Burkinabé journalist Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou was Saturday named this year’s overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year. Boowurosigue Sanou was awarded for his work Nuit du 29 octobre à Azalaï : Nous étions à la chambre 143, which appeared in Burkinabé daily print newspaper and was chosen from entries spanning 39 nations across the African continent.
Sanou’s work documented the ousting of Blaise Campaore, who had ruled over Burkina Faso for 27 years. In his acceptance speech, Boowurosigue Sanou said: “My story was about power and how people can fight against it – I’m so proud that the story has been told and will now be remembered. I want to share my prize with all those who work at L’Observateur Paalga.”
Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta; Tim Jacobs, CEO MultiChoice Africa and Deborah Rayner, SVP International Newsgathering TV and Digital, CNN International, presented Sanou with the Award at a gala awards ceremony held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, in Nairobi.
“Room 143 was a work of enterprise.,” said Ferial Haffajee, the chairperson of the judging panel. “Burkina Faso’s parliamentary protest saw Blaise Campaore leave his seat and the country. This was a remarkable moment in a newsworthy year. This feature takes the reader to the night before – the night of the long knives when members of parliament attempted to win sufficient support to extend Campaore’s term. It was not to be and this story explains why not. A piece of dramatic reporting built on the reporter’s clever decision to take a room (143) in the hotel where the action went down.”
Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou, winner in the Francophone General News Award – Print, was among 32 finalists from 15 countries who attended the Awards ceremony as the culmination of all-expense paid four-day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Nairobi, Kenya.
Deborah Rayner, SVP International Newsgathering TV and Digital, CNN International, said: “Tonight’s winners really demonstrated the very best of journalism – from powerful investigative journalism through to celebratory stories of hope and change. I commend the judges’ decision to name Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou the overall winner – he is a worthy winner of the 20th African Journalist Award.”
The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 wins a substantial cash prize and all finalists receive a cash prize, and iPad Air, with runner-ups receiving an iPad mini.
OTHE CATEGORY WINNERS…
Adewale Olugbenga Emosu of Tribuneonlineng.com, Nigeria won the CULTURE AWARD, presented by Stephen Isaboke, Regional Director, East Africa, MIH.
Thomas Naadi Bitlegma, Viasat1, Ghana lifted the African Development Bank Environment Award, presented by Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications and External Affairs at the African Development Bank Group.
Ibrahima Diallo, Radiodiffusion Télévision Sénégalaise (RTS), Senegal won the Francophone General News– Electronic Media Award, presented by Greg Beitchman, VP Content Sales & Partnerships, CNN International.
Ecobank Economics & Business Award, went to Femi Asu, Punch Newspaper, Nigeria. The award was presented by Richard Uku, Group Head, Corporate Communications, Ecobank.
GE Energy & Infrastructure Award, presented by Jay Ireland, President and CEO of GE Africa went to Paul Kelemba, Freelance for The Standard on Saturday, Kenya.
NTV Kenya’s Enock Sikolia & Charles Kariuki, got the MSD Health & Medical Award, presented by Hein Garbers, Managing Director, English and Portuguese Africa, MSD.
Press Freedom Award, presented by Ferial Haffajee, Chair of the judging panel went to Zacharie Flash Ndiomo, Cameroon while Herman Verwey, Beeld, South Africa won the Mohamed Amin Photographic Award, presented by Alexandria Madjallah, presenter & producer for AFRICA24 MEDIA.