Fredrick Mugira

Freelance Journalist, Uganda

Winning the Tourism award in the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2009 competition has totally changed my life. I am always amazed when people address me as an Award-Winning Journalist. What a great thing. Surely since there is no objective way of measuring success in journalism, the satisfaction and fulfilment I gain when I am addressed like so, makes me feel what the word success means.

Wining a continental award for a Boda Boda story is something that has taken most journalists in Uganda by surprise. Boda Bodas are everywhere in Uganda. A story about these taxi-like motorcycles seems not to sell. It is the usual stuff. However my story "Ridding Boda Boda in Uganda," made me win on a continental level. This has inspired journalists in Uganda to believe that no matter what you write about, you can still win. And what do I tell them? Yes you can.

Wining this award has motivated me to work on more stories related to tourism and travel. Now, everywhere I travel, I see a story to tell. I have actually been engrossed into travel writing. I am pondering on writing a book on travel in the near future.

Do you know that my winning article was republished in CNN Traveller magazine of September/October issue? What a great honour once again to read emails from people you don't know hailing you for a great story in a great magazine! It makes me feel like flying!

I do have a dream. It is becoming an outstanding journalism mentor. I want to mentor journalists that can become agents for change enabling and empowering local people to develop through their journalism. This award is greatly helping me achieve my dream. Now that I am already an excellent journalist what next? Excellent journalism mentor. I have been contacted by several prestigious universities to apply for their fellowships targeting outstanding journalists in the world including the prestigious Nieman Fellowship by The Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. I pray that I win. This will surely make me achieve my dream of becoming an excellent journalism mentor.

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