Zambian Journalists not among the Finalists for 2016 CNN Awards, PS asks Media Houses to up their game



MINISTRY of Information and Broadcasting Services permanent secretary Godfrey Malama has urged Zambian media houses to seriously consider investing in investigative journalism for their reporters to compete favourably in Africa.

Mr Malama said this yesterday that it is unfortunate that no Zambian journalist is appeared on the list of finalists for the 2016 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, whose ceremony took place last night.

“Let us endeavour to replicate what happens elsewhere on the continent. We need investigative journalists that can bring to the fore salient and potent issues that change the lives of people in society,” he said.

Last night, Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi were awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2016 Awards Ceremony.

The pair shared the overall ‘CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year’ Award for their combined work ‘Terror Crossing’ which was chosen from record number of 1,637 entries spanning 38 countries across the African continent.

Mwilu and Idi’s ‘Terror Crossing’ is an in-depth investigative documentary about security at the Kenya-Somali border in Mandera county. The story was aired by Kenya Television Network in its investigative programme “The Lead”.

Mwilu and Idi said: “We are overwhelmed by this accolade. It is a dream come true to win the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award for a story that we believe passionately in and one that we felt was important to tell.”

Yolisa Phahle, CEO of M-Net, and Greg Beitchman, VP, Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International, presented Mwilu and Idi with the Award at a Gala Awards ceremony held at the Gallagher Convention Centre, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Mwilu and Idi, winners in the News Impact Award, were among 38 finalists from 15 countries who attended the Awards ceremony as the culmination of an all-expense paid four-day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Greg Beitchman, VP, Content Sales and Partnerships, CNN International, said: “Quality journalism has shone through once again at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards. Congratulations to all of tonight’s finalists and winners, especially to overall winners Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi for their powerful reporting. We look forward to welcoming them at the CNN Journalism Fellowship in Atlanta.”

Tim Jacobs, CEO, MultiChoice Africa, said: “Congratulations to all the winners! Your unique way of storytelling has captured the hearts and minds of all Africans and those beyond our borders. The Awards have not only had a profound effect on the African media landscape but have catapulted winners into senior positions and success. As MultiChoice Africa we remain committed to recognising excellence in journalism throughout Africa. We applaud all the finalists and winners for continuing to tell Africa’s stories and contributing to Africa’s growth and success.”

The competition is once again supported by a range of prestigious sponsors: Dow, Ecobank, GE, IPP Media and the World Health Organisation.
All finalists receive both a cash prize and tablet, with the overall winner receiving a further cash prize and the opportunity to participate in the CNN Journalism Fellowship at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta.

Below is the List of Winners and what the Judges said:

CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year - Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi
CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year – Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi
CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year - Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi
CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year – Asha Ahmed Mwilu and Rashid Idi

Winners in the individual competition categories are:

ENVIRONMENT AWARD, presented by Eleni Giokos, CNNMoney Africa Correspondent

Joint Winners: John Grobler, Namibia, & Fiona Macleod, Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, South Africa

Title: ‘Caught in the crossfire: how cattle and Chinese mining interests are killing off Namibia’s black rhinos’

Judges Citation: “A swashbuckling tale with a noble intention: to track and understand why the black rhino faces extinction… The team toiled for months and made significant breakthroughs to understand the plight of the beautiful animals. This transnational investigation found a Chinese connection and a close competition between the rhinos and roaming cattle.”

CULTURE AWARD, presented by Tim Jacobs, CEO, MultiChoice Africa

Winner: Ati Metwaly, Al Ahram Weekly, Egypt

Title: ‘Against all odds: Stories of the visually impaired women from Egypt’s Al Nour Wal Amal Orchestra’

Judges Citation: “A story of hope. It brings to light the enduring spirit of a band whose members are visually impaired but vocally endowed. With their music, the orchestra members perform in ways that lighten humanity’s soul in the face of despair.”

DOW TECHNOLOGY & INNOVATION REPORTING AWARD, presented by Ross McLean, President, Dow Sub-Saharan Africa

Winner: Chika Oduah, Nigeria, Freelance for African Media Initiative, Kenya

Title: The App That Saved 1,000 Children’

Judges Citation: “The use of innovative, multimedia storytelling for a tale that is moving and inspiring is a winning combination. Journalists who tackle digital storytelling often dazzle with the technology and the story comes second – but in this case the story was powerful and enriching. This piece could easily be presented as best practice in ground breaking innovative storytelling.”

ECOBANK ECONOMICS & BUSINESS AWARD, presented by Rosemary Yeboah, Group Head, Corporate Banking, Ecobank

Joint Winners: Diana Neille, Richard Poplak, Shaun Swingler & Sumeya Gasa, Daily Maverick Chronicle, South Africa

Title: Casualties of Cola: Outsourcing, Exploitation & the New Realities of Work’

Judges Citation: “This story had depth and showed a full understanding of all the issues involved. It speaks to Africa on so many levels and thus the issues raised so well here resonate across the continent. It also shows how journalists have come of age in reporting complicated economic and financial issues.”

FEATURES AWARD, presented by Joyce Mhaville, Managing Director, ITV Tanzania

Winners: Mia Malan, Mail & Guardian, South Africa

Title: Diepsloot: Where men think it’s their right to rape’

Judges Citation: “A comprehensive story, told in a very clear language. The level of bestiality of the predators is vividly, grimly captured and the agony of the victims even more so. It also shows how poverty dehumanises, robs people of their voices even in the face of assault and makes them live in an endless cycle of victimhood.”

Mia Malan’s story is sad to read through, bringing out the worst of us human beings wondering how we can allow crime to happen to the most fragile in society as we look to the other side… The narrative should have an impact in not only law enforcement but local leadership of any area across the continent to look around them for crimes that go unreported…”

FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD – ELECTRONIC MEDIA, presented by Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media

Winner: Bidossèssi Appolinaire Agoïnon, Office de Radiodiffusion et Télévision du Bénin, Benin

Title: Dogesi mi’

Judges Citation:Bidossèssi Appolinaire Agoïnon tells us a great story of Western Africa… It’s a complete exploration of a major cultural heritage, but Agoïnon makes it very simple, very clear – and surprisingly riveting.”

FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD – PRINT, presented by Amadou Mahtar Ba, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, AllAfrica Global Media

Winner: Faten Hayed, El Watan, Algeria

Title:L’Algérie, ma terre de djihad’

Judges Citation:Faten Hayed has gathered outstanding testimonies of the mechanics of indoctrination in jail. ‘Algeria, my land of Jihad’ is an exceptional tale of the political spiral and the hellish human cycle that turns European citizens into jihad soldiers… It is a good piece to read, agreeable and with deep understanding of the new face of terror affecting the North of Africa and the world in the last years.”

GE ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE AWARD, presented by Thomas Konditi, President and CEO GE Transportation Africa & GE South Africa

Winner: Jay Caboz, Forbes Africa, South Africa

Title:40 Years of Mozambique – The Dead Port that Rose Again’

Judges Citation: “This is a beautifully written story about the main port in Mozambique that had all but died – being brought back to life 40 years later. The writer weaves into the story the lines and events that took place in Mozambique over that period to bring us to where we are today, a vibrant port. It is indeed a great story straight out of Africa.”

MOHAMED AMIN PHOTOGRAPHIC AWARD, presented by Salim Amin, Chairman, Africa24 Media

Winner: James Oatway, The Sunday Times, South Africa

Title:The Killing of Emmanuel Sithole’

Judges Citation: “The three harrowing pictures of Mr Sithole show how the situation quickly escalated to a murder are not only visually moving, but impacted what was to come next in South Africa. The photographer captured vital moments in this tragic situation… stories of xenophobia in South Africa were in the most part downplayed without material action in affected areas – until these pictures were published.”

HEALTH & MEDICAL AWARD, presented by Dr Rufaro Chatora, World Health Organisation representative in South Africa

Winner: Veronica Narkwor Kwabla, Tv3 Network, Ghana

Title: Freetown Ebola Orphans’

Judges Citation: Veronica Narkwor Kwabla is that journalist an editor wants to work with. She noticed something. Although Accra, Ghana was at the centre of the treatment of the Ebola outbreak, most stories were originating in Western capitals. So, she grabbed a crew and got herself to both Sierra Leone and Liberia to see whether we were indeed at the end of the Ebola outbreak. A fascinating story inside the treatment centres, survivor stories and insight into heroism. It’s told in a four-part series which left me feeling hopeful and energised, not hopeless and despairing.”

NEWS IMPACT AWARD, presented by Tommy Evans, VP & London Bureau Chief, CNN International

Joint Winners: Asha Ahmed Mwilu & Rashid Idi, Kenya Television Network, Kenya

Title: ‘Terror Crossing’

Judges Citation:This well executed piece deserved to win because, in it, we see a combination of impartiality, determination, and it not only brings issues to the surface, the report gives suggestions of ways to tackle this issue… One of the elements that made the piece a winner, is also the team work that went into this great television piece.”

PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE GENERAL NEWS AWARD – Print, presented by Arlindo Lopes, Regulatory Manager for Angola and Mozambique, MultiChoice

Winner: Bento Venâncio, Jornal Domingo, Mozambique

Title: ‘Albinos em perigo’

Judges Citation: “This story takes us on a journey into the intricate business in which superstitious beliefs pose a serious threat to people with Albinism in the Nampula province of northern Mozambique. Apart from people with Albinism being hunted down for their body parts which are believed to be magical, they also suffer discrimination at various levels of society, including in education… In a three-part series, the report covers all facets of the problem, including the need for effective public policies for the protection of people with Albinism.”

PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE GENERAL NEWS AWARD – Electronic Media, presented by Arlindo Lopes, Regulatory Manager for Angola and Mozambique, MultiChoice

Winner: Fidelto Emidio Bata, STV, Mozambique

Title: ‘Bibliotecas esquecidas’

Judges Citation: “This story shows originality. Media in Africa do not often address the situation of older people abandoned by their family members. It is a balanced, comprehensive and resourcefulness story in the context of Mozambique post-war society. The journalist communicated this story in a way that made the topic accessible and relevant to his audience. ‘Forgotten libraries’ highlights challenges to the future of humanity in Africa.”

PRESS FREEDOM AWARD, presented by Ferial Haffajee Chair of the Judging Panel

Recipient: Bob Rugurika, Burundi

Judges Citation: “One of the best long stories out of our continent has been sustained democratic practice – regular elections, healthy civil society and the growing strength of institutions. Sometimes leaders want to stay longer than democracy would give them. That is what happened in Burundi and independent journalists have been caught in the crossfire. Leading among them is Bob Rugurika, the much loved radio man who has sadly been forced into exile. The independent judges panel of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards seeks to shine a spotlight on Burundi this year where brave journalists stand at the forefront to protect the hard won gains of democracy in this central African nation. The award goes to Bob Rugurika for his brave work.”

SPORT REPORTING AWARD, presented by Joel Kibazo, Media & Public Affairs Consultant

Joint Winners: Yemisi Akinbobola, Ogechi Ekeanyanwu & Paul Bradshaw, IQ4News for Premium Times, Nigeria

Title: ‘Follow the Money: Who extracts the value of Nigerian footballers?’

Judges Citation: “This is a very powerful and compelling story about the plight of aspiring footballers in Nigeria, who become victims of unscrupulous agents who exploit them with the promises of brilliant future careers in Europe, but then abandon them, left to fend for themselves in foreign lands. It is a story written in a very clear format, also demonstrating the reporter’s effort to cover all facets of the issue, including contacting the federations of the countries where the young footballers were supposed to be taken to. The illustrations are equally good and complement the written story in a very significant way.”


Winner: Ancillar Mangena, Forbes Africa, South Africa

Title: ‘Prophets of profit in the business of belief’

Judges Citation: “As a new category that seeks to bring out the best of young upcoming writers, the Maggie Eales Young Journalist Award entries attracted young energetic writers, determined to display their best to the continent… The writer uses photos to tell a compelling story of many caught up in the ‘business of religion’, eager to live better lives as promised by the various ‘prophets’. It’s a captivating story, told in a way that is easy to follow and you want to read the story from beginning to end… Maggie championed young journalists and she would have been very proud of this crop of entries.”

Certificates of Commendation

The work of 15 other journalists was also recognised by the judges, with each receiving a commendation:

Isaac Otidi Amuke,
Commonwealth Writers, Kenya – Features Award

Adedayo Eriye Oketola,
Saturday Punch, Nigeria – GE Energy & Infrastructure Award

Folashade Adebayo,
The Punch, Nigeria – Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award

Veronica Onuchi,
TVC News Africa, Nigeria – Health & Medical Award

Garreth van Niekerk,
City Press, South Africa – Culture Award

Cheboite Kigen,
Daily Nation Newspaper, Kenya – Mohamed Amin Photographic Award

Lawrence Seretse,
The Botswana Gazette, Botswana – News Impact Award

Dominic Omondi,
The Standard, Kenya – Ecobank Economics & Business Award

Conan Daniel Businge & Gerald Tenywa,
New Vision, Uganda – Environment Award

Coulibaly Zoumana,
Le Patriote, Ivory Coast – Francophone General News Award – Print

Jean-Luc Emile, Teleplus,
Mauritius – Francophone General News Award – Electronic media

Teresa Fuquiadi,
Jornal Nova Gazeta, Angola – Portuguese Language General News Award – Print

Cleófas Viagem,
STV, Mozambique – Portuguese Language General News Award – Electronic Media

Eromo Egbejule,
Freelance for Ventures Africa, Nigeria – The Maggie Eales Young Journalist Award


  1. Who would recognise those yellows at znbc, daily mail & times. Journos with grey matter between their ears are clamped down upon.

    • Most of these awards were supposed to be scoped by private media reporters.

      But who would ever think of awarding M’membe’s daylight bias and faulty reporting of facts in a deliberately tilted manner?

    • Mr PS in a country where there is no free speech and voice, my Lord you close them down and political clowns harass journalists how do you expect them to win sight?!

    • How does one expect the likes of M’mbe to win anything because all they know is to insult those that don’t agree with their agenda.

    • U forgot the post,komboni,muvi,ithezithezi,how can we have one all these are politicians in the cover of journalism,we told everyone is able to see even the blind can see that vima journalist vamu Zambia nivi ma politicians.

    • There are no journalists in Zambia. They are all drunkards caught up in faux celebrity status. I just don’t even get people complaining about ECL being the reason why these lazy good for nothing drunkards can’t report on any thing other than politics!

    • The PF minister for the journalists should resign. This is total embarrassing. In old days we could see Mmembe, Ntani etc.

    • This permanent secretary has a problem, honestly how could you expect Zambian journalists to win anything. I don’t think we have any professional journalists in this country.

    • Zambia has neither professional journalists nor journalism and to even wonder why they would not appear on anything related to renowned world media houses is misplaced! The so called men and women representing media in Zambia know it and they themselves are mediocrity at best!

    • The quality of most pieces of writing by Zambian journalists is no better than junior high school essays – especially the younger journalists. And this can be attributed to the deterioration of our education standards in general.

    • Am sure the PS didn’t expect these turned politian Zambian journalists to win. CNN looks at the content (quality) of reporting and not everyday biased local politics with no analysis whatsoever. Taking pictures of half naked elderly women and publishing them or secretly bugging cell phones to be recording private conversations can not win a CNN award. We have a lot to learn in as far as reporting fairly is concerned.

  2. Our Zambian Journalists have made themselves to be seen as of substandard. They are pa-pets of the Politicians with no professionalism in their reporting. They should change, if they have to compete on international stage.

  3. Sure-sure u expect DeadNBC reporters to win any award? Nxaaah!

    Independent media like Post, Muvi, Komboni were muzzled, raided by PF-Police, beaten, stripped naked, shut down, threatened with closure or given ridiculous Tax bills.

    Zambia is fast moving backwards in terms of Media Freedom.

  4. “Dr.” (LOL) Kambwili should complain that he was unfairly omitted from receiving award for the “exemplary contribution towards establishment of free and democratic press” in Zambia!!!

  5. Zambian journalists need to be serious if they have to be taken seriously. Even those Zambian correspondents working for international news networks can do better. It takes two months to see a story from Zambia on BBC while you have always news from Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda.

  6. Not when pf has infringed on independent media’s rights. The post was only paper to produce an award winning journalist not pfs znbc

  7. Nez if the post was unfairly treated, that could have been more points to win the award. Unfortunately they didn’t act as a freedom fighter newspaper but instead they engaged in personal vendettas for the reasons which we all know. As for public media it’s not easy for them to act “independently ” as a result their informing is very narrow.

    • Ndanje indeed uli umuchila wambwa because you are a blind follower. No matter whether pf lead you to a ditch you will follow like a tail. How can the post prove themselves when pf government unleashed state machinery against them. In a democracy people have freedom of expression and that freedom should be respected even if it criticises the ruling party. Why does pf only want media that supports their crooked ways? Please Ndanje for once be objective. The post have put up a good fight for freedom of speech. It is sad that Zambia under pf is becoming Uganda and Zimbabwe.

  8. Ba Malama Please, the only reward your P.F gives free thinking journalists is a kick in the ribs, & if female an illegal stripping of their clothing. Chagwa like his mentor Mu7 prefers terrified & cowering journalists.
    Chagwa only accepts Belly Men, & women journalists @ Times of Zambia, Daily mail, Znbc, & Richard Sakala’s toilet paper gutter journal, who sing his masters voice for a few corrupt Shekels.
    Free Press is DEAD in Zambia, & Chagwa love it that way.

    • If Zambian journalists are to be amongst the contenders for the journalism awards Mr Malama, they could start with a brilliant story, Miracles Happen – “How Zambia’s President miraculously made Millions of U.S. Dollars in a few months” in a nation experiencing negative growth.

  9. Most of these awards were supposed to be scoped by private media reporters, because they are expected to be neutral.

    But who would ever think of awarding M’membe’s daylight biased and faulty reporting of facts in a deliberately tilted manner?

    Media outlets that are formed primarily to oppose Govt or to promote a particular party’s interest are not of any interest to givers of awards such as these.

    Muvi, Komboni, Prime TV, who promote an individual citizen who keeps on calling on his supporters not to recognise the president, and rise up against govt, are not the type of media houses that would produce award material.

    For the state media, it is easy to tag them as biased by onlookers because by their nature they are primarily supposed to report government activities.


  10. CNN is a biased media organisatiioon itself. Just look at the wayc they are reporting on the US election! They clearly favour Hillary Crooked Clinton, while the only coverage given to Trump is when a scandal is unearthed

  11. how can we get awards when the post is shut and Koboni and prime TV are harassed? how do they investigate when all Lungu does is to use live bullets, fire tear gassed drag journalists to PF police stations

    • Awards are not given for stories written during the award giving ceremony.

      Awards are given for stories done way before that.

      If Post, Muvi and Komboni had any journalist s who had done work in the past worthy of awards they would have been given awards.

      Note that even the very broadcast that led to Muvi and Komboni being closed would have lead to them getting an award if it was worthy.

      You don’t expect to get an award for calling on people to rise against government.

      Worse still, you do not get award for promoting someone who calls on his supporters to pursue an ethnic violence.


    Does one need to have freedom of expression to write an award winning piece such as the one from Namibia about cattle and the Chinese mining interests are killing off Namibia’s black rhinos’ or about the one from South Africa titled, “Casualties of Cola: Outsourcing, Exploitation & the New Realities of Work’ or from the same country about “men who think it’s their right to rape’ ?

  13. Nez. I won’t insult you but just open your eyes. You must know that awards are given for courage so your mouth pieces could have won something but because they tell lies just like Daily Nation.

    • I said be objective for once. Why can’t you criticise what is wrong for once. You have indirectly admitted that there is abuse of freedom of speech and expression. Is this right ndhanje

  14. @15 yes there many progressive things we can write about instead of insulting Lungu and expect to win some award. Upnd cohorts think that’s how you win even without being objective

    • Which “progressive things” in Zambia you can write about? Wake-up and look around you. What is progressive in begging IMF? Is it progressive of having leaking and contradictory Constitution? Maybe having starving population is progressive? Having police force behaving like highway robbers or uneducated thugs on the loose may be progressive? Or having fake uneducated “Dr.” which cannot understand meaning of free press in charge of Ministry of Information?
      You want to suck and lick, do it, it is your choice. But, stop f*cking your own brain in public. You are just showing how low has Zambia fallen.

  15. Ba Malama how do you preach investigative journalism (which your minister is against) yet your govt is strangling freedom of speech? Komboni and muvitv could be nominees not Dead NBC

  16. You can never write about progressive things when there is a concerted attack on freedom of expression. Just look at the nominations non of them are from countries that attack freedom of expression and are against democratic freedoms.

    To the PF kaponyas freedom of expression which includes exposing corruption they think means insulting lungu.

    When writes about the destruction of the zambian economy it does not mean they are insulting lungu. Because of such reasoning is why lungu does not allow freedom of expression.

    • Unless Lungu controlled the awarding body, The Post could have won an award. This is the point you’re missing.

  17. Whatever you say @20 Post could have won for bravely but didn’t because they no longer stuck go ethics. Continue living in denial.

    • The post has been under attack for the past 3 to 4 years. Their journos have been living in fear. Who can write anything when your life is threatened.



  19. @13 OK Barzar Zambia Mwaiseni
    Awards are not given for stories written during the award giving ceremony.

    Awards are given for stories done way before that.

    If Post, Muvi and Komboni had any journalist s who had done work in the past worthy of awards they would have been given awards.

    Note that even the very broadcast that led to Muvi and Komboni being closed would have lead to them getting an award if it was worthy.

    You don’t expect to get an award for calling on people to rise against government.

    Worse still, you do not get award for promoting someone who calls on his supporters to pursue an ethnic violence.

  20. @21.1 Spaka are you really honest? The Post were darling of Michael Sata so who was attacking them? The fallout only started a year ago but all the same like I said they could still have won something. I hope you have noted that one of the recipients is from Burundi? How did he win when the Burundi government doesn’t entertain a free press? These are things you should look at.

  21. Comment:Zambian journalists are so ignorant that they cannot identify their role in circulating information.They have ended up making news instead of reporting news.Whst a high degree of ignorance!

  22. The good Zambian journalists are in court or jailed. Those working for state institutions just sit in offices waiting to be given news to read, prepared by PF Cadres or minister.
    Post journalists would have won if the published the registration of foreigner and impact o. Rigging elwctions in Zambia.

  23. Its very sad, we have people who claim to have been to school but cant think. The awards are done by independent observers. Why have they not HAD ANY recognized journalist from Zambia? Especially from private media? Simple, we DO NOT HAVE ANY CREDIBLE JOURNALISTS. We have liars, Gossipers, Tribalists, morons pretending to be journalists. SHAME ON YOU!!!

  24. Zambian journalists are lazy. They like to copy what other radio stations /newspaper do. For instance since Hope and Chi of Hot FM started hosting their show as a pair, most radio station copied them. The problem with copying is there no originality in it. Just like hh wants to copy late MCS. There are so many things our journalists can write about apart from insults, half truths, outright lies. They can write about the mukula tree which is being smuggled out of Zambia by the Chinese and investigate what it is used for in China, why there are so many road fatalities, etc.

  25. Talk about freedom of press!! UK has frozen bank accounts belonging to RT the Russian owned Radio for what UK terms biased reporting.

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