JOY FM and Citi FM were big winners at the maiden BBC Africa radio awards held over the weekend in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. JOY FM’s News Editor, Matilda Asante won the best on-air radio campaign in Africa with her story on a six-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her grandfather. With the story, the station drew attention to the girl’s plight and raised millions of cedis to pay her medical bills.
The award was to honour stations that supported a social campaign or initiative that has had a positive effect on the lives of the station’s listening community. For their prize, JOY FM will receive $5000 dollars worth of equipment from the BBC.
In the citation the BBC said: “The judges recognised the sensitive way Matilda covered the shocking story of an eight year old girl who was raped by an elderly relative. It was so brutal the girl was severely injured and needed extensive surgery. The story brought the plight of child rape to the nation's attention and resulted in criminal charges in this specific case. It also raised $10,000 towards the cost of the child's treatment and demonstrated Joy FM as a campaigning and socially responsible station.”
In her acceptance speech, Matilda Asante said: “I’m very emotional but I’m sure you can understand. It was a story that took a lot of effort. I couldn’t have done it by myself.” She went on to tell the management and staff of JOY FM , the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (the organisation that tipped them off to the story) and the government of Ghana, which, according to her “took a lot of interest in the story”, among others.
Citi FM’s ‘Breakfast Show’ was adjudged the best interactive radio programme on the continent. The station was adjudged to have demonstrated creativity, originality and ambition for a young station in an already crowded radio market. The station wins $2500 worth of equipment from the BBC.
In the citation the judges said: “This show successfully mixes studio guests, outside broadcasts, phone-ins and text messages to ensure it is tapping into the stories the local community want to hear. Bernard Avle has a questioning, out-going personality which gets to the heart of issues in a fun and informative way. He often takes his listeners’ complaints direct to those responsible and nothing is taboo with everything from free condoms and sexual harassment to Kwame Nkrumah’s legacy coming under scrutiny.”
In his acceptance speech host of the ‘Citi Breakfast Show’, Ben Avle said he was exhilarated by the award. He expressed appreciation for the Citi team and dedicated the award to the “good people of Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana -- the best country on earth.”