Media Release 

30 November 2023

2023 Isu Elihle Awards winners!

JOHANNESBURG, 30 November 2023- Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) announced the 2023 lsu Elihle Awards winner on Friday, 30 November 2023. Isu Elihle is an isiZulu phrase that means a “Great Idea” when translated to English, these Awards were launched in 2016 and have been running for seven years. These Awards aim to encourage fresh reporting, innovative approaches and insightful investigations that seek to give children a voice and elevate the status of the child all over Africa.

We are excited to announce this year’s winners: 1st prize and overall winner of ZAR25 000 for the 2023 Awards goes to Moraa Obiria, who published her incredible story in the Nation Media Group in Kenya. Moraa was awarded for her story that explores how Tanzania’s policies, during the late President Magufuli’s tenure, denied teen mothers their right to education. The story also highlights the changes in policies initiated by the then vice president, Samia Suluhu Hassan. One of the judges commented by stating “The article is about the challenges that pregnant girls in Tanzania face when they try to go school while pregnant. The story interviews children and the parts are before and after the new law put in place which shows progress and change. Many children’s voices – even involved a section on just children – which is awesome because they are telling their own story. The journalist has done an excellent job in the presentation of this piece.” She received a cash prize of ZAR25 000 after being ranked the overall winner by a panel of judges. Read her story here. 

The 2nd  prize of ZAR15 000 goes to Larry Effande from Cameroon Radio Television CRTV. Larry’s piece centred on how the anglophone crisis in Cameroon has greatly impacted on children’s right to education. In commending the journalist for his excellent coverage, one of the judges stated “The journalist told the story of children in a powerful way – the video and audio were great.Very engaging – he chose the perfect story to tell– as a crisis that affects children and the country. He saw a problem, he asked the children how this problem affects children by interviewing them. He then asks for a solution from the children. Minimal voices from adults Read his story here.

The 3rd prize of ZAR10 000 is awarded to Regina Rumbidzai Pasipanodya from Alpha Media Holdings. Regina’s piece reports on the real challenges faced by teenage mothers in Zimbabwe and how they overcome some of these hardships. The story gives personal testiminoes from young mothers and allows them to tell their own story. A judge had this to say about the piece “The voices of the young mothers are consistent in the story and make it all the more powerful”. Read the 3-part series here – Part 1, part 2 and part 3.

The awards also continues to honor the legacy of Mandy Rossouw through the Isu Elihle Mandy Rossouw Accountability Category, which is awarded to the journalist (if so determined) who made the best attempt at holding the powerful to account on issues specifically related to children. For 2023, judges felt that there was no one story that stood out for aggressively holding the powerful to account as they would have wished, however both Moraa Obiria and Larry Effande gave a clear exposee of the respective child rights issues they were addressing. They equally presented the old legislation and policies that violated children’s rights and the new legislation trying to address the issue. Therefore the 2023 Isu Elihle Mandy Rossouw Accountability Category went to Moraa Obiria and Larry Effande, who will share the Mandy Rossouw prize. Each will get an extra R12500. Congratulations to all the winners, your stories join 42 other child- focused stories published over the last 7 years across countries within the African continent, that reflect the important role that media can play in protecting and promoting children’s rights and, in many instances, also exposing their abuses and triumphs.

The 2024 application date will be announced early next year, we call upon journalists from all over Africa to enter the awards. Congratulations to all the winners!

For further information, please contact:
Jacques Ndong, Project Coordinator,; 011 788 1278

About MMAMedia Monitoring Africa‘s vision is a responsible, quality media that enables an engaged and
informed citizenry in Africa and across the world. MMA aims to promote the development of a free,
fair, ethical and critical media culture in South Africa and the rest of the continent. To achieve
MMA’s vision, the three key areas that MMA seeks to address through a human rights-based
approach are: media ethics, media quality and media freedom.

For more information about MMA and its work for children visit
Follow MMA on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube