Ace investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas and the Africa Investigates team, have been awarded the prestigious One World Media Awards for the groundbreaking investigative documentary titled Spell of the Albino.
It was at a grand ceremony held at Kings Place in London. The documentary, which was produced under Al Jazeera’s Africa Investigates series, was selected as the winning entry in the Children’s Rights category.
It was lauded by the judging panel as “extremely informative, shedding light on a new issue”. The award was picked up by Sorious Samura, a leading member of Africa Investigates, Claudio Von Planta, the Director of Spell of the Albino and Diarmuid Jeffreys, Editor and Executive Producer at Al Jazeera English.
In the documentary, Anas Aremeyaw Anas went undercover to reveal gross human rights violations perpetrated against albinos in Tanzania. It brought to the fore scenes of albino killings and mutilations near Geita in Northern Tanzania, a place where witchcraft had taken hold of communities and led to the widespread belief that possessing the bones of an albino could increase one’s monetary wealth.
With the support of Peter Murimi, Richard Mgamba, a Tanzanian journalist, and Isaack Thimothy, a local activist, Anas exposed and confronted those behind the selling of albino body parts.
According to the judges, Spell of the Albino “took action, made a difference and could potentially save lives - very rare and difficult to achieve. Although some of the images were shocking, they were never gratuitous – the investigation certainly captured the attention of the audience”.
Following the Award, Director of the documentary, Claudio Von Planta expressed delight at the impact of the story. “It’s great to see that this gruesome film about the witchcraft driven mutilation of albino children in Northern Tanzania touched many hearts. Hopefully this story will help expose the madness of witchcraft not only in Tanzania but as well in many other countries where these criminal practices are still rampant”.
“Winning the Best Children’s Rights Award is the best possible recognition for a humanitarian film – the One World Media Awards consistently promote the highest journalistic standards in the media industry on a global scale, he added”.
Executive Producer of Africa Investigates, Ron McCullagh said “Africa Investigates is the beginning of an important development in television journalism. With the support of Al Jazeera English we have given voice to local journalists around the continent so they can tell their own stories as they are best qualified to do. In five years time with The World Investigates, we intend to be doing this around the world.
Meanwhile, Ghana’s Gold, another investigative documentary by Anas, produced under the Al Jazeera’s Africa Investigates series, has been short-listed as one of the finalists in the Best Agribusiness / Environment Feature category for this year's Diageo Africa Business Reporting Awards. The Awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 28 June 2012 in central London.
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