Ugandan investigative reporter and news anchor Solomon Serwanjja has scooped the 2019 BBC World News Komla Dumor Award.
The award was set up in honour of Ghanaian broadcast journalist Komla Dumor who passed away in January 2014, and aims to continue Komla’s legacy by celebrating African journalism and finding exceptional talent. Dumor was the presenter of the BBC flagship television programme, Focus on Africa, which launched in 2012.
The 2019 winner Serwanjja is a presenter at Uganda’s NBS TV, and he also hosts one of the channel’s prime-time shows.
Serwanjja has produced award-winning reports, including one for BBC‘s Africa Eye programme about the illegal sale of prescription drugs among other investigative stories.
Serwanjja is the fifth winner of the award, and the previous recipients of the award include Waihiga Mwaura, Amina Yuguda, Didi Akinyelure and fellow Ugandan Nancy Kacungira.
The Komla Dumor award is given to “outstanding individuals living and working in Africa, with strong journalism skills, on-air flair and an exceptional talent in telling African stories”. Part of the award is a three-month development contract at the BBC in London.
“Komla brought so much to the African narrative – his perspective was a breath of fresh air, as he believed Africa was rising and that the world needed to see the continent from a different angle,” Serwanjja told the BBC.
“His reports always struck a chord with me, and I feel the same passion for our continent that he demonstrated. I want to continue his legacy by telling stories that cast a spotlight not only on the critical challenges we face in Africa, but also the progress and successes that have been made,” Serwanjja added.
As part of the prize, Serwanjja will spend three months at the BBC in London and travel back to the continent to report on a story there.