Journalists from across the African continent are invited to apply for the prestigious 5th BBC Komla Dumor Award prize, which aims to uncover some of Africa's rising stars in broadcast journalism. The launch of the award took place in Lagos, Nigeria, this week.
Previous BBC Komla Dumor Award winners (L-R): Didi Akinyelure (2016), Nancy Kacungira (2015) and Waihiga Mwaura (2018).
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. Known for his commitment and ability to tell African stories, Komla was described as a leading light of African journalism, and he made an extraordinary impact, in Africa and across the world.
Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Dumor worked tirelessly to bring a more sophisticated African narrative to the world. The BBC is committed to continuing his 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:
- 2015: Nancy Kacungira who worked as a prime time news presenter for KTN in Kenya.
- 2016: Didi Akinyelure, a Nigerian journalist who started out as an investment banker before becoming a presenter on CNBC Africa.
- 2017: Amina Yuguda, a Nigerian journalist who worked as a presenter for GoTel in Yola, Nigeria.
- 2018: Waihiga Mwaura, a Kenyan journalist who worked as a television presenter for Citizen TV.
All of the winners used their time at the BBC to hone their journalism skills through training, workshops and mentorship. Working closely with leading talent across BBC News, the winners undertake a final project, travelling to Africa to report on a story they have researched.
Mwaura said: “You could always sense the passion in the way Komla told the African story, which is something that can’t be taught. I could sense the passion and integrity in every story.
“His will to change the narrative about Africa was one of the reasons he stood out amongst other international broadcasters. This is something that stuck with me throughout my career, and I’ve always tried to tell the continent’s stories in the same way.
“I feel the placement at the BBC – working with Komla’s friends and colleagues – has helped me to continue Komla’s remarkable work, and I look forward to a day when more African journalists of the calibre of Komla will be able to tell unique African stories from different outlets around the world.”
Mwaura took part in the launch event for the 2019 prize, presenting a debate on the BBC World Service. The debate discussed the power of Nigerian youth in the upcoming elections.
Director of the BBC World Service Group, Jamie Angus, said: “In an era when impartial and factual journalism has never mattered more, it’s important that we look to the journalists who know, understand and can contextualise African stories for global audiences so that we can offer a full picture of what’s happening across the continent.
“All of the previous winners have shown they’re exceptional journalists, and have brought insights in to how to improve engagement with local audiences. We’re very pleased to be continuing Komla’s legacy and are looking forward to finding another outstanding journalist from the continent.”
Now open for applications, entrants have until 26 March 2019 to submit their entries with the hashtag #BBCKomlaAward. The winner will spend three months at the BBC headquarters in New Broadcasting House in London, gaining skills and experience.