- Overview of the Pitch Zone Awards
The Pitch Zone awards is a way for journalists to pitch for stories and get funding for these stories. The awards give journalists the opportunity to send in written pitches and defend those stories during a live pitch event in front of the judges for a chance at getting funding to develop and produce these stories in the category of their submission.
- PitchZone Awards 2019: In 2019, The second edition of the AWIM awards which introduced a new award for courage celebrated 6 outstanding storytellers, 5 of whom stood out at the pitch zone. The conference kicked off with the posthumous award in memory of Hodan Nanalyeh, the late Somali-Canadian journalist who lost her life in the Al-Shabab attack. She was honoured for her courage and passion for changing narratives. She is credited with producing stories that portrayed the human side of Somalia via her Integration TV channel on Youtube. This award was received by Mr Mukhtar Ogle from the Executive Office of the Presidency, Kenya for Hodan TV Canada.
All the pitches were conducted privately with the main focus on stories that mirrored the AGENDA 2063 of the African Union in 5 major categories named after some of its key programs namely: Women and free trade, Free trade sustainability, Free trade migration, Silencing the guns and Free movement of people in Africa.
As a reward for their hard work and for the production of these significant stories, all five winners received a plaque of recognition and $2000 each.
2. PitchZone Awards 2020: With the pandemic hitting the world, and the face of events changing to virtual. AWiM20 pitch zone awards happened online. From registrations, pitching and managing of award winners.
- Pitch Zone Categories and Winners 2019
The AWiM Pitch Zone Awards 2019 was held in the beautiful city of Nairobi, Kenya. The awards received entries of several exceptional journalists and media people across Africa, and finalists were requested to defend their pitches for the various categories pitched.
- For the Africa free movement Category, we present Culton Scovia, our winner.
Bio: Culton is a broadcast journalist currently working with BBS TV- Uganda. I previously worked for NTV-Uganda, Red Pepper and CBS FM. She is a 2019 Fellow African Women in Media, 2019 fellow Women In News and a 2019 African Union, International Organization for Migration Award winner, Free Movement of People in Africa. Read more about Culton on AWiM Spotlight.
“My story pitch was as a result of curiosity about Uganda’s relationship with South Sudan. Since 2005, Ugandans have found a new market for both their goods and labour export. The movement became easier as more people went in and out for businesses. Ugandan traders found it easier to export their goods, including agro-products. My sister-in-law is one of these. She passed on the skills to south Sudanese. When the war started in 2013, she pulled out for safety, but her friends in South Sudan picked from where she stopped. The Ugandan government started cutting down on restrictions to facilitate trade between the two countries.”
- For the Data and Policy in Journalism category, we have Christabel Ligami from Kenya.
Bio: Christabel Ligami is a Kenyan freelance journalist. She is a multi-award-winning journalist both internationally and regionally. She has a master’s degree in Communication studies and a Bachelor of Science degree –in Biochemistry. She writes on gender, health/sciences, development, business, climate change, education. Read more here
Following the African Continental Free Trade Area launch, I realized that no one has talked to the cross border women traders expected to benefit from the pact. Yes, the presidents signed and launched but are the primary beneficiaries – women traders aware of it and how it will help them. I have reported on regional integration. I have seen how women have challenges doing business across the border, and for lack of information on policies and laws, they are manipulated. Simple processes become nightmares to them. It is only by talking to these women traders and sensitizing them simultaneously that the information on the benefits of AfCFTA will go out. As a journalist, this will help me pass the message.
- For the Silencing the guns Category, we have Mary Mwendwa from Kenya.
Bio: Mary is a freelance journalist and editor for an online publication called www.talkafrica.co.ke ( Talkafrica), owned by the Association of Freelance Journalists in Kenya ( AFJ). She is also the co-founder of AFJ. She writes on areas of health, gender, environment and agriculture. Her stories have been published in Aljazeera, Newdeeply, The standard, talkafrica, among many other publications across the globe. She has over ten years of experience in journalism in both radio and print/online. Read more here
“I won the silencing guns by 2020 story pitch because of the idea of the role women play in Violent extremism. I realized that women play a role in promoting and also helping to reduce violent extremism in society, which is always ignored. Some women have joined the groups, and there are women through support groups who are fighting extremism. This noble work is always ignored, and therefore I thought it would be nice to be documented. This story will be an eye-opener to the policy interventions in terms of fighting violent extremism. In the recent killings in Somalia where a journalist was killed, the suicide bomber was a woman. There have been many instances across the world where women have been used as suicide bombers.”
- For the Free trade sustainability category, we have Zahara Tunda from Tanzania.
Bio: Zahara Tunda was born in 1994, in Dar es Salaam Tanzania. She is the only child from her mother’s side, and she has a half-brother from her late father, who died in 2012. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Dar es Salaam, School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She has always liked to be a leader or coordinator of different issues. She has displayed leadership skills and initiative from Kindergarten up to University. Read more here
“I pitched my idea because when you talk about Sustainability means doing the thing now that won’t affect the future. So when I heard about Free Trade Sustainability, as a person who loves technology, I felt it’s high time for people to engage in technology to facilitate free trade sustainability. I have been exposed to technology. I see many startups using technology to facilitate agriculture, especially to sell or buy crops through websites, Apps, or Social Media, and delivery could be within and outside Tanzania. I want to do a documentary that connects how technology is used in the agricultural sector and how the government plans to help these startups go far to improve free trade sustainability.”
- Pitch Zone Categories and Winners 2020
In 2020, with the pandemic hitting the world and changing the face of events as we know it, most events went virtual. AWiM was no exception to this new normal as we held our first-ever virtual conference on December 7th, 2021. Presented below are our winners and links to their winning stories for all five categories.
- For our Migration and mobility category, we have the winner, Watsemba Miriam.
Bio: Watsemba Miriam is an award-winning documentary photojournalist based in Uganda with a journalism and communication background. She is passionate about storytelling and believes that stories can effectively drive change and development. Her dream is to help people express themselves authentically through storytelling. Miriam is a multiple-time grantee who has published and exhibited both locally and internationally. Through her works, she seeks to archive the truth and provoke action. For the Pitch zone Award, in the category of Migration and Mobility, Miriam brings you a story on “Caring for the carer: The untold stories behind the refugee-host relationships in northern Uganda.”
Title: Caring for the Carer: The Untold Story Behind the Refugee-Host Relationships in Northern Uganda.
The story, which was published on Vox Populi, focused on former Internally Displaced people, who are now forming host communities in Northern Uganda, as an avenue for many of them to open up about untold issues and experiences for the first time and thus better inform the mental health support counselling process for both hosts and refugees. You can read Miriam’s story on caring for the carer on the Vox populi website.
- For our Green transition category, we have the winner Fatou Ellika Muloshi.
Bio: Fatou Ellika Muloshi is a BA (Hons.) holder from the University of the Gambia, School of Journalism and Digital Media. She works as a broadcast journalist, reporter, presenter and producer at The Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS). She is a part-time event host and can be found hosting most formal events in The Gambia. Fatou spent her teenage days combining academics with extracurricular activities and advocacy, primarily focusing on child rights and youth empowerment dating back to her days in “Young People in the Media.” She has also reported on various topics, including finance, women, politics, young people and social issues. She has covered high profile events including, IMF & World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC USA, Presidential and Vice presidential engagements. Fatou is very passionate about the media and its crucial role in shaping our society, especially women empowerment and related issues. Fatou has won several awards, including Most Versatile Student, Most Dependable and Willing Student and was recognized by Marina International in 2014 as model United Nations’ Best Delegate. She is also an EU-Faces2Heart Vlogging winner and AWIM Award Winner in Green Transitions and Energy Access 2020. She Awards recognized her in 2019 as one of the Most Outstanding Women in Media. Fatou hopes to inspire her generation and the next generation in seeing the media as a tool for positive engagement.
Title: Women Shaping Gambia’s Renewable Energy Embrace
The story looked at a local initiative in Tujereng called Fandema, which empowers women by building sustainable energy solutions. It also looked at strides taken at the national level as the Gambia moves to meet its NDC targets in mitigating climate change. The story was aired on the GRTS morning show, which Ellika anchors as well.
- For the Peace and governance category, we have winner Maura Ajak.
Bio: Maura Ajak is a South Sudanese freelance journalist with over six years of experience. She is passionate about reporting on human rights issues and investigative journalism. Recipient of the AWIM Award on Peace & Governance issues 2020. Women Journalists of Africa Fellow, 2018-Present Human Rights Defender Award by CEPO, 2017 Fellow with the International Women Media Foundation.
Title: South Sudan, Nearing ten years Old, Struggles for Stability
The story looked at women’s lives in unified security force centres, who had hoped that serving in the security forces would be a stable way to help provide for their families. It explored women’s lives in the centres as frustrations mounted about the delayed timing of their graduation. The Associated Press published this story, titled ‘South Sudan, nearing ten years old, struggles for stability.’
- For the Sustainable growth and jobs category, we have winner Charity Moonga.
Bio: Charity is a Zambian national, born in 1977. She has a Bachelors in Development Studies and is currently undertaking a master in Development studies from Zambia Open University. Charity has a Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations from Evelyn Hone College of Applied Arts and Commerce. She is currently serving as Chief Reporter –Gender at the national newspaper, Times of Zambia. Highly experienced Journalist with over 12 years in the Journalism Field. Expertise includes electronic and print media.
Title: Artificial Intelligence; Key to Sustainable Development
The story looked at the importance of artificial intelligence in ensuring sustainable development. It considered the agricultural sector and how artificial intelligence benefited farmers in Zambia and the rest of Africa. Through a discussion with farmers and technology organizations in Zambia, the writer discovered how an artificial intelligence application called Plantix had benefited farmers in Zambia. You can find the full story in the Times of Zambia newspapers.
- For the Digital transformation category, we have winner Emiene Odaudu-Erameh.
Bio: Emiene Erameh is a Nigerian writer/editor. She is a media practitioner with ten years of cross-functional consultation and management, content creation for national outlook and outreaches, audiovisuals and print. She is an Associate Member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR).
Title: Digital Transformation: How FCT Women Are Expanding Their Businesses
The story focused on different women in different parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nigeria. They are in the business of selling local groceries such as Ogbono and egusi, a business traditionally seen as petty trading. And, through the deployment of digital platforms have been able to expand their businesses and grow them to the point where it is above petty trade. Emiene’s story can be found on the newswire platform.