Foremost solutions journalism outfit, Prime Progress, has announced fellows for its inaugural Religion for Change Fellowship.
In a statement by Innocent Eteng, the managing editor of Prime Progress, the 10 successful fellows were selected from a pool of over 89 applicants, including from Zimbabwe and Kenya.
He added that the fellows were picked after a rigorous selection process, and they will take part in a two-week virtual training aimed at deepening their understanding of religion reporting, with a focus on the use of religion for social change. The fellows will be shown how to do religion reporting better using fact-checking, data, and solutions journalism skills.
After the training, each fellow will submit a pitch focusing on how an individual or community is evidently sparking positive change based on spiritual and faith convictions. Prime Progress will approve five out of the 10 pitches, and successful fellows will be funded to produce their stories.
The fellowship is supported by the Centre for Religion and Civic Culture, a research centre at the University of Southern California.
Meet the fellows
Chinonso Kenneth (Freelancer): Chinonso is a solutions-focused journalist covering health, good governance, environmental sustainability and gender equality. He is also passionate about constructively covering ethno-religious and sociocultural issues.
Olayide Oluwafunmilayo Soaga: Olayide is a freelance journalist and a graduate of Political Science. Her work has been published by The Guardian (UK), The Africa Report, African Arguments, and others. She loves to tell solutions-focused stories and underreported stories.
Akpeji Charles (The Guardian Newspaper): Akpeji is a higher diploma graduate of Mass Communication from the Hassan Usman Polytechnic, Katsina, KatsinaSstate. He has been in the journalism profession for over eighteen years and is a member of numerous associations, including the Network of Reproductive Health Journalists, the Nigerian Union of Journalists, and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria.
Abubakar Abdulrasheed (Freelancer): Abubakar is based in Nigeria’s North-Central region. He is a fellow of several national and international media, including the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ). Abdulrasheed has a strong interest in investigative and data journalism, particularly in the areas of religion, public accountability, health, and development. His work has appeared on respected platforms such as Premium Time, International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), The Cable, Ripples Nigeria, among others.
Tunde Omolehin (The Will): An investigative Journalist with reporting interests on environmental crimes, religious-minority rights, conflicts, climate change and humanitarian issues. He is an awardee of the 2023 PAJI African Prize for Investigative Journalism, 2022 Hostwriter Collaborative Prize, and 2nd Runner-up prize for the Migration Reporting Competition Award (2022). Tunde has been a fellow of several reputable journalism institutions across the globe.
Archibong Jeremiah (The Investigator): An investigative journalist with over 10 years of experience with CrossRiverWatch, Archibonge recently began publishing The Investigator, where he publishes groundbreaking investigations on corruption, human rights abuses, and government malfeasance.
His work has been featured in major media outlets such as The ICIR, Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Sahara Reporters, Daily Trust, WikkiTimes, The Whistler, Development News Nigeria, and Solace Base. He is passionate about using journalism to hold the powerful accountable and to give a voice to the voiceless.
Abubakar Abba (Freelancer): Abubakar is a freelance conflict and humanitarian reporter based in terror-torn Maiduguri, Borno State, northeast Nigeria. He is Knee-deep in reporting the Boko Haram conflict in the Lake Chad region. He is not just about conflicts, he also has an interest in solution journalism. Balancing the gritty reality with solutions.
Johnstone Kpilaakaa (Freelancer): Johnstone is a Nigerian journalist covering innovation and social responses in Africa. He currently works as a senior reporter at Bendada.com, a leading tech media publication on the continent. Johnstone has been awarded various journalism fellowships, including the Solutions Journalism Africa Initiative Fellowship by the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN) and Nigeria Health Watch (NHW), where he represented Social Voices, a solutions-focused media platform.
Johnstone is a recipient of the Collaborative Solutions Journalism Grant in Nigeria by SJN and NHW, where he reported on social responses geared towards neglected tropical diseases in Central Nigeria. In 2022, Johnstone was a finalist at the BudgIT Active Citizens Awards for Solution Journalism in Nigeria.
Richard Sultan (Freelancer): Richard is a South Sudan-based journalist with over five years of experience in print and digital media. He is keenly interested in Community Solutions Stories. He is also the Associate Editor of a local solutions site timeoftheworld.com
Eyo Charles (Daily Trust): Eyo has been a journalist since 1989, reporting on politics, development and other issues from Cross River State and the South-South region. He currently writes for Daily Trust newspaper.