|Oral Ofori (left) having fun with 2012 African Journalist of the year nominee|
One of this year’s CNN/Multichoice African Journalist Awards nominees, Joshua Anny, is someone I went to the same high school with in Tema; one of Africa’s and Ghana’s premier port city. During our days in school we developed a liking for writing, researching and that strong will to see things done the right way or people treated rightly. So it was no surprise to me when later on in life I found out that Anny like myself towed the line of journalistic studies.
While I was finishing my studies in journalism and busily preparing towards my internship with the Voice Of America in Washington DC, Joshua Anny was a fully fledged practicing journalist fresh out of the University of Cape Coast. Osabutey is what I affectionately call Joshua Anny and when I heard the news about his nomination I quickly jumped on the phone to congratulate him for such an honorable feat.
The prestigious CNN/MultiChoice African Journalist award is now in its 17th year and I have never doubted my friend’s capacity to be nominated for an award in any of the event’s respective categories, I think he has worked very hard for it and I personally pray that he wins it, but win or not, the mere nomination is a milestone in the fledgling career of this brother of mine and it encourages me to stive for higher heights, not to mention the fact that it also makes me proud to know him personally and to also be a Ghanaian.
This year the competition received entries from 42 countries across the African continent including French and Portuguese speaking Africa with a chunk of the nominees coming from South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya with Joshua Anny being the only nominee representing not just Joy FM, but the entire nation of Ghana.
Here are the other 34 finalists from respective media houses spread across 12 other countries on the African continent: Joy Summers of Carte Blanche; Adriaan Basson and Piet Rampedi of City Press; Demelza Bush, Craig McKune and Verashni Pillay of the Mail & Guardian Online; Antoine de Ras of The Star with Megan Small and Clive Mtshali of 3rd Degree, eTV, all of whom are from South Africa which has the most nominees in 2012.
Behind South Africa is Uganda with the second highest nominations in the persons of Stephen Ssenkaaba of the New Vision, Gerald Tenywa of the Saturday Vision, Nelson Wesonga of the Daily Monitor and Edward Echwalu who is a Freelance for The Observer. East Africa’s country of Kenya follows next with these nominees: Tom Mboya & Evanson Nyaga of Citizen TV, Nimrod Taabu Mwagamoyo and Charles Kinyua Kariuki of NTV. Waihiga Mwaura and Jephitha Mwai Mwangi of Citizen TV and John Muchangi Njiru of The Star. Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria, follows next with nominees in the persons of Tunde Akingbade who is a Freelance for The Guardian on Sunday, Ahaoma Kanu of the National Daily Newspaper, Peter Nkanga, Elor Nkereuwem, Musikilu Mojeed and Idris Akinbajo of NEXT on Sunday.
The remainder of the nominated journalist are Manar Attiya and Ahram Hebdo of Egypt, Najlae Benmbarek of 2M TV in Morocco, Ramusel Graça of Televisão Santomense in São Tomé and Príncipe and Arsénio Henriques of Soico–STV in Mozambique with Teresa Sofia Fortes of A Semana representing Cape Verde, Isabel João of Novo Jornal representing Angola and Andrew Mulenga of The Post Newspaper being the only Zambian nominee.
Winners of the competition will be announced at an Award Ceremony and Gala Evening in Lusaka, Zambia on Saturday July 21, 2012 and as I congratulated Joshua Anny, I couldn’t help scream his name Osabutey! Anny believes his nomination was not by chance and directly relates it to what was said during the announcement of the nominees by Ferial Haffajee who is the chair of the event’s independent judging panel and Editor-in-Chief of City Press in South Africa: “the growing quality of the entries we pored over is a reflection of a growing continent claiming its place in the sun. We were impressed by the enhanced quality and competitiveness of the work before us; by the heart and soul poured onto pages and into pixels; by the adventurist spirit of the entries which came from more countries than ever before. In print, in radio, in television it is clear that African journalism is in a growth spurt, claiming its stake as world-class and globally competitive. A bit like our continent.”
So there you have it world, African journalism has long since come of age and in its throes comes the sprouting of devout practitioners like my friend Osabutey and the other host of respectable nominees which to me is a great sign of hope evident in the fact that this year’s event has had the highest number of entries in the competition’s 17 year history. I will encourage all of you young and devoted practitioners of journalism out there on the African continent to do best what you do and remember that one day soon, you, like my friend Joshua Anny will be noticed for your work. Those of you who are interested in participating in next year’s event should up your game and place your entry for the 2013 event here.
To enter the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2012 competition the journalist must have been an African national and have worked on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organizations that produced a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster, radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience.
As I wait for the final results on Saturday July 21, 2012, all my fingers and toes will be crossed for my man Joshua Anny to be called up onto the podium among the winners. Once again good job done Osabutey and continue to make Ghana proud as you tirelessly work towards the realization of the African dream!
Source: Oral Ofori