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CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2005 Finalists Announced

For release: 11 May 2005

Finalists in the prestigious CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2005 Competition, were announced today by Joel Kibazo, Chairperson of the independent judging panel. This first time partnership with MultiChoice has not only helped expand the competition to 630 entrants but has also ensured its truly pan-African nature. The competition, held in association with South African Airways and sponsored by a number of leading African companies, received entries from 40 countries throughout the continent, including Francophone and Lusophone Africa.

The 16 finalists, from eight nations, are:

  • Ntai Bagshaw, Daily Independent, Nigeria
  • Sakina Datoo, Jambo, Tanzania
  • Benjamin Joffe-Walt, Freelance, South Africa
  • Julie Kelly and Nicolene Troll, First Edit for Carte Blanche, M-Net, South Africa
  • Sarah Kimani and Orto Sori Orto, Nation Television, Kenya
  • Angelo Kinyua, Medeva for KBC, Kenya
  • Nadia Lamlili, L'Economiste, Morocco
  • Nkepile Mabuse, e.tv, South Africa
  • Hilary Mbobe, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Malawi
  • José Luïs Mendonça, Freelance for África Lusófona Magazine, Angola
  • Jessica Pitchford, SABC, South Africa
  • Mohamed Saïm, Radio Nationale Algérienne, Algeria
  • Roseline Wangui Wanyiri, Nation Television, Kenya
  • Debbie Yazbek, The Star, South Africa

The winners of the competition, now celebrating its tenth anniversary, will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Kenya at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi on Saturday June 25th. One of the co-hosts for the evening will be Jeff Koinange, CNN's Africa Correspondent.

Announcing the finalists, Kibazo commented: "It was very encouraging to see finalists for this year's competition from all over Africa, and in particular entries from Francophone and Lusophone countries. This again confirms the far-reaching talent emerging from throughout the continent and the truly pan African nature of the competition. The finalists can all be very proud to have been chosen against strong competition."

The independent judging panel, chaired by Joel Kibazo, Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Commonwealth Secretariat, includes Dr Doyinsola Abiola, Managing Director Concord Press of Nigeria, Cameron Duodu, Ghanaian Writer and Journalist, CNN's Africa correspondent Jeff Koinange, Arlindo Lopes, Chairman and CEO of Mozambique Television (TVM), Shasha Ndimbie, Freelance Editor, Consultant and TV news anchor for the Cameroon Radio Television Corporation, CRTV and Onkgopotse JJ Tabane, SAA Vice President, Communications Government Liaison, and Customer Services. Filipe Correia de Sá, Filipe, Senior Producer at BBC World Service, was especially brought in to help judge the Lusophone category.

The competition is held in partnership with MultiChoice and in association with South African Airways. Other prestigious sponsors include African Development Bank, Celtel International (mobile operators), IPP Media, Johnnic Communications, Merck, Sharp & Dohme (MSD), CTS Group, The Safari Park Hotel and Casino, Global Media Alliance and Camerapix.

The CNN African Journalist of the Year Award was founded in 1995 by Edward Boateng (formerly African Regional Director for Turner Broadcasting System Inc., CNN's parent company) and the late Mohamed Amin, to recognise and encourage excellence in journalism throughout Africa.

Note To Editors: Competition Criteria
The CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2005 competition is open to professional journalists/technicians (including freelancers), born in Africa, working on the African continent for media organisations that are African-owned or principally based in the region, or publish a publication in Africa which is targeted at an African audience for reception within Africa.

Entries were published or broadcast in 2004 for the following awards: South African Airways Tourism Award; Television -General News - News Bulletin; Television General News - Feature/Current Affairs; Radio - General News; Arts & Culture; MSD Health & Medical; Sport; Environment; Business and Economics; MKO Abiola Print Journalist; Mohamed Amin Photographic; Free Press Africa; Francophone General News - Print and/or Photographic and Television and/or Radio and Lusophone - General News Print/ Photographic/Radio and TV

Further information: www.cnn.com/WORLD/africa/africanawards

ISSUED BY CNN INTERNATIONAL PRESS OFFICE - London

CNN International: Seema Alibhai +44 2076930940 seema.alibhai@turner.com

MultiChoice Africa: Caroline Creasy + 27 11 289 3081 ccreasy@multichoice.co.za

MultiChoice South Africa: Marilyn Watson +27 11 289 3062 mwatson@multichoice.co.za

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