Tuesday, December 5, 2023


Anu Adelakun, TheCable’s pioneer video director, wins environmental journalism award

Anu Adelakun, TheCable’s pioneer video director, wins environmental journalism award
October 26
07:26 2023

Anu Adelakun, pioneer director of video productions at TheCable, has won the 2023 Kevin Carmody Award for Outstanding Investigative Reporting.

The award is organised by the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), the world’s largest and most comprehensive environmental journalism competition.

Adelakun won the award with her in-depth five-part documentary highlighting the dangers associated with the widespread paucity of clean water and how corruption and politics are contributing factors.

The documentary, titled ‘The Water Manifesto’, was filmed in Osun, Enugu, Rivers, Lagos and Abuja.


Adelakun exposed how the activities of illegal and unregulated gold miners in Osun state triggered the pollution of the Osun River and other water bodies. She also uncovered how arrested miners escaped in connivance with security operatives.

The documentary was executed for the 2022 Bertha Fellowship in partnership with the Cable Newspaper Journalism Foundation (CNJF) and TheCable Newspaper.

The judges' comments on Adelakun's investigation

The judges’ comments on Adelakun’s investigation

In a statement on Tuesday, the judges lauded Adelakun’s report, noting that her commitment to uncovering the truth, even at personal risk, and dedication to understanding the complex factors are commendable.


“By amplifying the voices of the artisanal miners and demonstrating how their basic survival is contrasted with the exploitation by foreign corporations, the video educates viewers and humanizes those directly affected by it,” the statement said in part.

“The storytelling approach, which integrates personal narratives and the cultural and religious significance of the Osun River to the Yoruba-speaking people, adds depth and emotional resonance to the reporting.

“The comparison drawn between the Chinese miners and the vulnerable local population highlights the power dynamics at play and underscores the environmental and social injustices being perpetuated.”

The filmmaker said it was important for her to not just tell a single story but to show how a general problem affects different demographies in diverse ways.


“We need to be careful when we’re telling stories not to tell single stories because the water issue, though it’s a general problem, there are peculiarities around the issue as you go across different parts of the country and that was how I decided to pick the locations,” she said.

“People are dying right now and if we don’t do something about it then nothing is ever going to be done, so ultimately I let the story take me where it wanted to.”

Adelakun, who holds a master’s degree in journalism and documentary practice from the University of Sussex, is a founding member of the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI).

She is also a UNICEF Voices of Youth alumni, Carrington Youth Fellow of the US Consulate in Nigeria, US Consul general award recipient, UN Women/Empower Women global champion for change, UK Foreign & Commonwealth Chevening alumna, and the United States Government Exchanges Alumni Association (USGEAA) awardee.


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