Femi Asu, a young Commonwealth Correspondent and reporter from Nigeria, has been announced as the winner of a prestigious CNN African Journalist Award.
Femi, who writes for The Punch national daily newspaper in Lagos, was presented the Ecobank Economics and Business category award by Richard Uku, former Communications Director at the Commonwealth Secretariat at a gala ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya.
Femi was one of 31 finalists from 15 African countries to be shortlisted. He started his journalism career as a student reporter at the University of Ado-Ekiti and became a Commonwealth Correspondent in 2012, contributing to YourCommonwealth.org – an initiative of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.
Femi was recognised for an article written in The Punch last December titled ‘Small businesses in death throes as power supply worsens’ about the challenges faced by enterprises and communities in his country.
“This is my first-ever award and it means a whole lot to me,” said Femi in his acceptance speech. “I dedicate this award to every young person who is driven by a sense of purpose and passion and goes confidently in the direction of their dreams.”
YourCommonwealth.org is a youth blog created and crafted by emerging youth leaders from across the Commonwealth. It is a platform for young people to report on the world around them, to express their ideas, share their perspectives and have their voices heard.
Commonwealth Correspondents are aged 15-29 years-old and write about issues affecting their communities or region. The Commonwealth Secretariat, through the Commonwealth Youth Programme, funds an Editorial Co-ordinator to provide guidance to the contributors, building their confidence and writing skills while ensuring the editorial independence of the site.
Femi added: “I must admit that the platform provided by YourCommonwealth for youths like me to express their views came in very handy at a time when I was struggling to pursue my journalistic passion.”
He continued: “Many thanks to God for his grace, my mum and late dad, who strove hard amid huge challenges to enable me to receive education up to university level, and to the editorial leadership of The Punch newspaper.”