The BBC has begun the search for Africa’s next journalism star launching the 2017 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award in Blantyre, Malawi. Journalists from across the continent are invited to apply for the prestigious prize which aims to uncover and promote fresh journalism talent from Africa.
The award was set up to honour the memory of Komla Dumor, an exceptional Ghanaian broadcaster who died unexpectedly at the age of 41 in 2014. In his short life Komla made an extraordinary impact in Ghana, in Africa and across the world on Joy FM and at the BBC. Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, he worked tirelessly to bring a more sophisticated African narrative to the world. The BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy and, through this award, aims to empower a new generation of journalists from Africa to tell African stories to global audiences.
Previous winners of the BBC World News Komla Dumor Award are Nancy Kacungira who worked as a prime time news presenter for KTN in Kenya in 2015 and Didi Akinyelure – a Nigerian journalist who started out as an investment banker in 2016. Both winners used their time at the BBC to hone their journalism skills through training, workshops and mentorship. Working closely with leading talent within the BBC, the winners undertake a final project, travelling to Africa to report on a story they have researched. During her placement, Nancy Kacungira travelled to Ghana to report on diaspora Ghanaians who had decided to return to their roots. The following year, Didi Akinyelure went to the Ivory Coast to investigate new opportunities for the local chocolate manufacturing industry.
Didi said: “I very much admired Komla Dumor, as did many people across Africa. He was, and continues to be, such an inspiration to journalists from across the continent, so it was an honour to be selected as last year’s award winner to continue his remarkable work. What was truly great about my placement at the BBC was how I was given the opportunity and freedom to tell African stories in the way Komla did; with integrity, impartiality and impact.”
Didi Akinyelure will take part in the launch event for the 2017 prize, which will take place in Blantyre, Malawi, alongside Francesca Unsworth, Director, BBC World Service Group and Deputy Director of News and Current Affairs.
Francesca said: “The BBC is committed to continuing Komla’s legacy of reporting on Africa by launching his award for the third year. We have already awarded and hosted two exceptionally talented journalists, who were given the opportunity to train with us and report from Africa for our audiences across the BBC.
It has been a pleasure getting to know both Nancy and Didi. It has also been great to learn from both our award winners, improving our engagement with local audiences. We’re looking forward to finding the next rising star in African journalism and welcoming them as the next BBC World News Komla Dumor Award winner.”
Now open for applications, entrants have until 23.59GMT on 15th March 2017 to submit. The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in New Broadcasting House in London, gaining skills and experience.
– By REUTERS