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DW awards in Kenya

Mark CaldwellJuly 15, 2015

In a bid to boost its regional coverage, Deutsche Welle launched a "Local Heroes Journalism Competition." Director General Peter Limbourg has been handing over awards at a ceremony in Nairobi.

Local Heroes Competition Nairobi
Image: DW/A. Kiti

Deutsche Welle (DW) has been searching the globe for "local heroes" as part of a campaign to realign itself among the world's top international broadcasters, culminating in the launch of a new English television channel DW News in June 2015.

DW identifies "local heroes" as "people who rely on global insights and who think, reflect, reconsider and innovate."

DW enables them to tell their stories of determination in the face of adversity to a global audience.

Local Heroes Competition Nairobi Jonathan Masongo und Claus Stäcker
Prize winner Jonathan Masongo (left) and Claus Stäcker, head of DW's Africa serviceImage: DW/A. Kiti

Entrants to the "Local Heroes Journalism Competition" in Kenya were invited to tell the story of a remarkable individual whose work they admire or who has made a deep impression on them.

Those shortlisted are just starting their careers in journalism. The winner of the first and second prize was Jonathan Masongo. "I did a video about James Wakibia who is an activist, journalist and photographer," he said.

"Unsung Hero James Wakibia" tells the heart-rending story of a baby boy in intensive care and how the activist was able to reunite him with his distraught mother.

Masongo is a fourth year communication and media studies student at Egerton University in the Kenyan city of Nakuru. His prizes are a video camera and a trip to Germany.

Making an impact

Carolyne Chepkoech Bii is now the proud owner of a brand new Marantz Professional Voice Recorder. The jury awarded her the prize for the best radio entry. She found her hero at a defining moment in a local newsroom.

Local Heroes Competition Nairobi Jonathan Masongo und Claus Stäcker
Carolyne Chepkoech's radio entry pays tribute to her mentorImage: DW/A. Kiti

"This is the person I met the moment I entered the newsroom and the moment I decided I wanted to be a journalist," she said. "He encouraged and taught me to tell a story that would make an impact."

She certainly made an impact on DW's Director General Peter Limbourg who saw and heard the entries and attended the prize giving ceremony.

"This evening really impressed me to see so many dedicated and talented young journalists with the great works they produced. I think we have to continue with this," he said.

Local Heroes Competition Nairobi Carolyne Chepkoech
Joe Munene: words of praise for DW and its Kiswahili serviceImage: DW/A. Kiti

The competition was made possible by cooperation between DW and Kenya's Standard Group, which owns Kenya Television Network (KTN). Joe Munene, manager of the group's broadcast division, stressed that this is not the first time they have worked together with DW.

"Actually our partnership with DW up to this point has largely been driven by the radio side and it's the Radio Maisha, a channel that we are very proud of in terms of the achievements and the value that we are giving to the Kenyan people," he said.

Radio Maisha is partnered with DW's Kiswahili service.

Alfred Kiti in Nairobi contributed to this report