Nairobi, Kenyan hosts the largest gathering of African Women in the Media (AWiM19) last week and brought together top-notch African journalists from across the continent.
The annual event which seeks to impact positively the role of media concerning women drew hundreds of media professionals from Nigeria, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, Uganda, Somalia, Kenya, Ghana, South Sudan, U.S., and the U.K.
During the opening of the event held at the University of Nairobi, Dr. Akinbobola paid tribute to the late Hodan Nalayeh, founder of Integration TV, who was slain in Somalia.
“I was fortunate to interview Hodan in March for our podcast titled “Her Media Diary”. She spoke to me concerning being a media entrepreneur, investing in yourself, and changing narratives on Africa and about African women,” Dr. Yemisi said.
The co-founder of AWiM also launched the “Changing Narratives Award” in honor of the late Hodan who had recently moved from Canada to work in Somalia and tell positive stories of audacity and ingenuity.
Mr. Mukhtar Ogle of the Executive Office of the Presidency who represented the Kenyan Government at the conference, received the posthumous award on behalf of Hodan’s family and Integration TV which is based in Canada.
Anna Nimiriano from South Sudan, who was recently proclaimed as the 2019 WAN-IFRA Africa Laureate, was also at the event and intimated how she has ‘paid the price of journalism’ but continues to fight for the inclusion of women.
“I called a man to disclose the good news when I was named editor-in-chief of the Juba Monitor and he laughed at me but I didn’t care what you say about me, I’m passionate about my work,” she told the audience.
Dr. Akinbobola stated that the theme of the third edition of the AWiM conference was to exhibit awesome work produced by African women working in different media industries from journalism to film, marketing and others.
Various speakers at the three-day conference in Nairobi addressed topics including technology and independence of journalists, gender gaps and global movements, film, and innovation and business of media.
According to the co-founder, AWiM conferences are based on three pillars: knowledge transfer between industry and academia, economic empowerment of women and visibility.
The previous edition of the AWiM conference was held at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria while in 2017 it was held in the U.K. Dr. Akinbobola disclosed that the 4th edition will be held in South Africa.
“What began as a Facebook group in 2016 has become a platform and a lighthouse where women in media can support, inspire and empower each other,” she said.
Last Saturday, the AWiM19 awards ceremony held at the Hilton Hotel in Nairobi honored outstanding efforts by female journalists in various fields.
Two Kenyans; support and Mary Mwendwa clinched the Free Trade Migration Award and Silencing the Guns Award respectively.
Mwendwa, a freelance journalist, was honored for her efforts in writing about conflict and the inclusion of women in peace processes.
Ligami, who reports for the East African and the Daily Nation newspapers, was honored for her writing on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
Zahara Tunda from Tanzania was awarded the African Union (AU) Free Trade Sustainability Award. Other winners include Culton Scovia (Uganda), Vincensia Fuko (Tanzania) and Careen Joel Mwakitalu (Tanzania).