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‘Inside Africa’ Special On CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards

CNN’s Flagship African Show Hears What Drove Overall Kenyan Winner Joseph Mathenge To Photograph Horrors Of Westgate Mall
By Marian Balogun
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‘Inside Africa’, hosted by Soni Methu, is a special programme this week, dedicated to the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards, held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, last month.

The programme offers highlights of all aspects of the Awards ceremony, a glitzy occasion which saw hundreds of journalists and dignitaries gather from across the continent, including guest of honour, Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete.

All those present enjoyed an evening which celebrated the very best in African journalism, and ‘Inside Africa’ captures all the action, plus some revealing behind-the-scenes moments.

Joseph Mathenge is a valiant Kenyan photojournalist whose pictures captured the horrors of the Westgate Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi, September 2013.

Mathenge became the first ever photojournalist to win the overall prize at the African Journalist Awards, the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2014.

‘Inside Africa’ speaks to Mathenge shortly after the ceremony draws to a close, who recounts to CNN the heartrending eight hours he and his son spent on that fateful day, when the mall was attacked by unidentified gunmen.

He tells the programme: “I was with my son, together with security personnel. We were taking pictures, documenting each and every thing that was happening, because it was very important to document all this so that the world could see exactly what was happening. The moment we were inside there we knew we were in danger. We were there until the last person was rescued. That’s when we came out. We were not going to leave the place otherwise.”

Mathenge’s son Geoff Kihato tells CNN: “I was not afraid to go inside, but when we reached the terrace that was hosting the kid’s festival, I froze. I had never seen such an image. Then my dad told me to stop looking and help people. That is one image I can never forget.”

The courage and skill which Mathenge and his son displayed while under fire in Westgate brought the terrifying story to the whole world, as they helped rescue trapped, desperate people – all at the same time as taking more than a 1000 images in those chaotic hours.

‘Inside Africa’ looks at the history of the African Journalist Awards, and how they have championed excellence in African journalism since their inception in 1995. The show reports their growing influence and impact on journalistic standards.

The stories nominated for the 2014 competition came from the length and breadth of Africa, from Algeria to Benin, Nigeria to Kenya, and Mozambique to South Africa.

Show host Soni Methu speaks to a variety of finalists and winners, who reveal what it feels like to have their work recognised by the most prestigious awards dedicated to African journalism on the continent.

‘Inside Africa’ airs this Friday, 14 November, at 1830

Tune in to CNN on DStv Channel 401. This show will also air on the following times:

Saturday: 1930
Sunday: 0530
Monday: 0230
Tuesday: 1030
Thursday: 0530
About ‘Inside Africa’
Each week, Inside Africa highlights the true diversity of the continent as seen through the prism of different cultures and religions and the mediums of art, music, travel and literature.