Saturday, May 21, 2016

Sisterspeak237 Rewards Budding Talents In Cameroon Journalism

Bamenda, Cameroon—Sisterspeak237, a blog born out of a desire to bring to an open space engaging discussions about women’s issues in Cameroon and Africa has rewarded some nine pupil journalists who emerged best in its pioneer national story telling contest.
Laureates pose with initiator, members of the jury

The award ceremony at the CBC Centre in Nkwen Bamenda on Friday May 6 was the culmination of activities by the blog and award concept owner, Comfort Mussa to mark the 2016 edition of the World Press Freedom.

Through the award which the initiator promised to make it an annual feature, Sisterspeak237 hopes to reignite the passion for journalism, encourage journalists to pursue stories that are not often told in mainstream media, “and most importantly, contribute to uplifting of professional and ethical standards of journalism in Cameroon.”

The jury had received over 35 entries from students who contested in three categories.

“We had to listen to, read, and watch the entries. Thematic focus for the contest included Women issues, Agriculture and Social Inclusion,” Omer Songwe, chairperson of the board of judges explained as he announced the nine best entries-three per category.

“Sisterspeak237 and its partners will mentor the winners and give feedback to all those who submitted articles,” he promised.

The Laureates

Described by organizers as the topmost award of the contest, Ngwe Bertine of the Higher Institute for Business and Management Sciences (HIBMS), Bamenda emerged first in the social inclusion category. She was followed by Teno Cynthia of National Polytechnic Bambui in the second place and Bafon Colette; a visually impaired student of HIBMS came third.

The initiator of the Story Telling Contest, Comfort Mussa said the social inclusion category was so dear to her, in part because she has close friends and family members who are persons with disabilities.

“Persons with disabilities are underrepresented in most spheres and their stories are rarely told. Even when their stories are told, often times the language used, stigmatizes the people with disabilities,” Mussa said.

In the Women’s issues category, Nformi Sandre of HIBMS Bamenda won the first prize and was respectively followed in the second and third positions by Awasiri Promise Forsuh and Atah Carol Moh of National Polytechnic Bambui.
Hon Lucas Tasi hands second prize to Atah Carol 

“I dedicate to award to all the women. Life holds more than what you see, so don’t give up,” Atah Carol said.

The winners Commy Mussa said will receive mentorship from Sisterspeak. “They will also have the opportunity to pitch and report stories for Tiptopstars.”

In the Agriculture category, Nsoseka Andrew of the University of Buea grabbed the first prize while Chrysantus Ndikum of HIBMS Bamenda and Num Rogers of National Polytechnic Bambui respectively won second and third prizes respectively.

Lifetime Achievement

The laureates in all categories backed home cash and material prizes from Sisterspeak237 and its partners.
Olive Shang's grand daughter, Ingrid (middle) receives her grand Ma's award

Winners of the social inclusion category were also offered one week internship with the Socio Economic Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (SEEP).

Retired veteran journalist, Olive Shang was recognized with a ‘Lifetime Achievement award.’ She has made an outstanding lifetime contribution to journalism in Cameroon and used the media to amplify the voices of the voiceless, the jury announced.

“It was a wonderful and enriching experience for me and jury members,” the chairperson of the jury said.

Report by Ndi Eugene Ndi, photos by Sisterspeak237

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