As a Junior student in the Department of Communication and Media Studies, Mafanta Kromah must cope with the pressures of studying to maintain her high marks while still working as a reporter for a leading online newspaper The Bush Chicken.
As if this is simple, Kromah’s ability to balance her acts and efficiently multitask (i.e., studying and working) recently won her the prestigious Press Union of Liberia award for Best Women’s Rights Reporter. “The Annual Excellence Awards” identifies and honors the work of journalists and media institutions that performed with distinction.
Mafanta Kromah devotes her practice to highlighting women issues including rape. In August 2020 she wrote a piece – perhaps the story that earned her the award – on a nation-wide anti-rape campaign in which women called on the government to declare rape as a national emergency and to cater to children and survivors of abuse.
She took personal risks covering the protest as it turned chaotic on the third day when police sprayed tear gas on protesters. Governed by her reporter instinct and her determination to report firsthand, Kromah covered the event and broke the story on her online news outlet not thinking she would receive an award six months later.
Her niche on women rights and issues though her pages with The Bush Chicken has establish her as an accomplished reporter. This distinction is further strengthened with the Women’s Rights Reporter of the year award.
The annual Excellence Awards program, presided over by judges drawn from civil society, including media experts, is organized by the Press Union of Liberia, (PUL), the umbrella organization for journalists in Liberia.
Mafanta Kromah is the second student in our department to win a media award. Another student who interned with the University-owned department-run LUX Radio won the best Human Rights Program award in 2013.
Among her many stories on women, Mafanta has a story about the effect of Covid-19 on sex workers.