Contributors


Cyrus Kinyungu

Cyrus has been a journalist for over a decade, working in the two leading media houses in Kenya. He worked for the  Nation Media Group as a writer before crossing over to the Standard Group where he worked for almost ten years as an editor and writer. In 2013, Cyrus joined Internews where he mentored and trained journalists on health reporting. He is now a freelance writer and editor and also consults on media and communications. Cyrus holds a Masters of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of Nairobi and a Bachelor’s degree from Moi University. He has also undertaken media training from The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre in Israel. Writing and journalism is a labour of love for him.

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Phyllis Mbanje 

Phyllis is a senior reporter with the Zimbabwean weekly newspaper, The Standard. She's held this position since June 2013. Prior to that, she was a correspondent for the UK based online publication, New Zimbabwe. She's passionate about health reporting, and regularly focuses on HIV and Aids. She has also worked as an information officer for various HIV non-profit organisations, including the Pan African Treatment Access Movement. She graduated with a National Diploma in Mass Communication from the Harare Polytechnic College in 1997 and is currently studying towards a Bachelor of Arts and Media Studies with the Zimbabwe Open University. Phyllis is a board member of the Health Journalists Association of Zimbabwe, which coordinates health coverage in the country and provides training on best practices to its members. She was a fellow at Bhekisisa from August to October 2014.

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Esther Nakkazi

After spending a year in Boston in 2008 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the Knight Science Journalism fellowship, Esther Nakkazi returned to Uganda to become a freelance science journalist and media trainer. Esther is a founding member of the Health Journalists Network in Uganda, an organisation which works to improve the quality and accuracy of health reporting and to improve health literacy among Africans. As a freelancer, Esther works with many media outlets around the globe including the  Science for Development Network. She started her journalism career at  The East African, a weekly newspaper that circulates in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. She is also a mentor and trainer for science journalists and was a mentee in the World Federation of Science Journalists. She is also a mentor and trainer for science journalists and was both a mentee and mentor in the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ). Esther is a graduate of Makerere University. She has a postgraduate diploma from Uganda Management Institute and is also a food security fellow at the Oklahoma State University 2011. Follow her on Twitter @Nakkazi and visit her blog: www.estanakkazi.blogspot.com.

Awards

  • 2007: ‘Tunza Watoto wa Africa’ - Journalism Award on children and HIV from African Network for Prevention and Protection against Child Abuse and Neglect (Ugandan Award)
  • 2006: Best Africa Female ICT writer UNECA/AISI (African Award)                              
  • 2013: Best Cancer Reporter ‘Special Merit Award’ by the European School of Oncology (International Award) 
  • 2015: 35th Global Media award for the population Institute - Award for the Health Journalists Network in Uganda (International Award)

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Stephen Tsoroti 

Stephen Tsoroti is a freelance journalist from Zimbabwe. He trained as a journalist at the Christian College Of Southern Africa in 1989. Before deciding to freelance, Stephen worked at Moto Magazine, Media Arts Consultancy and The World Press Review. Since working as a freelance journalist, Stephen’s work has been published in the Sunday Mail, Sunday News, Woman Plus Magazine, Probe Magazine, Manica Post, The Herald, The New African Magazine, Gemini News, Ohmy News, Africa News, The Zimbabwean, Harare News and the Financial Gazette. Stephen is a versatile journalist who reports on a number of beats including health, the environment, arts and culture, and developmental issues. Some of his articles have resulted in policy shifts at government level and sparked national debate in Zimbabawe. He has been awarded a number of fellowships, among them, The World Bank Investigative Environment Reporting, Arusha Tanzania 1996 and the National Press Foundation Fellowship to report on the TB and Lung Health Conference in 2015. He also writes position papers about the environment, literature and history as well as poetry and prose. 

Awards

  • 2015 Environmental Journalist of the Year Award
  • 2000 The British Council Arts for Change Award 
  • 2000 The Biodiversity Journalist Award 

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Josephine Chinele

Josephine is a Malawian journalist with over 10 years of reporting experience. She began her career at the state owned  Malawi News Agency, which falls under the Ministry of Information, where she worked for nine years before joining Times Group in May 2014. Josephine has been selected for numerous journalism fellowships. In 2015 she was a fellow at amaBhungane, the Mail & Guardian's Centre for Investigative Journalism where she wrote on maternal health in Malawi and the ARV drug trade in South Africa. She worked in Tanzania for ten months in 2008 on a Fredskorpset (FK) Fellowship Exchange programme. This programme gives funding and guidance to exchange projects involving employees in Norway and in countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Josephine is a features and investigative journalist who is passionate about health reporting. Her health stories have influenced policy and have resulted in positive changes in her home country. “It brings me self-fulfilment when my story has changed someone’s life, when my story has connected policy makers and the most vulnerable,” she says.

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Jackie Opara

Jackie Opara is a journalist working in Nigeria. She has worked with local Nigerian newspapers covering stories on agriculture, science and technology. In 2013, Jackie was invited by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa to report on the proceedings at the 6th Africa Agricultural Science Week conference. In 2014, she won the IDRC-Research Africa Science Journalism Award. Jackie has interned with Research Africa in Cape Town, she has also worked with Research London covering science and higher education news.

Jackie is currently freelancing in Nigeria. She regularly writes for Research Africa, NatureNews, SciDev and Forskning & Framsteg.

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Mugume Davis Rwakaringi

Mugume Davis Rwakaringi is a multimedia journalist, who has worked with different local and international media organisations including Voice of America, The Niles, Active Nation and the Rwanda News Agency, covering political, social and economic stories.

He covered the general elections in Sudan in 2010, the South Sudan referendum in 2011 and consequently the Independence of South Sudan in July 2011.

Mugume is a law graduate from the University of Rwanda and has been practicing journalism for about ten years. He is passionate about health issues in South Sudan and the whole East Africa region in general.

Mugume is the managing editor for the Nile Fortune Magazine, a business magazine about the Nile basin region.

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Maina Waruru

Maina Waruru is a freelance science journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. He has more than 15 years experience in the industry, and over the years has focused his reporting on health, environment, energy, agriculture, technology and higher education.

He has published widely with international outlets including BBC Online, Thomson Reuters Foundation, The Scientist and others. In Kenya he has worked as a correspondent for the Daily Nation and the Standard. He has covered major international and regional conferences including the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation in 2014 and the 2015 annual scientific conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

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Sophie Mbugua

Sophie is a multimedia science journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has been freelancing since 2014. Prior to that she worked as a studio technician and creative producer at Radio Waumini in Kenya. 

Since 2014, she has covered environment and biodiversity issues, climate change, energy, health and agriculture issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. She has published widely with both local and international media including BBC Science in Action, Mongabay.org, Scidev.Net, Thomson Reuters Foundation, the Nation Media Group, and The Star newspaper in Kenya.

Sophie was a 2015 fellow with the French Media for Cooperation. In 2016 she was the Cross Border reporting fellow in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda with the International Women Media Foundation. She is also a 2016 Cohort 4 mentor at the YALI Regional Leadership Centre, East Africa. 

Sophie has covered international conferences on climate change, most notably, the 21st UNFCCC Conference of the parties (COP21) in Paris.

She holds a degree in communication from St Paul’s University.

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Kiundu Waweru

Kiundu Waweru is a versatile writer who over the years has written on a variety of genres from health, lifestyle, arts and culture to personality profiles. However, since undertaking a health journalism course with Internews in Kenya in 2011, he has developed a deep passion for science and health, poring over data and jargon to humanise the stories.

Today he is a freelance journalist, occasionally writing for Kenya’s Nation Media Group publications.

He joined Standard Newspapers in 2008 as a correspondent features writer and was involved in filing a variety of stories including general public interest, as well as investigative reports and entertainment and lifestyle features. In 2014, Kiundu became a staff writer with The Standard where he wrote health features and other development stories.

Kiundu’s work has won several awards and has been published by Drum and Parents magazines. He was also commissioned by a local adoption agency to write a book about adoption.

He is interested in issue-based, long-form literary writing, a genre almost non-existent in Kenya but which, with like-minded journalists he is advocating for. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication from St Paul's University and has studied freelance journalism via correspondence with the Writers Bureau based in Manchester, United Kingdom.

Kiundu is also interested in photography and in 2013 spent time with National Geographic photographers, learning to tell stories through images. 

Awards

  • 2015 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards: Ecobank Economics & Business Award Finalist
  • 2015 Media Council of Kenya Annual Journalism Excellence Awards: Health Award Finalist
  • 2014 Energy Journalism Excellence Awards: Energy Journalist of the Year Finalist
  • 2014 Energy Journalism Excellence Awards: Oil and Gas Upstream Story of the Year
  • 2014 Energy Journalism Excellence Awards: Community Relations in Energy Story of the Year
  • 2014 Media Council of Kenya Annual Journalism Excellence Awards: Children and Youth Affairs Award
  • 2013 Internews in Kenya Storyfest Awards: Print Health Story of the Year
  • 2013 Media Council of Kenya Annual Journalism Excellence Awards: Health Award Finalist
  • 2011 Internews in Kenya Storyfest Awards: Print Health Story of the Year Finalist
  • 2011 KARA/COFEK Annual Media Excellence Awards: Mazingira (Environment) Award Finalist

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Tawanda Karombo

Tawanda Karombo is a Zimbabwean journalist specialising in development issues, business and finance reporting in Southern Africa. He has vast experience with a career spanning nearly 10 years covering the region.

He has written for most of the major publications in the region, and in Zimbabwe, such as covering the Zimbabwean business and finance sector for The Financial Gazette and covering South African companies for publications such as the Sunday Times, Business Day, Moneyweb, Business Report and ITWeb Africa among others.

Tawanda has also done news and developmental reporting, covering the Zimbabwe beat for the Mail & Guardian. He is always keen on following up on the real story of the region and bringing out the intricacies of the people of Zimbabwe and their position in the African and global context and economy.

His reporting is guided by the bigger picture and he seeks to provide solutions through reaching out to experts on development issues, and probing for answers to critical developments.

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