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Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Issa Sikiti da Silva, an award-winning freelance journalist who lived in South Africa for 18 years, began writing for IPS in 2012 when he left South Africa to seek new work challenges in West Africa.
He eventually settled in Senegal but travelled frequently to Mali, from where he wrote some compelling stories about challenges facing women and children in this part of the continent.
From there he began travelling across the region, where he found out that this part of the continent was not only underreported, but was also facing serious issues that had so far escaped the eagle’s eye of Western media.
After a five-year lull, he returned contributing to IPS to kick off where he left off, and where he is currently doing what he was born to do: researching, investigating and writing.
“There is nothing in this world that makes me happy than writing about women and children’s challenges, as well as the environment,” the Kinshasa (DRC)-born journalist said.
“I wish the mainstream media could focus more on the dire situation of women and children living in Africa amid political instability, armed conflict and a deteriorating environment.”
Issa’s vast travelling experience across Africa – about 20 countries – has considerably helped shape his reporting and his view on the natural resources-rich continent, which seems to have become the battleground for foreign powers’ influence, as well as some sort of an “open market”, where everyone comes to buy without paying a cent.
“As long as IPS gives me a chance, I will continue making more noise about the fate of women and children and the youth of this continent, as well as the sorry state of its environment.”
Issa, who also worked in the South African media industry for 10 years, won the SADC Media 2010 Awards in print category.