Kenyan Journalist Bags Global Award

  • An undated image of Leon Lidigu at a past event
    An undated image of Leon Lidigu at a past event
    Twitter
    Leon Lidigu
  • A Kenyan journalist is this year winner of the Global Nutrition and Food Security Reporting award.

    Leon Lidigu, a journalist with Nation bagged the award, beating two journalists from India and Nigeria.  

    The multimedia feature ran in the Nation newspaper on Wednesday, August 19, 2021.

    His story, The Cost of Malnutrition, revealed the struggles of a vulnerable community faced with malnutrition in school children.

    An image of Leon Lidigu(left), Srishti Jaswal(middle) and Ojoma Akor(right) dated Wednesday, October 20
    An image of Leon Lidigu(left), Srishti Jaswal(middle) and Ojoma Akor(right) dated Wednesday, October 20
    Twitter
    ICFJ

    The feature story focused on children in the Kibera slum of Nairobi who often depend on school for their only meal of the day, and what happens to children when they are malnourished or undernourished.

    According to Maryanne Mwanza, a consultant featured on the story, these challenges include impairment of neurophysiological functions, retardation of growth and development, reduced immunity and increased vulnerabilities to infectious diseases.

    "Lidigu’s story is an excellent piece of explanatory and solutions-oriented journalism,” stated Roger Thurow, a journalist and expert on global nutrition who served on the panel of judges.

    “The narrative and graphics combine to form a compelling exploration of the cost of malnutrition for individuals, families, communities, and a country, and summons an urgency to prioritize improving nutrition for all,” he further stated.

    Lidigu came in first position and takes away a Ksh277,375 ($2500) cash prize.

    He beat Srishti Jaswal of India who came in second. Jaswal did an expose of a national food distribution system that left millions without food. Ojoma Akor of Nigeria came was third for her story about a rural community's efforts to alleviate hunger among orphans.

    The story contest was launched amid the largest spike in global hunger, exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.

    The award is given by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) in partnership with the Eleanor Crook Foundation, a U.S.-based philanthropy.

    Lidigu took to his Twitter handle to express his gratitude ,"I am speechless, a big thank you to the children and parents who allowed me to tell their stories."

    An undated image of Leon Lidigu(right) with Journalist Julie Gichuru(left)
    An undated image of Leon Lidigu(right) with Journalist Julie Gichuru(left)
    Leon Lidigu