Ace investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni has been crowned the overall Best Journalist in West Africa at the just ended West Africa Media Excellence Conference Awards (WAMECA).

Awuni’s investigative documentary dubbed “Grounded Wheels” also won the Best Report on Anti-Corruption and the overall best in West Africa out of the 740 entries from 13 West Africa countries.

It is the second time the freelance journalist has won the ultimate prize in three years.

In the ‘Grounded Wheels’ investigative documentary, Manasseh Azure takes a look at procurement of vehicles – the Local Government Ministry’s Gallopers, the MASLOC vehicles, the Ministry of Health ambulances and the Aayalolo buses that have been grounded, resulting in waste of state resources.

There were other Ghanaian journalists who were listed as finalist for the fourth edition of the awards. They are JoyNews’ Solomon Joojo Cobbinah and Beryl Ernestina Richter, and TV3’s Adwoa Adobea-Owusu.

He took to his Facebook page and wrote;

Out of 740 entries from 13 West African countries, the judges (from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Liberia, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire) settled on the #JoyNews investigative documentary “Ground Wheels”.

It won the Best Report on Anti-Corruption and the Overall Best in West Africa at the 2020 West Africa Media Excellence Awards.

It’s the second time I have won the ultimate prize in three years.

“’Grounded Wheels’, which won the anti-corruption category, is a powerful exposition of public waste and the impact it has on ordinary people in Ghana,” said Joseph Warungu, a former head of the BBC African News and Current Affairs Department.

Mr. Warungu added, “The film is beautifully crafted and well-balanced, and like any good investigation, has credible documents to support the claims it makes. The work is very well done and the story has a good pace.

“Now this is outstanding television journalism grounded in professionalism,” he said.

I thank my family for enduring the sacrifices, especially my wife, whose birthday I forgot while investigating this story. (I will never forget that day.)

I’m indebted to The Multimedia Group for their support on this story, especially Joojo Cobbinah, for the additional footage. (Joojo was a finalist in the Human Rights category.)

The Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul; and the Deputy Finance Minister, Kwaku Kwarteng helped me to get access to do some of the filming when it was very difficult to get access. I’m grateful to them.

To you all who believe in me and those who bear me up in prayers, I say God bless you.

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