Recognizing African Journalists on World Press Freedom Day

Joseph Mathenge (Kenya) – Photo and Video Journalism

Mathenge is the Overall Winner of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014 Award, and the Mohamed Amin Photographic Award. A veteran photo and video journalist, Mathenge broke many news stories in Africa including Kenya’s 2008 post-election and the Westgate terrorist attacks.  He was awarded Journalist, Camera Person and Photographer of the Year by Kenyan Media Council in 2014. CNN reported that Mathenge, “put his life on the line” to capture images of the 2013 Westgate terrorist attacks. 

Safia Berkouk (Algeria) – Business and Economic Journalism 

Berkouk has 14 years of experience as a print journalist, specializing in economic journalism. She worked for several newspapers including Initiatives, Le Jeune Indépendant, Le Midi Libre, El Watan. She contributed regularly to Agence Algérienne D'information (Algerian News Agency) – a private news agency specializing in economic news. She won CNN’s Francophone General News Award for her investigative story of the Algerian tax system. Her story covered the pitfalls of the French tax system her country adopted from France, corruption, informal markets and tax evasion. 

Obinna Emelike (Nigeria) – Tourism and Travel Journalism

Specializing in tourism and travel writing, Emelike describes himself as an “explorer.” He received the Tourism Reporting Seal of Honour award from the  Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation in 2011. He also won the CNN African Journalist Award in 2015 for the Culture category. His award-winning story The roads between us… A journey across Nigeria’ is a travel adventure into the Nigerian Kano Walls. 

Evelyn Watta (Kenya) – Sports Journalism

Watta has 14 years of sports journalism experience, covering major events including the Olympics and the Africa Football Cup of Nations. She reported for The Daily Nation, The Star and several radio and TV stations including Nation FM, Deutsche Welle, NTV, and Chinese TV. She won the CNN African Journalist Award in 2014 in the category of Sport Reporting for her story ‘Inside Senegal’s mythical wrestling heritage’.

Sean Christie (South Africa) – Environmental Journalism

Christie writes for several international and local papers, including The Mail & Guardian and Business Day.  He also worked as a correspondent for Foreign Policy, and taught at the University of Cape Town. He won the CNN African Journalist Award in 2012 for his environmental coverage, and in 2014 for economic and business reporting.