The first winner of the African Arts and Culture award at the CNN/Multichoice African Journalist of the Year awards will be chosen by votes from across Africa.
This was announced by MTC whose subsidiary Celtel International will sponsor the African Arts and Culture Award at the annual CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year award ceremonies.
The award is aimed at promoting excellence in reporting African arts and culture across the continent.
This year, for the first time ever Celtel customers across Africa will vote for their choice of winner at the prestigious awards.
Making the announcement Moez Daya, CEO Celtel International said, “We are proud to promote Africa’s rich cultural heritage.
Celtel’s support for African art and culture extends beyond the CNN African journalist awards. It also covers a range of other initiatives including an extensive music sponsorship programme which includes the prestigious Pearl of Africa Music Awards in East Africa, the Sounds of Wisdom (Sauti za Busaara) festival in Zanzibar, the Premier Music Awards in Sierra Leone and Gabon’s Gabao Hip-Hop festival.”
Celtel’s sponsorship policy is focused on the promotion of African arts and culture across the continent as part of the company’s commitment to develop Africa’s talent.
Celtel sponsors several talent development programmes such as Star Search in Zambia and Pop Idols in Nigeria.
A panel of independent judges narrowed the entries to the competition. The short list for the winner is now out and comprises of the following distinguished journalists.
Nigeria’s Justus Nwakanma for a newspaper feature on the phenomenal growth of his country’s film industry, affectionately called Nollywood, a US$ 200 million dollar industry which produces up to 1,000 movies annually. The feature was published in The Sunday Champion.
Muwana Wamunyima from the Zambia News and Information Services for a television feature about the annual Kuomboka ceremony when the Litunga, the King of the Lozi, people leads them from the flooded central African plateau in 300 boats to the higher ground. This was broadcast on Zambian National Broadcasting Corporation.
South Africa’s Diana Lucas for a television feature on the Soweto Gospel Choir which aired on Carte-Blanche across Africa.
The three entries on the short list can be accessed at www.celtel.com. The top three entries for the Arts and Culture category can be viewed here and then simply select your country website to find details of how to vote there.
The winners of the competition will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in Cape Town, South Africa at the International Convention Centre on 21 July 2007. This is the third year that Celtel has sponsored this prestigious award.
Last year awards ceremony was held in Maputo, Mozambique and the prize was won by Victoria Cullinan of South Africa who works for Carte Blanche, M-Net.