Fatuma Noor (The Star, Kenya) has been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN Multichoice African Journalist 2011 Awards Ceremony. Noor won for her investigative three-part series on the Somali rebel movement Al Shabaab, for which she had followed recruits coming into Somalia from as far as Canada and the US.
The series was earlier shortlisted for the FAIR Awards. Noor was also runner up in the FAIR Awards in 2009, with an investigative piece on a Somali warlord brothel.
CNN Multichoice judges said that Noor’s Al Shabaab piece provided a ‘detailed and personalised portrait of the young men who leave their comfortable western lives to join one of the worlds’ most ruthless militant groups in Somalia’ and that it brought to the fore an inside view of the militia group’.
Other FAIR members who were commended by the CNN Awards judges were Virgil Houessou from Benin and Kenyan Kipchumba Some.