Nigerian investigative journalists, Kiki Mordi and Fisayo Soyombo have both emerged as winners of the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019 (PJP), an award from Sub-Saharan Africa public strategy firm, Gatefield Foundation. The announcement was made public on Monday, January 20, 2020, through a press statement by Gatefield’s lead strategist Adewunmi Emoruwa, in Abuja. Both journalists were awarded due to their outstanding feats in the field of investigative journalism in 2019.
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Both reporters demonstrated the highest level of empathy by subjecting themselves to the excruciating torture of the injustice that they sought to expose in telling these stories…We could not be more proud of our decision to honour these brave journalists with our inaugural prize.Adewunmi Emoruwa
Kiki Mordi, an investigative reporter with over six years of experience in the field of broadcast media made the headlines last year after her report for BBC Africa titled Sex for Grades went viral, exposing University lecturers in West Africa that threaten school girls of failure in academic courses if they refuse to have sex with them. A university of Lagos lecturer, also popular as a pastor was exposed in the video documentary, prompting the entire public to call on stakeholders to introduce measures that will curb the situation and bring sanity to the University education system in Nigeria. A multiple award winning journalist, Kiki Mordi’s investigation undoubtedly challenged the status quo of people failing to act in the face of oppression. Her research served as motivation for victims of sex abuse to speak out rather than die in silence and allow the culprit go scot-free.
Fisayo Soyombo, a former editor for The Cable, and former Managing Editor for Sahara Reporters, presently an undercover journalist, won the prestigious prize for his three-part investigation which exposed bribery and impunity in the Nigerian criminal justice system. Soyombo’s investigation generated reactions from the Nigerian public, prompting authorities in the country of over 150 million citizens to officially declare investigation into the matter. The former Editor of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR) toed a path many journalists would not dare, earning him appraisal from the public. He went as far as being in detention for about two weeks as a criminal to conduct his investigation and feed the public an insight into the matter.
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The PJPA is an award which is in its inaugural stage, and is accompanied with a 3,000 dollars endowment by Gatefield for winners. As a newly instituted public service journalism initiative, PJPA is established with a set mission of recognizing and rewarding journalists and citizen reporters within Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, whose works positively influence the public and have an indelible impact in the society to motivate change such as Kiki and Soyombo’s works, have done. Both reporters will get their prize in Abuja come February 20, 2020, in a World Day of Social Justice event which will be hosted by Gatefield.
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