NN’s Mae Azango is Awarded the Minnie Lee Walker fellowship

NN is proud to announce our reporter Mae Azango, of FrontPage Africa, has been awarded a newly created reporting fellowship in honor of Minnie Lee Walker. The fellowship is given by the Alliance for East Africa, an organization that supports grass roots programs in Africa. It was started by Mrs Walker’s daughter Jean Wr. The…

Charles Taylor’s Verdict Proves What Goes Up Must Come Down

 by New Narratives Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey I was in The Hague on April 26 when they convicted Charles Taylor. Appearing like a child being publicly scolded, he stood on seemingly wobbly legs, head bowed, when they pronounced him guilty on 11 counts of crimes against humanity for aiding and abetting rebels during Sierra Leone’s…

NN’s Mae Azango in Foreign Policy magazine

Labor Pains In the midst of a civil war, becoming a mother was its own battle. Melinda Gates has me thinking about the time I became a mother. When the Gates Foundation co-chair recently said that improving family planning for the global poor is her new personal mission — and that she is making it a top…

Genital Cutting Threatens the Health of Liberia’s Women

The cultural practice of female genital cutting is rampant in Liberia, especially in the countryside.  Parents send girls as young as infants to ceremonies conducted by a secretive indigenous religion known as the Sande to be cut without knowing the health risks involved.  But openly talking about this secret rite of passage is taboo here. …

Amnesty International Joins Calls for Police Protection of Mae Azango and Her Sources

DOCUMENT – LIBERIAN POLICE MUST TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION TO PROTECT JOURNALIST AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PUBLIC STATEMENT 13 March 2012 Liberian Police Must Take Immediate Action to Protect Journalist Mae Azango, an investigative journalist based in Monrovia, is receiving death threats after publishing a story in FrontPage Africa uncovering the practice of female genital mutilation of girls [FGM]…

From Petty Traders to Entrepreneurs in War-Battered Economy

Clothing designer Geneva Garr supervises several men crouched over sewing machines surrounded by beautifully tailored dresses hanging for customers to see. Starting up with just one sewing machine on her porch, Garr, 37, now makes 72 outfits a week. Garr says she started the business in 2005 in Accra, Ghana and moved to Liberia in…

Seek Ye First the Economic Kingdom, Woman

First appeared in Liberia’s FrontPage Africa newspaper March 1 Africa’s first post-independence president, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, urged colonial Africa to “seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added onto you.” Nkrumah was alluding to the biblical verse, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these…

NN Reports First Interviews With Gay Men in Liberia

NN fellow Wade Williams and photographer Chase Walker have published the first interviews with openly gay men in Liberia. The story was published as gay rights activists have been attacked and faced death threats in the country. The reporting took considerable bravery on the part of our reporters, the interview subjects and FrontPage Africa editor…

NN in the New York Times

Photo by NN photography coach Glenna Gordon MONROVIA, Liberia — Election officials announced on Thursday that Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s only female president, had been re-elected by an overwhelming margin this week in a runoff vote that was marred by an opposition boycott. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, speaking to reporters on Thursday, said she would pursue…

Despite rain, Liberians turn out in huge numbers to vote

In West Point, a shantytown community on the edge of the Atlantic, dozens of people endured long lines and the pouring rain to vote in this country’s second presidential elections since the end of 14 years of civil war. Frances Roberts, 53, arrived at the polling station at 4 a.m., four hours before voting commenced….