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The Team

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Chika Oduah

I am a Nigerian-American journalist reporting on the ground throughout Africa. I am currently based in Dakar, Senegal. I maintain a keen focus on Africa. My reporting goes beyond the headlines to explore culture, conflict, history, spirituality, human rights and development to capture the complexities, hopes and everyday realities of Africans and people of African descent. I’ve been a journalist for the past 18 years, working as a reporter, foreign correspondent, TV news producer, cinematographer, scriptwriter and photojournalist in the United States and across Africa. I have experience working in newspaper, television news, documentary film, online media, radio and podcasting. My stories have been published and featured in The New York Times, National Geographic, the BBC, Al Jazeera, CNN, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, Quartz Africa, Voice of America, The Associated Press and other international news media outlets. I have participated in numerous news media fellowships and have garnered awards from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the United Nations Foundation, the National Association of Black Journalists and other prestigious institutions. I am also the recipient of a CNN African Journalist Award and was listed among “Nigeria’s 100 Most Inspiring Women” as well as OKAYAFRICA’s 100 Women. In 2023, I was selected to participate in the French-African Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. I was raised in Atlanta, Georgia in the U.S. A proud pan-Africanist, my lifelong dream is to see Africa prosper.

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Vala-Amanda O.
Photo editor

I am a Nigerian-American actress, singer and writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. I discovered my love of performing when I was very young, so I’ve had a long life on stage. Throughout high school and college I specialized in theater, being inducted into the Thespian Society in high school. I attended the renowned Savannah College of Arts and Design where I majored in theater, studied performing arts and began learning more about film. After college I began to make a transition into the film and television industry. After college, I did a stage production of For Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf. While working on my own projects, I have done background acting on feature films, collaborated with other recording artists, taught acting to children and youth, written productions for church and community events, and I recently signed to the DreamTeam Talent Agency. Having the REAL experience of Africa and Africans shown the right way is very important to me. I am pleased to see more accurate representation in today’s society. It’s helping to fix the view of a one-dimensional Africa. With my work, I strive to be a part of that change.

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Mercy Item
 Editorial Assistant

I am a journalist and radio news anchor based in Nigeria. I’ve worked for Family Love 99.9 FM, 106.9 Gouni Radio and presently, 100.3 Udoka FM, all broadcasting from Enugu State, Nigeria. I was a co-host and analyst of Top 9 Stories before 9 on Family Love 99.9 FM, a program centered on topical socio-economic and political issues in Nigeria. I’ve also anchored Health Coach where amongst many issues addressed, radio interviews were conducted with the National Aligned HIV/AIDS Initiative on the increase in ‘HIV/AIDS’ within southeast Nigeria. I have been a producer of a literary art radio program called The Book Show. Currently, I host a program called Southeast iReport, a citizen-reporting platform for residents in southeastern Nigeria to share verifiable and authentic reports, observations and complaints within their localities. The program is used to influence the accountability of public officeholders to the people. Passionate about women’s rights and development, I also host a program called Femini where issues of women in today’s society are discussed. In 2017, I freelanced as a research assistant for the Centre for Memories Enugu, a history and art museum focused on Igbo cultural identity. I was a volunteer lecturer for the National Open University of Nigeria’s Prison Lecture Scheme in 2019. In 2020, I served as media adviser to QuickChop Services in Umuahia, Abia State. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in mass communications from Godfrey Okoye University in Nigeria.

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Momar Niang
Francophone editor

I am an award-winning Senegalese journalist based in my hometown of Dakar, Senegal. For thirteen years, I have covered politics, economics, environmental issues and current affairs in West Africa. I also specialize in investigative journalism. I have reported for the Investigative Center For Journalists on the Panama Papers and the West Africa Leaks projects. Some of my stories were featured in Thomson Reuters Foundation, Africacheck, Irinnews, Cenozo and Ouestaf News. I’m currently working as a correspondent for Bloomberg News. I have participated in various journalism fellowships and workshops including the African Investigative Journalism Conference hosted by the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, Assises du Journalisme de Tours and the CFI Media Development Forum in France. I am a graduate of Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, with a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Literature. I also hold a bachelor of journalism and communication from the Institut Supérieur Des Sciences De L'information Et De La Communication in Dakar, Senegal.

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