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Mr Macaroni, 2 others rewarded for investigative reporting



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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Gate field, has rewarded three African Investigative Journalists: Daneel Knoetze, Lucy Kassa and Mr Debo Adebayo (Mr Macaroni) with its Gatefield 2021 People Journalism Prize for Africa (PJPA).

The Project Manager, Gatefield People Journalism for Africa, Miss Safiya Ibrahim, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that PJPA is a public service journalism initiative to recognise and reward journalists, citizen reporters, and social justice newsmakers on the continent.

According to Ibrahim, the 2021 nominees and winners have been selected by journalists, human rights defenders, and public opinion shapers across the continent.

She said Daneel Knoetze, won the People Journalist of the Year 2021; Lucy Kassa, People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021 and Nigeria’s Debo Adebayo aka Mr. Macaroni, People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021.

“Daneel Knoetze is an investigative journalist from South Africa and a 2017 Cronkite Humphrey Fellow.

“His work, `Killing the Files’, exposes the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and its failure to properly conduct investigations, hold police accountable, and bring justice to the victims.

“Knoetze also has a documentary titled ‘A Killing in the Winelands’ that delves into a cornerstone incident in the investigation.

“We selected Daneel Knoetze and the Viewfinder team for exposing a sinister coverup scheme within the South African Police Service’s internal watchdog that offered protection to violent officers,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021 – Lucy Kassa – is an Ethiopian investigative journalist.

Kassa won the title for having reported extensively on the war in Northern Ethiopia and continues to report on the atrocities committed by all sides in the war in Northern Ethiopia.

She said Kassa was attacked and denounced by the Ethiopian government after her Los Angeles Times piece about the atrocities carried out by Eritrean mercenary soldiers in the war-torn Tigray region of Ethiopia.


“We selected Lucy Kassa for documenting the atrocities of the Ethiopian war, exposing the use of chemical weapons against civilians and the rape of women caught in the conflict.

“People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021–Mr Debo Adedayo won the title because at personal risk, he remained undeterred after the brutal murder of anti-police brutality #endsars protesters in Lagos, Nigeria.

“He advocated for victims’ accountability and was arrested for leading the #occupylekkitollgate protests in memory of state violence victims.

“We selected Adebayo for remaining undeterred in his pursuit of justice and accountability for the victims,” Ibrahim said.

NAN reports that Gatefield is a Sub-Saharan African public strategy and media group that influences positive change.

NAN also reports that the PJPA is Gatefield’s leading corporate social responsibility commitment to advance democratic freedom and societal change.