Burkinabé journalist Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 Awards Ceremony.
Boowurosigue Sanou was awarded the overall ‘CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year’ Award for his work ‘Nuit du 29 octobre à Azalaï : Nous étions à la chambre 143’, which appeared in Burkinabé daily print newspaper L’Observateur Paalga and was chosen from entries spanning 39 nations across the African continent.
Sanou’s work documents the ousting of Blaise Campaore, who had ruled over Burkina Faso for 27 years.
Boowurosigue Sanou said: “I feel so lucky to be named CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of Year. My story was about power and how people can fight against it – I’m so proud that the story has been told and will now be remembered. I want to share my prize with all those who work at L’Observateur Paalga.”
President of The Republic of Kenya His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta; Tim Jacobs, CEO MultiChoice Africa and Deborah Rayner, SVP International Newsgathering TV and Digital, CNN International, presented Sanou with the Award at a Gala Awards ceremony held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, in Nairobi, Kenya, Saturday 10th October 2015.
Chairperson of the judging panel, Ferial Haffajee, said: “Room 143 was a work of enterprise. Burkina Faso’s parliamentary protest saw Blaise Campaore leave his seat and the country. This was a remarkable moment in a newsworthy year. This feature takes the reader to the night before – the night of the long knives when members of parliament attempted to win sufficient support to extend Campaore’s term. It was not to be and this story explains why not. A piece of dramatic reporting built on the reporter’s clever decision to take a room (143) in the hotel where the action went down.”
Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou, winner in the Francophone General News Award – Print, was among 32 finalists from 15 countries who attended the Awards ceremony as the culmination of a all-expense paid four day programme of workshops, media forums and networking in Nairobi, Kenya.
Deborah Rayner, SVP International Newsgathering TV and Digital, CNN International, said: “Tonight’s winners really demonstrated the very best of journalism – from powerful investigative journalism through to celebratory stories of hope and change. I commend the judges’ decision to name Hyacinthe Boowurosigue Sanou the overall winner – he is a worthy winner of the 20thAfrican Journalist Award.”
Tim Jacobs, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: “Congratulations to all the winners, your words and images reflect the reality of our world and attest to the important role the media plays in Africa’s development. As a good corporate citizen, together with our partner, CNN and other sponsors we will continue to invest in the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards to ensure increased development and advancement of outstanding journalism across the continent.”
Now in its 20th year, the Awards are supported by a range of prestigious sponsors: A24 Media, African Development Bank, Dow, Ecobank, GE, IPP Media and MSD (MSD is known as Merck in the U.S. and Canada).
The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2015 wins a substantial cash prize and all finalists receive a cash prize, and iPad Air, with runner-ups receiving an iPad mini.