Africa: How Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi Is Transforming Africa's Media Landscape

press release

Changing the narrative, balancing stories to improve the lives of Africa's women and children positively: An interview with Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi, a Women in Media Network Champion.

Eleanor Ayuketah Ngochi is a Cameroonian online journalist who has spent the past decade carving out a niche for herself in a challenging and transformative field. As one of the pioneering champions of the Trusts' Women in Media Network (WIMN) and an award-winning journalist with Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), her decade-long career reflects a deep commitment to changing the narrative of African women and children. With interests in health, development, and environmental issues, she also covers sports and political stories.

In 2017, she received an award from the Graça Machel Trust for her writing skills. Eleanor contributed to writing and editing stories in the Trust's Women Creating Wealth book 'A Compilation of Stories About Female Entrepreneurs from Across the Continent.' In 2022, the Cameroon Radio Television awarded her for her tenacious coverage of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations. In this interview, Eleanor shares her early inspirations, the rewards of her advocacy, how she navigates the challenges she has faced in the media landscape and most importantly her memorable moments and impact.

Q: Could you tell us how you got involved with the WIMN network?

Eleanor: My involvement began in 2016 when the Graça Machel Trust recognised my work through my online articles. They were particularly impressed by some of the stories I shared on Twitter about women and children, which led them to invite me to join the network and the subsequent WIMN inception meeting in South Africa. There, I joined other women from across Africa to form the network which aims to transform the narrative of African women and children in the media, moving away from the discourse of victimhood to survivor.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about your work with WIMN?

Eleanor: The most rewarding aspect is the profound shift in how I perceive and represent women and children through my stories. Before joining WIMN, my approach often inadvertently portrayed them as victims. Now, I focus on empowerment and overcoming adversity, such as in stories of resilience following traumatic events like rape. These narratives provide hope and drive positive change by highlighting the strength and potential of African women and children.

Q: Could you describe some of the challenges you have faced in this space as a woman?

Eleanor: One significant challenge is overcoming gender stereotypes within the industry. Sometimes, news sources or even colleagues might question my capabilities or expect something in return for information because I am a woman. Additionally, when I propose stories about women's and children's issues, they are sometimes not taken seriously due to a lack of shared passion.

Q: How has being a member of the WIMN network shaped you personally and professionally?

Eleanor: Professionally, it has made my storytelling more daring and intentional. It has deepened my commitment to advocating for women and children not just in Cameroon, but across Africa. The network has provided a supportive community that extends beyond borders, offering camaraderie and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

Q: What is one of your favourite moments from working with the Trust?

Eleanor: A standout memory would be the Women Advancing Africa meeting in Mozambique in 2017. It marked the beginning of us developing a strategic approach to our advocacy work. Such meetings reinforce our mission and strengthen our bonds as a network.

Q: Finally, how has your involvement with the Trust impacted your life?

Eleanor: It has reshaped how I view my role as a journalist and advocate. Where I once might have hesitated to speak out, I now find myself at the forefront, advocating for fairness and dignity for all. This shift in perspective is about changing others' views and affirming the importance of every story that highlights joy, resilience, and empowerment.

Through her words and actions, Eleanor exemplifies the power of media to advance change for a new generation of women and children in Africa. Her journey underscores the transformative impact of networks like WIMN in shaping the media landscape and the societal norms that influence our everyday lives.

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