In 2016, Eric Kawa became the youngest person to be nominated for ‘Best on Air Personality in Africa” by the Africa Entertainment Legends Awards. This made him the only Sierra Leonean and the youngest person to be nominated in this category. It was a noteworthy achievement to everyone around, but for Eric it had been long time coming.

Even at a young age, his confidence in communication was obvious through his love for public speaking and acting. This later metamorphosed into a passion for journalism. In fact his growing years were characterized by active participation in broadcasting and children talk shows.

Eric is contributor to Africa news . He also reports for other news and radio outlets including GH One TV, Joy News, Capital Radio Sierra Leone and Swit Salone Magazine, cementing his status as a rising star personality around media spheres.

Although Eric is still an undergraduate and has a long way to go, he already has many feathers in his hat as a Bilingual on Air Personality, an MC, a Poet and a Blogger. He has received a lot of recognition in and out of Sierra Leone including 100 Most Influential Youths by the Federation of Patriotic Youth and Child Advocacy Network and the Sierra Youth Magazine.

One thing is for certain; he has come far and is positioned to make huge strides in journalism.


This is a philosophy that I hold on to; it has helped me make the right decisions in my career. I believe it is important to separate your emotions from whatever story you are reporting to remain as objective as possible. But it became impossible to do so once when I was covering a report on the Mortomeh Mudslide. Speaking with people who had suffered severely and lost a lot from the disaster had an impact on me and I had to check myself and not allow tears to fall down my cheeks. It was so difficult to handle, my heart carried a lot of grief for the victims and survivors. I couldn’t do much to help them, but I realized I could tell their story and let others know about them.

This is what fuels my passion for journalism: people have stories that need to be heard and I can help them by telling their stories.


There is still a long way to go in media and journalism in Africa. As Africans, I believe we need to change the way we tell our story. For the longest time our narratives have been in the hands of others. But now we have opportunities to change the narrative. Although it is important to share all sides of a story, we must endeavor to share stories that promote the continent. It is high time we took control and changed the image of the Africa perpetuated by the international media.

Our land is not stricken with war, poverty and diseases, we are much more than that. There is a new evolution in which Africans are also joining, in the community of technology and innovation. This is the story we have to tell and I want to be a part of changing the narrative of Africa.

We have wonderful people, rich cultures and amazing foods. Let’s start telling those stories and sell Africa’s positive image to the world.


With great power comes a lot of responsibility and I believe maintaining a code of ethics plays a very significant role as a journalist. In order to maintain professionalism one should always consider the ethical codes of the profession. In Sierra Leone, we have the Independent Media Code of Practice.

But that is not enough, each journalist must hold himself and his fellows accountable to it. Maintaining professionalism gives you credibility and the general public holds you in high esteem.

It might not be the same for social media especially when our government is yet to establish a “cyber law” but ethics should always be maintained in our job as it can “make or break” us.


I think Freedom of Expression especially for the press is very important. Journalists face a lot of challenges through interference from outside parties and it hinders our abilities to report a story objectively and without duress. The rights of the press must be guarded carefully, I think Sierra Leone has got laws that cover communications. The IMC Code of Practice, Access to Information Law and section 25 (1) of our 1991 Constitution also gives room for freedom of Expression.

The problem is some these laws in Sierra Leone are very limiting, so communicators have been calling for a repeal of part 5 of the Public Order Act of 1965, of which I have joined in protesting against.

I suggest the government scrutinizes the legislations that guarantee Freedom of Expression and of the Press with no interference. They should also put measures in place to ensure that there are laws or policies that ensures the rights of media people are protected.


There are quite a number of media personalities who have inspired me on my journey:

Umaru Fofana– Is a Sierra Leonean Journalist, Hearing his voice on BBC has always made me proud and developed my passion for journalism. I have also had the opportunity to meet and have discussions with him on several occasions. He serves as a mentor.

Abdul Rahman Jalloh – Though I had started broadcasting before meeting him, he served as one of my first tutors and coaches. He taught me some skills in Radio and TV Presentation and encouraged me to believe in myself. I am eternally grateful for his help.

Patrick Sallia– He also played a very significant role in my media journey. He has served as my producer and coached me several times on presentation. He always believes in me and gives me opportunities to explore.

Written by: arianadiaries

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