Welcome to my portfolio page, where you can read some of my journalism work. Below, you will find links to my print and online journalism work, names of publications and articles written by me. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them. Do come back as these pages will be updated regularly. To give you an idea of what’s in store for your viewing, below is an excerpt from a recent feature about the use of rape as a weapon of war in Eastern DRC. Enjoy!
Title: Who Will Heal Congo’s Women
The attacks are sadistic. The brutality with which they are carried out, defy comprehension. Impunity has replaced law and order and it appears the international community has lost its mandate to stem the continuous and gruesome use of rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hence, the New African Woman is asking, who will heal Congo’s women?
Traditionally, March is the time of the year when women are celebrated in different parts of the world on International’s Women’s Day and Mother’s Day. Amidst our celebrations, hundreds of thousands, of women in Eastern Congo are either being attacked or they are recovering from the ills of endemic violent sexual attacks. To date, over 250,000 rapes have been reported since the protracted war, which started 13 years ago and has cost more than 4 million lives.
Rape victims are grotesquely mutilated with guns, bayonets and run the risk of becoming HIV positive, leaving them destroyed. These are the women, Heal Africa wants to help. Charité’s eyes were destroyed so she would not be able to recognise her rapists. Raped in front of her family before they were brutally murdered, she was forced to watch. Mary was raped but cannot remember the number of men who raped and stuck corn cobs down her vagina, which led to infections. To date it has been impossible to repair her fistula due to her weak condition. These are some of the horrid stories beyond human comprehension, coming out of Heal Africa, an organisation based in Goma, DRC and known for its work in combating sexual violence in the region. It is one of two internationally renowned centres helping women, the other being the Panzi Hospital, based in South Kivu and headed by Dr. Denis Mukwege.
Sexual violence against women and children is a deplorable trend in different conflicts around the world. In Africa, Darfur and the DRC stand out due to the heinous crimes committed against women. Marie-Claire Faray Kele is a Congolese women’s rights activist who believes sexual violence is used as a tool of humiliation and subjugation, hence, paralysing the men and the community to submit themselves to those who want to take over their community. At the heart of DRC’s war, is the nation’s minerals, which 50 years ago made it one of the richest country in Africa but today, the source of pain for the women who make up the fabric of its society. That being the case, the UN recently appointed Margot Wallstrom, a special envoy tasked with intensifying efforts to end sexual violence against women and children in conflicts regions of Africa. She said, “Rape is not cultural but criminal.” But will she be able to bring the perpetrators who go unpunished to justice?
To read the full article, click on the PDF link below and there are links to other stories, past and present.
Think Africa Press, April 2011: Nigeria’s Youth: Silent No More
CNN, March 2011: To Empower African Women, Turn Words into Action
New African Woman, Jan-March 2011: Who Will Heal Congo’s Women?
New African Woman, Jan-March 2011: African Women Speak: We Owe It To The Women of Congo
Herewith is a slideshow of magazine covers I have contributed to. Enjoy!
Please click on the links below for more of my portfolio. Thank you for taking the time to view and read my work. It is much appreciated.