Ghanaian BBC World Service ace journalist-Komla Dumor died late last year, aged 41—the BBC decided to sustain his legacy of promoting excellent journalism and telling the African story from a worthy angle by institution an award in his name.
The ‘BBC World News Komla Dumor award’ was launched earlier this year to reward African journalists who mirror the spirit, excellence and special friendship Komla shared with journalism.
During the launch of the award scheme, the BBC proudly described Komla Dumor as a journalist who represented “a confident, savvy and entrepreneurial side of Africa. Through his tenacious journalism and compelling storytelling, Komla worked tirelessly to bring a more sophisticated African narrative to the world.”
It’s the above excellence that his named award primarily seeks to promote—through the award, the BBC says it “will invest in the future of African journalism by offering the winner the chance to come to the BBC and share Africa’s stories with the world.”
Yesterday, a Ugandan journalist- Nancy Kacungira with a background as an entrepreneur, radio and TV reporter and presenter who won the first BBC World News Komla Dumor Award last month proudly PICKED up her plaque–and the smile on her face was priceless.
The winner who was selected from nearly 200 African applicants is a former television anchor for Kenya’s KTN television channel.
As the 2015 winner of the BBC Komla Dumor award, she “will be given an opportunity to gain recognition and experience, working with teams across BBC News during a three month placement in London. The winner will also have the chance to broadcast on TV, radio and online to the BBC’s audiences of 265 million across the world,” says the BBC.
In response to her win last month, Ms Kacungira said: “I am stunned, but also ecstatic upon hearing this news. I am so greatly honoured and humbled to be the winner of this award.”
She continued; “I owe it to the continent that I fiercely love and am dedicated to, to do my bit to expand the often dogmatic and skewed narratives that have beleaguered it for so long.
“To be a part of continuing Komla’s legacy is such an honour it feels almost like a dream. I will do my very best to justify the great trust that I have been awarded, and ensure that the benefit of this opportunity goes far beyond myself.”
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Nancy Kacungira grew up in Uganda and attended Makerere University in Kampala. She holds a Masters degree in Communications from Leeds University—and has under her belt more than 14 years of experience working across a range of media in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.
The runners-up for the award were; Leila Dee Dougan from South Africa and Paa Kwesi Asare from Ghana.
Nancy Kacungira is not Komla Dumor by any standard but she surely does take up the challenges which made Komla an exceptional African journalist.
BBC’s Director of News and Current Affairs James Harding had this to say when Nancy emerged as the winner; “When Komla Dumor died, it was an enormous loss to the BBC, to Africa and to all of us personally.
“I am delighted that in Nancy we have found an extremely passionate and talented journalist, a worthy winner of the award that we established in Komla’s name.”
Once again, Congrats to Nancy Kacungira…