Alber SharraWits Journalism Masters student Albert Sharra was named Best Journalist of the Year in Malawi for a second consecutive year by Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi-Chapter. Sharra’s work was recognised recently during the 2017 World Press Freedom Day Commemoration Annual Media Awards Gala held in the Capital Lilongwe, Malawi.

The Malawian journalist also won two other awards.

He won the Best Pediatric and Adolescence HIV journalist of the Year for his story titled “Leaves in Underwear“. The story exposes the power of poverty that has reduced some Malawian girls in primary school to using plant leaves and banana sheath as sanitary pads during their menses to avoid missing classes. However, the practice exposes them to cuts on their private and high chances for contracting STIs and including HIV.

The “Leaves in Underwear” story was also one of the reasons for Sharra’s award for Best Journalist of the Year (Overall winner) beating entries in 28 other categories. This is the second time a single story wins individual award and overall prize for Sharra.

“I achieved the same order last year. I am also the first journalist to defend the overall winner award in a row,” says Sharra

His third award was for Best Education Journalist of the Year is for a story titled “As government ignores policy, teachers flee“. The story exposes how government is losing billions of money training teachers it cannot employ.

Read the full list of the 2017 Namisa Media Awards Winners