One of Twaweza’s Kenyan partners, MEDEVA, scooped 5 prestigious awards during the 3rd Annual Journalism Excellence Awards held on Saturday 3rd May 2014 at the Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC), Nairobi. The event coincided with the World Press Freedom Day. MEDEVA was the only independent production house to scoop awards in the ceremony with the rest going to the big industry players in an evening that saw Kenya’s finest journalists from different media houses recognized.
The Annual Journalism Excellence Awards are an initiative of the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) that are held every year in May. MCK is a statutory body established to oversee the regulation of media and the conduct and discipline of journalists. This year’s awards attracted over 1,200 entries up from 600 last year. Journalists from print media, radio and television media platforms were recognized.
Four journalists from MEDEVA won 5 awards for their short documentaries under the Tazama series, a half hour documentary series. Tazama, which airs on Kenya Television Network (KTN), is supported by Twaweza and the Ford Foundation. Below are the details of the stories that won:
Christine Muthee was the winner in the Sports Reporting Award (Radio category) for a story on Jared Otieno Obonyo aka Jaro Soldier, a football fanatic and ardent supporter of Gor Mahia – Kenya’s most popular football club. Jaro has themed his whole life from his home to his bicycle in the colours of Gor Mahia Football Club and doesn’t miss a match. He starts off his day by honoring the Gor Mahia flag and singing the club’s anthem. His way of life is greatly influenced by his love for the club. In this story, Christine explores his world.
Christine was also awarded 1st Runner’s Up position in the Children and Youth Affairs Reporting Award (Radio category) for her story on a safe house for girls in Narok. This was a story on Patrick Ngigi, a former headmaster who together with his wife host young girls from the Maasai community who have run away from their homes to avoid harmful cultural practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) and early marriages.
Maurice Oniang'o was the 2nd Runner Up in the Children and Youth Affairs Reporting award in the Television category for his ‘Survival through the gun’ story. The feature tells the tale of two boys; Lorunye Emekwe (12 years) and Loriani Ekai (15 years) who have been forced to stay away from school due to insecurity and poverty in Turkana region in northern Kenya. The community is frequently raided by the Merrile, a militia group from the neighboring Ethiopia and it is young boys like Lorunye and Loriani who have to defend them since most of the grown men have been killed in past attacks. The two boys carry guns for defense, and don’t go to school, an issue that is replicated across the region.
Mike Mulure was the 1st Runner’s Up in the Health Reporting Award (Radio category) for a story about Jane Awodi, a widow and mother of five who is HIV positive. Jane has to fish at Lake Victoria to fend for her children. Most fishermen at the lake ask for sexual favors in return for fish a challenge that Jane has to deal with considering her condition. The story tells Jane’s journey with HIV/Aids and how she manages the condition under the challenging circumstances of her day to day job.
Rebecca Muiruri was the 2nd Runner’s Up in the Health Reporting Award in the Television category for her ‘Fistula: the silenced shame’ story. The feature is on obstetric fistula, a gynecological condition caused by untreated prolonged and obstructed labor. It tells the story of a 62-year-old lady who has been suffering from fistula for the last 35 years. As a result, her marriage broke down, she equally lost friends and has had to live shunned by society because of the foul smell and shame that comes with the condition. She undergoes reconstructive surgery that relieves her of this shame.
The event was graced by the Attorney General Prof Githu Muigai, Safaricom C.E.O Bob Collymore and Rosemary Okello-Orlale of the Ford Foundation (East Africa) amongst other guests. Winners from each category walked away with 40,000 Kenya shillings from the Media Council of Kenya, a Samsung S3 phone, 2,500 shillings airtime from Safaricom, a Star Times decoder and three months’ subscription from Star Times Kenya, a trophy and a certificate. The 1st runner’s up were given a certificate and a 20,000 Kenya shillings while the 2nd runner’s up were given a certificate and 10,000 Kenya shillings.
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