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Journalist Mary Mbewe named WIN Editorial Leadership Award Laureate

Achieving Woman
 Mary Mbewe, the 2020 Editorial Leadership Award Laureate for Africa (Photo: Courtesy)

Wan-Ifra’s Women in News has named Mary Mbewe as the 2020 Editorial Leadership Award Laureate for Africa. Mbewe is the executive editor of Zambia’s The Daily Nation, one of the three leading newspapers in the country.

Mbewe’s 30-year career has seen her steadily rise up the echelons of the media industry. She has dedicated work to bringing the stories of those who are often ignored, i.e. marginalised people and communities, to light. She has also nurtured the careers of up and coming journalists and acted as a mentor to female journalists.

Mbewe’s career started in 1991, when she started working at the Zambia Daily Mail. In 2000, while working at the Daily Mail, she became the first woman in Zambia to achieve the role of editor-in-chief.

“Mbewe has become an inspiration for other young women hoping to move into the upper echelons of the media,” the Wan-Ifra website said. 

As a woman climbing the career ladder to one of the top positions in the media industry, Mbewe faced her fair share of challenges.

“Some men and even some young women were uncomfortable about having to report to a woman. It was tough, but I didn’t let it get to me. I just ignored them,” she said.

She added that believing in herself pushed her through these tough times. “It’s important to strike a balance between home and work life but no one will give you a promotion if they don’t see you making sacrifices and dedicating yourself.”

The editorial leadership award is given to media personalities who have an unwavering commitment to press freedom and equality and have excellent leadership skills. Every year two awardees are selected, one from sub-saharan Africa and the other from the Arab region.

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