A JOURNALIST from The Namibian, Taati Niilenge, was named the second runner-up in the Agenda 2063 Women Photojournalism Award in Africa.
The award ceremony took place virtually yesterday.
Niilenge, who is a freelancer based at Walvis Bay, came second in the Good Governance: Human Rights, Justice and Rule of Law category.
Her winning photo, published in The Namibian last year, is titled ‘Things we lost in the fire’ that shows a silhouette of a victim of the fire that destroyed the homes of more than 200 people at Walvis Bay’s Twaloloka informal settlement in 2020. Niilenge said she is amazed and grateful for the recognition, but admitted that capturing the images on the night of the Twaloloka fire was not easy.
“It was a horrible night. I witnessed people in my community losing everything, and it was at the same time scary, as I was trying to take pictures for news while dodging rubber bullets from the police and stones from the public,” Niilenge said.
She said she is glad the world has recognised the plight of the residents of Twaloloka and that Namibians from all walks of life helped them rebuild their lives.
The aim of the award is to inspire photojournalists in Africa to share powerful pictures telling the continent’s story from its perspective.
The African Union and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit joined forces to launch the awards for African female journalists.
Co-founder and chief executive officer of the award Yemisi Akinbobola said they have been deliberate in making this a women-only award, “because our research shows that opportunities for professional development can be gendered”. The winner was Alette Musimane, with the first runner-up Victor Odiba.