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.
GMMP global coordinator
On behalf of the GMMP team from the Caribbean islands of St Vincent and the Grenadines, we send our deepest condolences to Apollonia's family and GMMP team members in South Sudan. It was beautiful to read that Ms. Mathia lived a life dedicated to improving the gender differences in her country and her struggle to help the women in Southern Sudan must never be forgotten. Keep her fire burning South Sudan, we LOVE you!!!
Sheron Garraway, St Vincent
As the co-ordinator for GMMP Tonga I wish on behalf of the monitoring team of Tonga to pay our condolence for the loss of Apollonia Mathia. Apollonia's work speaks for itself. We join all in prayers and may her soul rest in peace.
Ms Betty Hafoka Blake, Tonga
Her legacy will for always echo in our hearts and minds. May her soul rest in peace.
Sarry Xoagus-Eises, Namibia
From Papua New Guinea, our deepest condolences to Ms. Mathia's family and friends. We pray God will give them peace of heart and mind during this sad time. "Mipla stap wantaim yupla lo tingting na pre" (We are with you in thought and prayer). May she rest in eternal peace.
Joys Eggins, Papua New Guinea
On behalf of Gemsa Mocambique, we send our condolences for her family. Rest in peace
Sincere condolences from all monitors in Mauritius. This is indeed a great loss. Our sympathy to the family.
Loga Virahsawmy, Director, Gender Links (Mauritius and Francophone Office) President, Media Watch Organisation-GEMSA