Patience Akumu, a feature writer at The Observer has won the 2013 David Astor Journalism award. The award is given for a career of local and professional commitment, adherence to the highest ethical standards with the deep reverence for talent and resilience. She was nominated for her work on human rights, ranging from women’s rights to lesbians, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights.
"This is a huge personal honour for me. To be recognized as a distinguished journalist is amazing," said Akumu.
With the award, Akumu took home $500 (about Shs 1.3m) in cash. She will get an opportunity to work for UK’s Guardian newspaper for three months starting in June and become a career member of the David Astor Journalism Award Winners network. The first runner-up, also from The Observer was Sulaiman Kakaire.
"In any competition, there is always the best and Akumu was the best and deserves it," Kakaire said.
Kakaire gets $250 (Shs 700,000). Established in 2006, the David Astor Journalism Trust (DAJAT), which administers the award, operates in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The David Astor awards involve three-month work experience, attachments with newspapers in the UK or South Africa, followed by continuing long-term professional support.
Previous winners of DAJAT include Raymond Baguma, of the New Vision, Yasiin Mugerwa and Barbara Among of the Daily Monitor and Daniel Edyegu. The trust is named offer the late David Astor, a distinguished editor of The Observer newspaper in London from 1948 to 1975, who was a lifelong champion of African development, human rights and social justice causes.