Three Africans have been give awards by the Africans Rising, a Pan-African movement for their selfless contributions towards the attainment of democracy, justice, human rights, good governance on the African continent.
The awards, which were presented to the winners in Abuja, were given in three categories; Activist of the Year, Movement of the Year, and Artistic Activist of the Year.
Co-Chair of the Movement, Wangui wa Ngoro said the award is aimed at encouraging young African activists pushing for the desired change on the African continent and to spur others to join the cause.
Ngoro said the movement is not an enemy of government but one which vision is in line with the African Union Vision 2063 that spells out politically what Africans want in line with constitutions of countries.
She said the goal of the Movement is also geared towards ensuring that African can speak their minds against any form of injustice, inhumanity and brutality without getting
“The AU has vision 2063, which spells out the Africa politically that we want so we are just pushing that agenda alongside the constitutions of our countries. This is a political framework of Africa itself.
“We are not anybody’s enemy, we are hoping on our governments and supporting them.
“We are excited at this event where in the past year young African activists raised their voices and brought positive changes to their communities despite the mounting challenges of global health and political crises.”
She however added that: “We are inspired by their selfless activism and African Rising for justice, peace and dignity comes together each year to acknowledge and celebrate their accomplishments through Africans rising activism awards,” Goro said.
Also speaking on the award, Ms Coumba Toure, a Coordinating Collective of the Movement, said the award was not limited to celebrating only the winner but to recognize the efforts of everyone listed in the categories for their efforts.
Toure said Africans Rising is built on the foundation that wherever there is injustice, they are people, organisations and movements fighting for justice and we want them to be seen, and their voices heard.
She said: “What we are doing with these awards is to show that they are there. we have criterias and our members vote to decide who is the winner.
“But the truth is, every activist, every movement, every artist that has been in this contest is who we want to be seen.”
She added: “So, whether or not they are chosen, our work is to show who they are, our work is to amplify their voices and what we want is that what they fight for, and those who can see them or hear them through us support them.
“We in Africa need to move past the time where speaking your opinion becomes a threat to your life so that is a big challenge.”
Also speaking, Muhammed Lamin, another Coordinating Collective of the Novement said Africans Rising is a movement of movements which supports and shows solidarity with movements across the continents to achieve their cause.
Lamin lamented the high rate of brutality against activists and journalists on the continent, noting that it will not make them relent in their effort.
He however noted that through African Rising’s Freedom Campaign over 80,000 journalists and activists have been released from prisons across Africa during the pandemic
“We have lost a lot of our compatriots through bullets, through detentions, through torture and all forms of human brutality put on them by our governments.
“In the name of raising their voices against injustice, corruption and the brutal nature of governance on the continents.
“A lot of our activists are in jail in Nigeria who raised their voices against police brutality during the courageous #EndSARS protest.
“The brutality will only give us hope that no one can come from another continent to give us that change that we desire, it has to be us,” Lamin said.
Mr Deji Adeyanju, another Co-Chair of the Movement and Nigerian Activist said the Movement made solidarity interventions to Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, amongst other countries to ensure restoration of democratic rule.
The winners were awarded $1000 each, the First Runner-up were awarded $500 each while the Second Runner-up got $300 dollars each.
For the Activist of the Year, the winner is Wilson Atumeyi – Nigeria (1, 467 votes)
– 1st Runner-Up: Maulline Gragau – Ethiopia (1, 320 votes) – 2nd Runner-Up: Christine Khabuya – Kenya (668 votes)
For the Movement of the Year, the winner is Youth4Parliament – Zambia (722 votes)
– 1st Runner-Up: Ondjango Feminista – Angola (682 votes) and 2nd Runner-Up: Black Lives Matter-Leeds – United Kingdom (531 votes).
And for the Artistic Activist of the Year, the winner is Joice Zau – Angola (1,112 votes), 1st Runner-Up: Odelia Koroma – Sierra Leone (1,080 votes) and 2nd Runner-Up: Sister LB – Senegal (781 votes).