Fisayo Soyombo and Kiki Mordi have emerged winners of the People Journalism Prize for Africa 2019 (PJPA). The inaugural prize is backed by a $3000 (₦1,000,000) endowment from Gatefield, a Sub-Saharan Africa public strategy firm.
Fisayo Soyombo was selected for his investigative series that exposed the entrenched nature of corruption within Nigeria’s criminal justice system. Fisayo Soyombo spent about two weeks in detention as a “criminal” to bring these stories to the Nigerian public. His report led to the announcement of an official investigation by the Nigerian authorities.
Kiki Mordi was selected for her investigation into the horrid web of sexual harassment on university campuses in West Africa. This resulted in widespread disciplinary actions and policy reforms across the institutions that were exposed by her thorough reporting of the events.
According to Adewunmi Emoruwa, the Lead Strategist at Gatefield:
“Both reporters demonstrated the highest level of empathy by subjecting themselves to the excruciating torture of the injustice that they sought to expose in telling these stories.
We could not be more proud of our decision to honour these brave journalists with our inaugural prize.”
People Journalism Prize for Africa (PJPA) is a newly instituted public service journalism initiative with a mission to recognise and reward journalists and citizen reporters within Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, whose work have resulted in meaningful positive impact on the society. The winners will publicly receive their prize in Abuja during a World Day of Social Justice event themed: Freedom’s Worth Defending (FWD), hosted by Gatefield on February 20, 2020.
Investigative journalist ‘Fisayo Soyombo was pioneer Editor of TheCable. He is also a former Editor of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), and the immediate past Managing Editor of SaharaReporters.
Fisayo Soyombo believes journalism is not just a profession but a calling — a vital instrument for enhancing and propagating democracy, and serving humanity, particularly the downtrodden. This is why, in December 2013, he became the first Nigerian journalist to traverse the perilous villages of Plateau to unravel the brutality of years of ethnocentric killings in the north-central state.
In his latest work, published in October 2019, he spent two weeks in detention — five days in a police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison — to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system, beginning from the moment of arrest by the Police to the point of release from prison.
Soyombo’s brand of investigative reporting has won him multiple awards: in 2016 alone, he was finalist, Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism; winner, Maritime Economy category, African Media Initiative awards; winner, overall prize, Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting; winner, Hans Verploeg Newcomer of the Year category, Free Press Awards, Netherlands; and winner, Journalist of the Year (Business and Economy Reporting), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Journalism Excellence Awards.
He is a three-time winner of the Wole Soyinka Award for Investigative Reporting, a 2013 winner of the Deutsche Welle/Orange Magazine Reporting Fellowship and a 2014 finalist for the Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.
An op-ed contributor to Al Jazeera, Soyombo has also written for TAZ, Journal Du Dimanche, the Daily Mail UK and Africa In Fact. His writings have been translated into German, French and Arabic.
Kiki Mordi is an investigative reporter and a multiple award winning broadcaster with over six years of experience in broadcast media.
Kiki Mordi has worked in various capacities as presenter, writer, voice over artiste, filmmaker, reporter and an advocate for gender equality. She is the founder of the #DocumentWomen movement that aims at tackling the erasure of women and women’s stories and produced a documentary entitled “Life At The Bay” that documented the lives of women living in the remote island, Tarkwa Bay. The film has since been selected for the Real Time International Film Festival, Lift Off Global Network and Africa International Film Festival.
In her most recent explosive work with BBC Africa eye, she uncovers sexual harassment in West African Schools in the investigative film titled “Sex For Grades”.