#OccupyLekkiTollgate: Mr Macaroni wins African award for social justice

John Ogunsemore
3 Min Read

Popular online content creator, Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni has been awarded Gatefield’s People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021.

Project Manager, Gatefield People Journalism for Africa, Miss Safiya Ibrahim, announced this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

According to the statement, Mr Macaroni was one of three persons who won in the Gatefield 2021 People Journalism Prize for Africa (PJPA).

She identified the other two as investigative journalists, Daneel Knoetze and Lucy Kassa.

She said Daneel Knoetze won the People Journalist of the Year 2021; Lucy Kassa, People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021 and Mr. Macaroni, People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021.

PJPA is a public service journalism initiative to recognise and reward journalists, citizen reporters, and social justice newsmakers on the continent.

According to Ibrahim, the 2021 nominees and winners have been selected by journalists, human rights defenders, and public opinion shapers across the continent.

“Daneel Knoetze is an investigative journalist from South Africa and a 2017 Cronkite Humphrey Fellow.

“His work, `Killing the Files’, exposes the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and its failure to properly conduct investigations, hold police accountable, and bring justice to the victims.

“Knoetze also has a documentary titled ‘A Killing in the Winelands’ that delves into a cornerstone incident in the investigation.

“We selected Daneel Knoetze and the Viewfinder team for exposing a sinister coverup scheme within the South African Police Service’s internal watchdog that offered protection to violent officers,” Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim said People Journalist for Informed Commentary 2021 – Lucy Kassa – is an Ethiopian investigative journalist.

Kassa won the title for having reported extensively on the war in Northern Ethiopia and continues to report on the atrocities committed by all sides in the war in Northern Ethiopia.

She said Kassa was attacked and denounced by the Ethiopian government after her Los Angeles Times piece about the atrocities carried out by Eritrean mercenary soldiers in the war-torn Tigray region of Ethiopia.

“We selected Lucy Kassa for documenting the atrocities of the Ethiopian war, exposing the use of chemical weapons against civilians and the rape of women caught in the conflict.

“People Newsmaker for Social Justice 2021–Mr Debo Adedayo won the title because at personal risk, he remained undeterred after the brutal murder of anti-police brutality #endsars protesters in Lagos, Nigeria.

“He advocated for victims’ accountability and was arrested for leading the #occupylekkitollgate protests in memory of state violence victims.

“We selected Adebayo for remaining undeterred in his pursuit of justice and accountability for the victims,” Ibrahim said.

Gatefield is a Sub-Saharan African public strategy and media group that influences positive change.


Share this Article
I'm a University of Lagos-trained journalist. I've read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. I'm an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
Leave a comment