“As a collective, [Nfongang’s articles] paint a compelling story of life in Cameroon's prison system.” Bibi Ngota Award jury.
Cameroonian journalist Charles Nfongang has won the first edition of the Bibi Ngota Award for Journalism against Impunity in Africa which comes with a $1000 cash prize. He was rewarded for a series of articles that he wrote on ‘Human rights in penitentiaries’, which were published in the Cameroonian newspaper, Ouest Fraternité. According to a statement from the jury, these articles stood out “because as a collective, they paint a compelling story of life in Cameroon's prison system.”
The articles include the following:
- Interpellation illégale : Une victime d’arrestation illégale raconte son cauchemar (IIlegal detention: A victim of illegal arrest narrates his nightmare)
- Interpellation abusive: Il paye 360,000 FCfa pour être libéré (Abusive detention: He paid for his release with 360,000 FCFA)
- Prison de Mbanga : Pauvre ration pour les pauvres (Mbanga Prison: Poor meals for the poor")
- Corruptions, mensonges, violations de procédures (Corruption, lies, and violations of procedure).
Charles "Cacharel" Ngah NFORGANG likes to define himself as a man of action. In 2010, his article, written in Libya, on the plight of young African women used as prostitutes in Libyan brothels , earned him a place as one of the winners of the Lorenzo Natali Journalism Prize, established in 1992 by the European Commission to reward journalists for outstanding reporting on Human Rights, Democracy and Development issues.
Charles is a trainer for print journalism at the Jade multimedia press agency in Douala, Cameroon, and the correspondent of the Syfia press agency, and of many other press agencies and magazines. He holds an MA in communication, and is currently writing a PhD in development communication. He teaches at the university level and trains journalists.
Christian Locka, also of JADE Cameroon, won the Special Mention/Special Jury Award for his online article ‘Un suspect meurt dans une cellule’ (A suspect dies in a prison cell), published on Yaounde Info. The Special Mention highlights the work of a Cameroonian journalist who is not the recipient of the Bibi Ngota Award, but who has carried out significant investigative work on impunity. The award is of a non-monetary nature, and the selected article will be published in the online journal ‘dix grammes d’info, dix minutes de lecture’.
A third prize, the Special Mention of Tribunal Article 53 (with a $200 cash prize), went to Mauritanian journalist Dialbate Samba Diop of Le Quotidien de Nouakchott, Mauritania, for his article, ‘Pèlerinage des martyrs d’Innal : « C’est une victoire pour le rétablissement des droits humains »’ (Pilgrimage of the martyrs of Innal: “It is a victory for the reestablishment of human rights), published in Le Quotidien de Nouakchott. The article describes the persecution of the Black minority in Mauritania, and how, in spite of threats by the state, they able to build a civil society organize an event commemorating a massacre. According to the jury, this article presents an act of courage and hope.
The Bibi Ngota award, named after a Cameroonian journalist who died in jail, celebrates a work of investigative journalism or analysis published in any format, which covers topics related to impunity in its economic, judicial, political, social aspects, and to human rights in African.
The award ceremony will take place on May 24, 2012, in Douala, Cameroon.
Click here to learn more about the Bibi Ngota Award.