The Global Media Monitoring Project (GMMP) network joins friends, partners and family in South Sudan to celebrate the life of GMMP country coordinator Ms. Apollonia Mathia who passed away on March 18 in Juba following a road accident.
Apollonia was a dedicated journalist and Executive Director of the Association of Media Women in Southern Sudan (AMWISS). She was also a visionary; long before South Sudan became Africa's youngest state, Apollonia had successfully made a case to insert 'South Sudan' into the GMMP as a country in itself for the purpose of the monitoring.
Ms. Amie Joof of the Inter Africa Network for Women, Media, Gender and Development (FAMEDEV) and GMMP Africa regional co-coordinator writes: Apollonia "was a dear sister, colleague and friend. Africa has lost an illustrious and committed daughter".
Following the global monitoring day for the Fourth GMMP, Apollonia remarked: "It was so interesting to see my monitors busy reading through the newspapers, recording the 06:30 pm news and 08:00 pm South Sudan TV news... just the very exciting moment was when the revelation dawned that some news had no gender representation at all. The monitors instantly understood that issues of importance to women are not really addressed in this part of the country". (13 November 2009).
Later in 2010, Apollonia and her team compiled the South Sudan GMMP country report and organised a report launch event in Juba. They invited representatives from media houses in recognition of media practitioners' roles as key change agents in the struggle for more gender-responsive media. UNIFEM representatives and the government ministers in charge of gender and of information were invited to make presentations at the event.
Apollonia's legacy in introducing critical media monitoring from a gender perspective in South Sudan through the GMMP will live on.
May God rest her soul in peace.
Sarah Macharia,GMMP global coordinator
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