WELCOME TO "THE DEEP DIVE'S" SECOND EDITION!
Wins, Weed and Wheelbarrow economics make the cut this time!
We’re back! Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to this newsletter since our first edition, and welcome back to our day one community! We’re glad that you are here. Before going too far into what’s in the newsletter this week, I’d like to ask for your support:
We’ve been working hard to build a strong track-record of great investigative and in-depth stories for you, our audience member. While we cherish every moment we’ve spent doing so, it is becoming harder to sustain quality public interest journalism. We’re asking for your help; by donating to Africa Uncensored, you can keep us focused on continually producing important and interesting content. We’d be most grateful and look forward to receiving a donation of whatever amount, and for you to spread the word about the work we’re doing. You can donate using this link.
Now, I'm fairly certain that this deep into the global COVID-19 pandemic someone has reminded you to celebrate every win. The advice might be trite by now, but obvious or not, it is advice I've been taking in large doses this past week! On World Press Freedom day, Africa Uncensored won three awards at the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards ceremony! Joy Kirigia won in the health reporting category for her story "Saving Esther" which chronicled the struggle of Esther, a cancer patient unable to access treatment in the midst of a medical equipment procurement scandal in Kenya. The documentary is based on the ZAM-AIPC report Shiny New Useless Machines, as part of The Kleptocracy Project . Joy was also nominated for the Journalist of the Year award for this same report (congratulations to Timothy Otieno from the Kenya Television Network for winning the Journalist of the year award, as well as to every other category winner and nominee).Peris Gachahi won the gender reporting category, for her moving rendering of stories about gender-based violence in Kenya's cities and countryside. The documentary, Behind the Lens aired on pay TV channel Maisha Magic, and is part of the AUC documentary series Maisha Mkanda (currently airing on the same channel and available on VOD service, Showmax). Finally, Maurice Oniango won in the development reporting category for the story, Kenya's Debt Cycle. The story walked through Kenya's path to deep national indebtedness, via some of the infrastructure projects that got us there. For me, these wins are special; Joy and Peris both joined Africa Uncensored straight out of University as interns, and over the five years we have been in existence, both of these young reporters have grown their talents and in their dedication to journalism. As you will also see, they didn’t do it alone. It really did take the AUC village!
This edition of "The Deep dive" looks into a subject that we've done quite a bit of reporting about over the past one month; marijuana. Specifically, we've been wading through the weeds in the debate on legalisation of medical marijuana. AUC's Elijah Kanyi, Ashley Ojak and Nyakerario Omari are on that beat. Peris Gachahi and John Gathuna are breaking down COVID-19 vaccine facts in our continuing #KnowMore series, and Linda Ngari and the Piga Firimbi team have been working hard on our #COVIDQuiz (runs daily at 7:30pm via this link). We now have a second date when the quiz will be published in Kiswahili; Tuesdays and Fridays.
As promised in the last edition, we're inviting you to join our newsroom. On Thursday the 13th of May, from 6pm to 7pm East Africa Time, please join us for our first discussion: "Reporting about "bottom-up" economics. Recently, Kenya's deputy President William Ruto and his allies have focused their attention on what they are calling a paradigm shift in Kenya's economic approach. The bottom-up approach claim is that under a Ruto presidency, Kenya's government will be focused on unlocking the potential of Kenya's masses for economic growth. Ruto, who has been focused on creating a new political base of Kenyan voters who he calls hustlers, has made the wheelbarrow the de facto symbol of this movement. What do you know about the bottom-up approach? How would you like us to begin reporting about it, if at all? You can register for the discussion using this link.
Thanks again for opening that email, now dive in!
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
Take a look at the team that's done Africa Uncensored proud at the Annual Journalism Excellence Awards
This happened! A win for me and the amazing team from Africa Uncensored!
Joy Kirigia: AJEA Winner & Nominee for Journalist of the year)
The month-long post-production process involved five to six sessions of editing , previewing and critiquing the story. The sacrifice and team work was totally worth it.
John Gathuna: Video Editor ( Behind The Lens and Saving Esther)
Winning the AJEA 2021 Gender Reporting Award-which is my first journalism award-was monumental for me. It is a great show of what true teamwork and commitment can do; shout out to my co-producer Elijah Kanyi and our video editor John Gathuna for owning 'Behind The Lens' with me. The pressure is definitely on to elevate, but this win has opened my eyes to all the possibilities that could be and the power I have as a journalist to tell difficult stories.
Peris Gachahi: AJEA Winner (#BehindTheLens)
Winning awards is good but winning with your colleagues makes it even better. I kept on telling my colleagues Peris Gachahi and Joy Kirigia at Africa Uncensored that they were destined for greatness and the year 2021 didn’t disappoint! The count down to many more starts. I didn’t win, WE WON!
I dedicate my award to Human Rights Activist Boniface Mwangi but that’s a story for another day. Stay tuned to Africa Uncensored for more on that dedication and great stories.
Elijah Kanyi : AJEA Winner(Health, Gender) and Finalist (Covid-19 reporting)
Thank You Media Council of Kenya for this award. I am truly honored. I am grateful to @johnallannamu for the opportunity, guidance & support. I appreciate the great team I had the good fortune to work with and the entire @AfUncensored team . We did it!!!
Filming of this award-winning Africa Uncensored documentary wasn’t a bed of roses, we had some credible sources who had been negatively affected by the new infrastructure development, declining to appear on camera for fear of the reprisal but we didn’t give up. It was during this production that the first case of COVID-19 was announced, it really affected our production schedule and we had to be flexible and resilient to complete the task.
Maurice Oniang’o : AJEA Winner (Kenya’s Debt Cycle)
I wish to thank our credible sources for the continued support and trust with important information for the global agenda setting. We shall not let you down! At Africa Uncensored, we take enormous pride in our storytelling and audio visual quality that has constantly illuminated the world, winning local and international accolades.
Above all, we will continue doing our best, to faithfully and powerfully convey the truth for the public interest.
Sam Munia: AJEA Winner in Business and Health Reporting
The rigorous process of editing this factual and educative piece and the commitment of everyone involved made me appreciate the story not only as an editor but also as a Kenyan.
Ashley: Video Editor (Kenya’s Debt Cycle)
1.) Kabugi Mbae and Sam Munia
Bitter Harvest/Environment reporting award.
2.) Elijah Kanyi-Bullet and the virus (BBC)
COVID-19 TV reporting award.
3.) Cynthia Gichiri -Uchungu Wa Kafyu
COVID-19 Radio reporting award
4.) Joy Kirigia & Elijah Kanyi
ICT & Telecommunication Reporting Award -Cyberbullying
MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN AFRICA? YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT.
AFRICAN STATES ARE THE MALCONTENTS AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA.
Back in December 2020, as the world looked back on a year, and a virus that has changed so much, the United Nations Commission for Narcotic Drugs voted to reschedule marijuana for medical use, taking it off a list of dangerous drugs and acknowledging decades of research into the plant's efficacy. This split the commission very neatly down the middle, with most dissenters coming from Africa and The Middle East. How did Kenya vote? Nyakerario J. Omari wrote about that vote for this edition of "The Deep Dive", checking for signs of a sea-change on marijuana policy in Africa. Africa Uncensored Producer Elijah Kanyi also two stories on the subject, interviewing drug peddlers, small time marijuana farmers, pastors and coffee shop owners in the Netherlands. Check them out on our Youtube channel. Click on this link for Nyakerario’s article.
Because there's always more you can learn!
One of our newest projects at Africa Uncensored this year is 'Know More', a series of 'news you can use' stories on various topics of public interest. The goal of this series is to take those difficult to understand topics and break them down, in the form of multi-media explainers and conversations with experts in various fields. The series which is currently produced and presented by our newly crowned, award-winning journalist Peris Gachahi (we had to rub that one in!) will be focusing on lots of topics, so keep it here and share what you’d like to Know More about!
To watch the Know More series, the COVID-19 edition, click here.
Producer: Peris Gachahi
Video Editor: John Gathuna
Graphics: Clement Kumalija
Camera: Clint Obere
Social Media Manager: Cecilia Ashioya
NAIROBI: KENYA’S THIRSTY CAPITAL
Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink!
One of the largest Cities in East and Central Africa has been water- starved for decades without a clear solution in sight. And how better could this glaring problem be exposed than through the arrival of a global pandemic, Covid-19?
The documentary, Nairobi Thirst, exposes the far-reaching plague of water shortages in a city that is home to over four million people; nurtured by a network of water cartels that have been hoarding this vital commodity from city dwellers. Add to this, the heavy burden of jobs losses and the rising cost of living due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on Kenya’s is making life even harder in this parched capital city.
Africa Uncensored’s Sam Munia traversed the sprawling Kibra and Mathare slums to tell the story of low-income earners, and interacted with the wealthier and ‘well connected’ citizens in city estates who have become prey to illegal operators. You can watch the documentary by using this link.
Documentary by Sam Munia and Cynthia Gichiri.
FACT-CHECKS WITH PIGA FIRIMBI
From a not-so-heroic pastor's arrest, to non-existent UNICEF jobs.
The Piga Firimbi team debunked a range of claims, from a too-good-to-be-true advert for jobs at UNICEF that turned out to have been concocted in Tanzania, to the fabricated story of a pastor who apparently opened his church doors to curfew violators only to turn out to have been the one who had defied curfew. The team also fact-checked an alarming tweet claiming to show women in Kenya washing discarded masks that would then be repackaged and sold. Check all of these out on www.pigafirimbi.africauncensored.online
In other news, Piga Firimbi, still in the business of battling fake news, is running a COVID Quiz and this time awarding random participants every Monday and Friday. Test your knowledge of COVID-19 by registering for the quiz that runs every weekday at exactly 7:30 PM here.
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And help us keep telling it like it is.
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