Updated: Sep 11, 2020
Zambian media executive Mary Mbewe is this year’s WIN Editorial Leadership Award Laureate for Africa for her contribution to equality and freedom of the press on the continent.
The World Association of News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) made this announcement at its 2020 African Digital Media Conference that kicked off on September 8.
In her acceptance speech, Mbewe, the Daily Nation Zambia executive director said she was happy to be part of a team that shapes a different narrative by supporting ordinary people.
“This award is therefore dedicated to all the hardworking men and women who spend hours making life easy for others, such as the women in shelters. And of course, to the Zambian men and women in the media for striving to be better than the best, sailing and surviving through storms in a tough field - especially the havoc caused by COVID-19,” she added.
The WIN Editorial Leadership Laureate Award is annually given to a woman editor from the Sub-Saharan Africa and Arab regions. It recognises the exemplary contribution of a woman leader to her newsroom.
Mbewe has been in the media industry for the past three decades and one of her milestones includes serving as the first woman editor-in-chief of a major newspaper in Zambia. Mbewe has been dedicated to telling human interest stories that are often sidelined. Mbewe has also mentored and trained other journalists starting their careers.
“Naming Mary as this year’s laureate takes on particular significance as we mark the 10th anniversary of our work in gender equality and media freedom in Zambia,” said Melanie Walker, executive director of media development and Women in News at WAN-IFRA.
WAN-IFRA CEO Vincent Peyrègn said Mbewe continues to show excellence and resilience through the everyday news and human interest stories she shares.
“Recognising leadership and celebrating excellence is even more important in today's context,” he said.
Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s awards were held virtually.
Previous laureates from Sub-Saharan Africa are Oluwatoyosi Ogunseye from Nigeria (2014); Pamella Makotsi Sittoni from Kenya (2017); Barbara Kaija from Uganda (2018) and Anna Nimiriano from South Sudan (2019).
Find out more about Mbewe and her work here.