the judges felt encapsulated many of the development issues and challenges that Africa continues to face today".

Tony Maddox, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of CNN International, said: "Once again these awards have highlighted the depth and strength of African journalism. These men and women have proven that they have the courage and determination to showcase Africa's stories to the world."

Eben Greyling, Chief Executive Office, MultiChoice Africa, said: "When one sees the high quality of work produced by the finalists, it shows a deep commitment to quality journalism in Africa. Journalists have clearly demonstrated their desire to ensure that their communities stay informed about the issues shaping their futures and have tackled many of the important issues which the continent is grappling with - which is not always an easy task. We thank them and congratulate them on their contributions and look forward to their continued success".

The Competition, now in its twelfth year, is held in association with South African Airways (SAA), who in addition to flying the judges to London for the judging process brought all the finalists and judges to Cape Town to attend the extensive finalists' programme. Cape Town-based accommodation is provided by the official hotel sponsor The Table Bay Hotel/A Sun International Resort, Cape Town, South Africa. The event is also held in collaboration with The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Other prestigious sponsors include: Celtel, Coca-Cola Africa; Ecobank, IPP Media; Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD); MIH Print, Safebond Africa Limited (SAL); Global Media Alliance (GMA) and Camerapix.

Highlights of the Awards ceremony will be broadcast as follows:

  • MNet (Pas 7) will broadcast a highlights programme of the Award Ceremony on Saturday 28th July.
  • Broadcasters in 46 countries on the African continent will be transmitting the highlights programme.
  • Internationally, the Highlights Programme will be shown on OBE TV in the UK, The Africa Channel in the United States and on RTP Africa.
  • 'Inside Africa' will also air a report on the African Journalist Award on 28th July at 1730 BST / 1830 CET.

The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2007 Award prize comprises a substantial cash prize, a visit to CNN Center, Atlanta, with complimentary flights courtesy of South African Airways; along with the prize awarded to all category winners, which consists of a laptop computer, modem and printer and a cash prize.

Winners in the individual competition categories are:

ARTS & CULTURE AWARD, presented by Celtel:
Diana Lucas, Diana Lucas Productions for Carte Blanche, M-Net, South Africa
Title: Soweto Gospel Choir
Judge's Citation:

Anna Umbima said: "What started off as a 'fill-in' for a concert turned out to be a phenomenal rise of a Gospel choir that's taking the world by storm. 32 residents of Soweto applied and were accepted to join what became known as the Soweto Gospel Choir. They became such a 'hit' they've gone on to perform all over the world and were even nominated for a Grammy Music Award - which they won, an amazing feat for a group of people who otherwise would never have gotten such an opportunity".

ECONOMICS & BUSINESS AWARD, presented by Coca-Cola Africa:
Toyin Akinosho, Africa Oil + Gas Report, Nigeria
Title: Africans Exploit African Hydrocarbon Resources
Judge's Citation:

Lizeka Mda said: "Business is booming in Africa as the growth rate shows, yet that story is seriously underreported. Now, here is a story that does the job well. It makes the point that in the past African countries have sat back and watched, while European and American companies came in and did the exploration for oil and gas, but now there is a new script being written. The story tells of more and more oil and gas deals being intra-African. South Africa, Gabon, Sudan, Algeria, Angola seem to be the pioneers of this new era of mining for oil and gas in Africa by African companies, outside their own borders. It's great news for Africa, and a great African story dealing with a complicated subject very comprehensively but clearly."

ENVIRONMENT AWARD, presented by Ecobank:
Albert Gachiri and Steve Mwei, Nation TV Kenya, Kenya
Title: Mwingi Silk Farming
Judge's Citation:

Lizeka Mda said: "The piece is a perfect interpretation of the environment category. Charcoal burning is destroying the environment in Kenya, yet as a source of income for many communities, it is hard to stop. The piece tells very well how this particular community has discovered value in keeping the acacia trees alive, as silk is the new, environmentally-friendly and sustainable source of revenue. The viewer sees how, from beginning to end - harvesting, spinning, finished garment - the community benefits, environmentally, as well as economically".

Alain Zongo, L'Observateur Paalga, Burkina Faso
Title: Jours de paie à Tougan (Pensions des anciens combattants)
Judge's Citation:

Sophie Ly Sow said: "This story is about world war veterans, the survivors, their widows, the orphans, who live on a modest or miserable pension. Getting the pension is a humiliation. Imagine very old women having to travel and queue up every single month in a tedious administrative process for a handful of money. We owe it to this social group to raise the issue because today they are a voiceless group. Tomorrow they will simply no longer be there. We wouldn't even have memories of them. They would have gone from horror to silence and death, away from attention. No, we owe it to them".

Irène Ndzana Fouda, Cameroon Radio Télévision, Cameroon
Title: Le repassage des seins, une mutilation intolerable
Judge's Citation:

Arlindo Lopes said: "The winner in this category told a story that shocked all of us. Although breast ironing is commonplace in Cameroon, apparently few people want to talk about it because it is taboo. The journalist was careful in considering all angles, bringing up the voices of the girls who have undergone the procedure, as well as their mothers, aunts and other female neighbours who perform the breast ironing. The detail was painstaking; the victims plight all the more poignant and frustrating. This is an example of good radio journalism!"

Musa Saidykhan, The Independent, Gambia
Judge's Citation:

Joel Kibazo said: "Two years ago this award was given posthumously to a Gambian journalist and I am afraid journalists have continued to come under pressure in The Gambia. Musa Saidykhan of the Independent exemplifies their struggle. Having published a list of those involved in a coup attempt, he was arrested, detained for 22 days and tortured. No doctor in Gambia would treat him or attend to him. He fled The Gambia in May 2006 and remains in exile today. The Independent newspaper remains shut".

Charity Mutinta Mboozi, Catholic Media Services TV Studios for Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation, Zambia
Title: Through My Eyes

Judge's Citation:

Azubuike Ishiekwene said: "When I watched the tape, I wept. My tears were not just for the little boy and his mum who were both going through an incredible emotional crisis after five members of the family had died from HIV/AIDS; my tears were for a continent that is still sleepwalking through the clear and present danger to public health and safety. The documentary is a heart-breaking wake-up call".

MSD HEALTH & MEDICAL AWARD, presented by Merck, Sharp and Dohme:
Adri Kotzé & Anna Maria Lombard, A2 Media Productions for Carte Blanche, M-Net, South Africa
Title: Maternity Ward Mayhem
Judge's Citation:

Sophie Ly Sow said: "We all know of a story of carelessness and disrespect in a maternity, of a person who has gone through them. Unfortunately, we are getting used to it! I am a journalist, a woman and now a mother. I have three good reasons to make sure we keep covering what happens in maternities. Until we get 100 % joy stories out of maternities!"

Kaizer Ngwenya, DRUM, South Africa
Title: Mad McGyvers on the Metroline
Judge's Citation:

Azubuike Ishiekwene said: 'Mad McGyvers on the Metroline' is a dreadful re-definition of youthful adventure. Every teenager has a memory of some exuberance. But train surfing is a growing social problem. Kaizer captures the dilemma of the authorities who don't seem to know what to do about it, the agony of parents and communities loosing their teenagers to this menace, and the stunning fact that the teenagers themselves don't seem to see anything wrong with all of this. It's the portrayal of the crisis of coming to terms with a dangerous sub-culture".

M.K.O. ABIOLA PRINT JOURNALIST AWARD, presented by Safebond Africa Ltd:
Richard M. Kavuma, The Weekly Observer, Uganda
Title: 8-Part Series of Articles to Assess Uganda's Performance on Millennium Development Goals
Judge's Citation:

Arlindo Lopes said: "This is a very comprehensive journalistic assessment on a global human development programme applied to a specific case, Uganda. Issues such as fighting poverty, education for children - specially the poor, rights for girls and women, survival of babies, children and of their expectant mothers, escaping the HIV/AIDS tragedy and malaria death, access to safe water, and so on. The winner did thorough research and applied the concepts and his practical skills to "tell" the story to the people in an accessible, informative and educative way. He also demonstrates fairness and balance in the reporting, pointing out the successes as well as the challenges in the process. It is not only a Ugandan story; it is equally relevant to all African countries who may want to access their performance on human development, particularly the M.D.G."

Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi, Freelance, thezimbabwetimes.com, Zimbabwe
Title: Black Diamonds
Judge's Citation:

Anna Umbima said: "This set of photographs taken in eastern Zimbabwe is quite stunning, both in the beauty and desperation they depict. Thousands of Zimbabweans, many of them destitute, are flocking to this area to dig for black diamonds. It is illegal but this doesn't deter them. They scrabble in the dirt and dust in the hope of finding these stones, which incidentally fetch far less than white diamonds. The people are not just covered in soil, they must also be choking from it. But even in the midst of this desperation and the dangerous conditions their hope and humanity shine through and these photographs capture it perfectly".

Ar'ao Jos'e Valoi, Meianoite, Mozambique
Title: Body of Work: Regional Integration
Judge's Citation:

Azubuike Ishiekwene said: "This topic is relevant to all SADC countries even though the analysis is based on the Mozambican experience. Every country in Southern Africa could relate the issues involved to their own particular case. The author manages to unpack what could be a highly technical and specialised subject into a clear and simple language. The journalist shows in this story both the positive and negative side of the SADC integration. It's a deep, well-researched and balanced piece".

Mandy Wiener, Talk Radio 702, South Africa
Title: Body of Work including Khensani Mitileni
Judge's Citation:

Anna Umbima said: "Comprehensive story-telling of a breaking news story. Mandy Wiener stayed with the story and updated listeners throughout the day before filing a complete "wrap" which included interviews with victim's family, eye-witnesses, local merchants and officials in a word, Mandy made the listeners feel like they were at the scene of this horrible crime that's all too familiar in South Africa".

SOUTH AFRICAN AIRWAYS TOURISM AWARD, presented by South African Airways:
Mary Corrigall, The Sunday Independent, South Africa
Title: Body of Work: Little India
Judge's Citation:

Anna Umbima said: "Like all the best travel writing these pieces of work bring a place to life and entice you to explore the destination yourself. In an article called 'Little India' the writer draws a picture of the sights, sounds and smells of the city of Durban and the imprint that the Indian population has made on the city over the last century. As she explains, looking for a particular 'Indian Quarter' of Durban is rather like looking for trees in a forest, as so much of the city resonates with that description. It's a beautifully written piece of work".

SPORT AWARD, presented by Global Media Alliance:
James Wokabi, The Sunday Standard, Kenya
Title: Herdsboy -turned Qatari Millionaire
Judge's Citation:

Joel Kibazo said: "This is a story that resonates across the African continent. It is about African sports women and men, talented people wishing to stay and perform for their country but the richer countries offer so much more to the athlete in terms of care, financial rewards and prospects. The story is written well, showing the dilemma and challenges these people face".

Nichola de Chaud and Odette Schwegler, Backyard Productions for Carte Blanche, M-Net, South Africa
Title: Angel of Soweto
Judge's Citation:

Joel Kibazo said: "This was a strong television story, which showed the programme Carte Blanche had kept up with the twists and turns of the story. Having first filmed Mama Jacky or the 'Angel of Soweto' in 2001, when she impressed the world by helping needy out of school children, the programme goes back five years later, to find much of its own initial broadcast was a scam. It showed that we as journalists can be taken in like anybody else, and the programme makers were bold enough to show this and reveal what the real situation is".

TV GENERAL NEWS AWARD - NEWS BULLETIN, presented by The Table Bay Hotel/A Sun International Resort:
Boni Odinga, Kenyan Television Network, Kenya
Title: Hawkers Chaos
Judge's Citation:

Anna Umbima said: "This television news item on the violent street battles between hawkers and police in Nairobi captures the essential elements of this event. The reporter covered this breaking news story with as much clarity and calmness as he could command in the midst of a violent and unpredictable situation. This shows professional commitment and fearlessness. Both the reporter and his camerawoman faced danger but continued to keep their mind on bringing the story to the audience. In fact the camerawoman was injured by a tear gas canister, and the reporter ensured she was treated in hospital before racing back to the television studio and compiling the news item for that night's bulletin. The story is well told and Boni Odinga is to be commended for his professionalism in very difficult circumstances".

Once again this year the Judges highlighted some excellent work and awarded Commendations in 5 categories. These journalists participated in the extensive finalists' programme in Cape Town and received a cash prize and certificates of commendation.


Muwana Wamunyima, Zambia News and Information Services for ZNBC, Zambia

Title: The Migration to the Highland


Justus Nwakanma, Sunday Champion, Nigeria

Title: The Revolution called Nollywood


Esther Mbondo, MEDEVA for KBC, Kenya

Title: RUAI


Selma Mhaoud, 2M, Morocco

Title: L'innocence volée


Reginald Richardson, Botswana Television, Botswana

Title: Minibus Fares


Jessica Pitchford, Special Assignment SABC, South Africa

Title: Guns for Sale

About the award:

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa. The competition is open to African professional Journalists (including, but not limited to, African freelancers), working on the continent for African media organisations that are headquartered within the continent of Africa and produce a printed publication or electronic medium (television: radio or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience. All winning entries were broadcast or published during January - December 2006.

Note to Editors:

Members of the independent judging panel, chaired by Joel Kibazo, Journalist and Media Consultant, who have joined us at the awards in Cape Town include Azubuike Ishiekwene, Executive Director, Punch Nigeria Limited, Arlindo Lopes, Secretary General of SABA - Southern African Broadcasting Association, Lizeka Mda, Managing Editor, City Press of South Africa, Sophie Ly Sow, Regional Communications Officer for Oxfam/West Africa, Anna Umbima, Journalist and Broadcaster. Filipe Correia de Sá, Senior Producer at BBC World Service, was brought in to help judge the Portuguese speaking category.

Turner Corporate Social Responsibility:

The AJA is Turner's longest running Corporate Social Responsibility activity in Africa where it also works with UNICEF using its channels, its staff and its funds for a major project in Kenya providing schooling and a home for children orphaned by HIV and AIDS. In February a group of staff will be helping build a home for a child headed family in South Africa and others have created advertisements and logos for African charities and CNN has donated its airtime. In 2006 the London Benchmarking Group reported Turner's donations and staff activities which put it into The Percent Club as one of the country's 100 most generous companies.


Issued Saturday 21st July, 2007

For further information please contact:

For further information please contact:

CNN International: Joel Brown +44 207 693 0967, mobile + 44 7967 293452 joel.brown@turner.com

CNN International: Claudia Coles +44 207 693 0946, mobile +44 7785 725705 claudia.coles@turner.com

CNN International: Nick Hart + 44 20 7693 1228, mobile +44 7815 577769 nick.hart@turner.com

MultiChoice Africa: Caroline Creasy + 27 11 289 3081, mobile +27 (0) 82 333 4603 ccreasy@multichoice.co.za

MultiChoice South Africa: Marilyn Watson +27 11 289 3062, mobile +27 (0) 82 897 7752 mwatson@multichoice.co.za

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