Mary Monday works as a journalist for a Ugandan news station, researching, recording and editing stories about the lives of refugees in Uganda using only her mobile phone powered with a small solar panel. A refugee herself, Mary’s work ensures that refugees and displaced people are able to remain connected through mass media.
Using limited resources in a challenging refugee camp environment, radio journalist, Mary Monday, must bring stories to her audience. Mary must devise ingenious ways to circumvent camp difficulties in order to fulfil her obligation. She records, edits and sends her content through to her editor right from the only equipment she possesses – a phone and palm-sized solar charger. After arguing with her 4-year-old daughter, who never wants her to leave for work, Mary struggles to make stories using only the smartphone. Finding stories in Africa’s largest refugee camp, where the population is opposed to the media, she walks long distances and many hours around the camp trying to find someone who would agree to give her interviews. Being given interviews is not enough, finding good signal reception via her phone is near impossible. In the absence of reliable transport, Mary faces struggles with commuting between her refugee camp and her community radio station, which is located sixty-five kilometres away in the nearest town where she must appear to read the evening news, a radio program that her audience is eagerly waiting on. By all means, either with a hired motorcycle or an unreliable bus, Mary must take this perilous journey. After work, at the radio station, she returns home to start home chores.
After working as a producer, journalist and journalism trainer for international news agencies as well as international media development organizations such as DW Akademie, Ochan also worked in print, radio networks and for radio news agencies such as the Voice of America. Ochan is a journalist by training and attended both the Africa University in Zimbabwe and the Cavendish University in Uganda. He holds a BA in Arts Media, Communications and Public Relations. His recent work
of coordinating, producing and editing podcasts, a project by Media Cooperation and Transition International (MiCT), has given disenfranchised individuals in both South Sudan and Uganda a voice. Ochan envisions continuing doing so using cinema. At 37 years, Ochan’s aim of using films has led him into telling stories that are close to his heart, stories that could hardly be identified by a foreign eye.
Alek Nancy is a freelance journalist. Former Administrative Assistant for the Air Operation Unit of United Nations (UNISFA), she also worked for MiCT’s theniles.org project as a news correspondent, and owns a small-sized business. Her recent work was Paan Abiong Together, where an organization teaches women to be independent by creating their own business through various training initiatives (making soap, candles, clothes). Alek Nancy attended the Cavendish University in Uganda, the international Institute of Business and Media Studies in Kampala and holds a BA in Arts Media, Communications and Public Relations, plus a Diploma in Secretarial Studies and Media. At 29 years old, Nancy is a film producer and believes that through filmmaking, all underreported stories shall be brought to limelight.
Don Edkins is a South African documentary filmmaker and producer based in Cape
Town. He has produced documentary film projects that have been broadcast around
the world, such as Steps for the Future, Why Democracy? and Why Poverty? earning
multiple international awards, including an Oscar for Taxi to the Dark Side, and the
Special Teddy Award at the 63rd Berlinale for Steps for the Future. The Peabody
awarded Why Poverty? Project, with documentary films from 21 countries, was
screened globally by 70 broadcasters. He is Executive Producer of AfriDocs, a free-to-
view VOD platform and broadcast strand across Africa that screens the best African
and international documentary films. He is currently producing a new documentary film
project with African filmmakers across the continent, Generation Africa, around the
theme of migration. He is a mentor for the Berlinale Talents, Durban FilmMart, and
Docs by the Sea in Indonesia, and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Tiny Mungwe is a documentary film and arts producer. She currently works at STEPS
(Social Transformation and Empowerment Projects) where she produces Generation
Africa, a pan-African anthology of 25 documentary films from 16 countries in Africa, on
the topic of migration. Mungwe’s films include Akekho uGogo, a 48 minute
documentary about urban youth culture, which screened at several festivals including
the Durban International Film Festival, Apollo Film Festival and DOKANEMA Festival.
Her short film script Evelyn was selected for the National Film and Video Foundation
(NFVF) Women Filmmaker Project and she directed another short film in the program,
Daddy’s Boy. She has written for some of the highest rating South African television
dramas such as Muvhango and Matatiele, and was one of the directors on the series
Uzalo. For several years she worked as a festival organizer and programmer for four
international festivals, namely Time of the Writer, the Durban International Film
Festival, Jomba! Contemporary Dance Festival and Poetry Africa. During that time she also worked on the program for Durban FilmMart (the co-production market of the festival) and Talents Durban (a career development program for emerging African filmmakers in partnership with Berlinale Talents). She continues to work as a program curation associate for the Durban FilmMart. She also programmed and curated the city of Durban’s inaugural book and art fair, ARTiculate Africa.