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Kolapo Olapoju, TheCable editor, shortlisted for global journalism award

Kolapo Olapoju, TheCable editor, shortlisted for global journalism award
November 02
12:22 2021

Kolapo Olapoju, editor of TheCable, has been shortlisted for the 2021 Fetisov Journalism Awards (FJA) in the outstanding contribution to peace category.

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Olapoju’s report on the southern Kaduna conflict during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic is among 37 stories shortlisted across 34 countries.

In the two-part series — Conflict in a Pandemic — published on TheCable, Olapoju brought to the fore the plight of women and children of southern Kaduna who were displaced and devastated by the conflict at a time when the world was grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 2014, Olapoju has been actively involved in uncovering issues like lead mining contamination, environmental degradation in host mining communities, and underage labour. He has partnered with non-profits such as Global Rights Nigeria, while his work has been used as a case study for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-funded global research.

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Olapoju, a 2020 DAME Awards finalist for child friendly reporting, has contributed to finding solutions to some of the development problems bedeviling Nigeria.

His extensive reporting on menstrual hygiene management (MHM) and lobbying of key players spurred a lawmaker, in 2019, to raise a motion on subsidising sanitary products. This contributed to the eventual decision of the federal government to exempt sanitary products from value-added tax (VAT).

His reporting on an Abuja village that has never had electricity and subsequent follow-up with the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) resulted in the approval of funds for the electrification of the village.

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In February, Olapoju became the third editor of TheCable, succeeding Taiwo George.

Three other Nigerian journalists were also shortlisted for the Fetisov Journalism Awards.

Kemi Busari of Premium Times was shortlisted under the outstanding investigative reporting category for his series — Blood on Uniforms — which exposed how security agencies killed citizens during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Also, Olatunji Ololade of The Nation was shortlisted under the outstanding contribution to peace category for his story, The Boys Who Swapped Football for Bullets, while Shola Lawal of The Christian Monitor was shortlisted under the contribution to civil rights category for the story, As Ocean Empties, Senegal’s Fishermen Risk Seas for New Life in Europe.

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Organisers of the awards said the first prize winner in each category will receive a money prize of 100,000 Swiss francs and a unique silver statuette designed and handcrafted in Switzerland, while the second and third prize winners will get 20,000 and 10,000 Swiss francs, respectively.

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