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TheCable’s Soyombo wins grand prize at Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting

TheCable’s Soyombo wins grand prize at Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting
December 11
10:36 2016

‘Fisayo Soyombo, editor of TheCable, was on Friday night named the Nigerian Investigative Journalist of the Year after winning two of the three prizes available in the Online category of the 2016 Wole Soyinka Awards for Investigative Reporting.

At the awards ceremony, which held at NECA House, Ikeja, Soyombo was first named second runner-up in the Online category, for his story, UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION: Nigeria’s ‘Customs of corruption, bribery and forgery’.

Moments later, he then won the first prize in the same category, for Forgotten Soldiers, a five-part series published on TheCable in June.

Femi Owolabi, a freelance journalist with TheCable, was first runner-up in the category, for his four-part series, The blight on humanity and the resilience of a people, published in December 2015.

'Fisayo Soyombo WS 2

Soyombo speaks after receiving the award

Receiving the award, Soyombo thanked Jahman Anikulapo, his mentor and former editor of TheGuardian on Sunday, and Dayo Aiyetan, executive director of the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

He reserved special praise for Simon Kolawole, chief executive officer of TheCable Newspaper Limited, saying: “When things like this happen, everyone tends to focus on the individual. But the individual cannot go so far without the support of his organisation.

“Not only has Mr. Kolawole, my boss, supported me, he is helping to entrench a culture of institutional excellence at TheCable and I hope this award is just one of the many fruits to come.”


Soyombo dedicated the award to soldiers involved in the army’s war with Boko Haram, for “giving up their lives and the essence of their living for peace in the north-east, for all of us to be able to gather here.”

Other winners on the night were Mojeeb Alabi of New Telegraph, Sebastine Ebhuomhan of National Mirror and Tobi Aworinde of Punch, who placed first, second and third respectively in the Print category.

Kunle Ajayi of Daily Independent won the Photo category ahead of Ayodele Ojo of The Sun. There were no winners in the Radio, Television and Editorial Cartoon this time around, as the judges were unimpressed with the entries for those categories.

'Fisayo Soyombo WS 3Friday’s award for Soyombo came just a day after he emerged winner of the Maritime Economy category of the Zimeo Excellence in Journalism Awards organised by the African Media Initiative, in Nairobi, Kenya, for the same undercover investigation on the Customs.


Four days earlier, he had been second runner-up in the Investigative Journalist of the Year category of the 25th Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) — again for the same Customs investigation.

In November, he won the Newcomer of the Year — Hans Verploeg Award at the 2016 Free Press awards, which held in The Hague, Netherlands — an award he dedicated to Enenche Akogwu, the Channels TV journalist killed by Boko Haram in 2012.

That award came a month  after he was named Journalist of the Year (Business and Economy Reporting) in the PricewaterhouseCoopers Awards, and three months after his short-listing for the 2016 Kurt Schork Awards in International Journalism.

He was first short-listed for the Kurt Schork awards in 2014, for ‘Blood on the Plateau’ — a five-part investigative series on the ethnocentric killings in Plateau state, published in December 2013. That year’s finalists were chosen from “almost 300 stories entered by 93 journalists from 41 countries”


Soyombo, a 2013 recipient of the Deutsche Welle/Orange Magazine Global Fellowship for Young Journalists, contributes opinions to Doha, Qatar-headquartered Al Jazeera and Germany-based TAZ.

A finalist for the 2015 Thomson Foundation Young Journalist from the Developing World FPA Award, his works have been translated into French, German and Arabic.


1 Comment

  1. Ekeolu Oyetunde
    Ekeolu Oyetunde December 11, 18:27

    Keep the focus, God’s got your back. Big congrats!

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