Our inaugural award winner Mercy Juma, a Kenyan broadcast journalist whose stories highlighted sensitive topics, such as unwed teen mothers living in Muslim communities, was selected from among 354 applicants. Her reporting brought to life the stories of often-voiceless Kenyans who face difficult human challenges and aim to overcome them.
In her award-winning story, “Teen Mums of Kwale,” she tells of primary school girls whose families make the controversial choice to let them use contraceptives even though the practice is taboo in the Muslim communities of Kenya’s Kwale County. The reason for going against tradition: Their unmarried girls need schooling, not more unwanted pregnancies, if they are ever to rise out of poverty.
- The contest is open to up-and-coming, English-speaking journalists working in Africa for print, broadcast and online news media.
- Applicants must have no more than 10 years of journalism experience.
- Applicants must submit one published story that reflects top-notch storytelling about important issues.
- The submission can be a feature story; an in-depth, investigative or explanatory piece; or a multimedia report or documentary.
- The published story or broadcast must be submitted in English. Works in other languages must include English translations.