Chika Oduah

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Chika Oduah
Chika Oduah El Mundo Spain Madrid.jpg
Chika Oduah in 2016. Credit: Silvia Varela
Chikaodinaka Sandra Oduah

(1986-03-14) March 14, 1986 (age 32)
Nationality Nigerian, American
Alma mater
Occupation Journalist
Years active 2010–present

Chikaodinaka Sandra Oduah (born March 14, 1986) is a Nigerian-American journalist who works as a television news producer, writer, photographer and correspondent.[1] Known for her unique human-focused ethnographic reporting style with an anthropological approach,[2][3] she was awarded a CNN Multichoice African Journalist Award in 2016. Upon the abduction of 276 schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Chibok, Northeastern Nigeria, she was among the first international journalists to visit the town. Her thorough and exclusive coverage of the event won her the Trust Women "Journalist of The Year Award" from the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2014.[4]

Early life and education

Oduah is of the Igbo ethnic group. She was born as the eldest of seven children into the Christian family of Dr. Emmanuel and Mercy Oduah on March 14, 1986 in Ogbaru, Anambra State and moved to Metro Atlanta, United States with her family at the age of 2.[5] During her time in high school, Chika joined VOX newspaper as a staff reporter with her focus majorly on stories about immigrants and refugees in Atlanta.

In 2004, Oduah worked at the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services in Doraville, Georgia where she taught refugee teenagers from Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda and South Sudan. Between 2004 – 2008, she attended Georgia State University where she studied film, anthropology and broadcast journalism and was awarded a bachelor of arts degree in anthropology and a second bachelor of arts degree in telecommunications. During her time in Georgia State University, she served as Vice President of the University's chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists. She is also an alumna of the Medill School of Journalism where she received her Master of Science degree in 2010 after studying broadcast journalism.[6]


In 2009, she worked as a commercial photographer in Atlanta and in 2010 she started working as a television news reporter and documentary feature producer for K24 in Nairobi, Kenya where she worked with Jeff Koinange. She also worked for National Broadcasting Corporation and Sahara Reporters as a reporter.

Oduah relocated to Nigeria in 2012 and began working with Al Jazeera as a freelance reporter and television news producer. She also worked with CNN and the Associated Press and is currently a correspondent for Voice of America and the English language channel of France 24.[7] Her 2012 interview with Nigerian pop music celebrity D’Banj for Sahara TV was widely viewed and generated various reactions.[8] Chika Oduah's works has been published in notable media platforms including New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, CNN and The Huffington Post.[9][10]

In 2014, Oduah rose to recognition after her coverage of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, thus making her win the 2014 Trust Women "Journalist of The Year Award" from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.[6] One of her editorials published on The Atlantic titled "In the Land of Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls" saw her selected as a finalist of the 2015 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.[11][12]

Oduah made her Al Jazeera onscreen debut when Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary in November 2015 about breast cancer that Chika reported alongside Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.[13] Oduah’s human-focused reporting on the Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria highlights the plight of women and children with exclusive coverage on orphans, escapees and wives of jihadists[14][15][16]

Awards and recognition

She was the winner of the 2015 African Story Challenge award by the African Media Initiative and the International Center for Journalists for her coverage of the aftermath of a 2010 lead poison outbreak in Nigeria, a project which also won her the Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award at the 2016 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.[17] On March 8, 2016 she was listed in YNaija's "Nigeria's 100 Most Inspiring Women", before she went on to be voted the category winner of The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for Journalism at the eleventh edition of The Future Awards.[18][19][20] In September 2016, she became the inaugural recipient of the Young Reporter for a Sustainable Future Award from the International Center for Journalists in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.[21]


  1. ^ Courtney McLarnon (5 June 2015). "Our Interview of the Month with Chika Oduah". Make Every Woman Count. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  2. ^ Sarda, Juan (5 March 2016). "Una mujer contra Boko Haram". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  3. ^ Chika Oduah (30 June 2015). "A Close Encounter With Boko Haram". New York Times. Zhu Ping. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ Walstrom, Stephanie (5 May 2015). "Award Winner Chika Oduah on women, technology and "demystifying" Africa". ONE Campaign. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  5. ^ Nkem-Eneanya, Jennifer (2 April 2013). "Chika Oduah: The Journalist and Writer Extraordinaire Is Live On Konnect Africa!!!". Konnect Africa. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Goldsmith, Belinda (18 November 2014). "PROFILE-Nigeria journalist puts faces to girls kidnapped by Boko Haram". Thomson Reuters Foundation. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  7. ^ Ochieng, Akinyi (31 May 2015). "Behind the headlines with Chika Oduah". Ayiba Magazine. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  8. ^ "BN Bytes: Grilling or Interview? You Decide. Check Out D'banj on SaharaReportersTV". BellaNaija. 19 February 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Nigeria - A Fractured Giant?". The Huffington Post. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Chibok: the village that lost its daughters to Boko Haram". The Guardian. Chibok. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Finalists 2015". Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  12. ^ Oduah, Chika (21 May 2014). "In the Land of Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Ghana: Cancer Ward". Al Jazeera. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  14. ^ "The women who love and loved Boko Haram - News from". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  15. ^ Oduah, Chika (2015-03-23). "Life as a Boko Haram Captive | Al Jazeera America". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  16. ^ "The lost children of Nigeria: Boko Haram orphans thousands".
  17. ^ CNN International (2015-12-09). "CNN Journalist Award: 2016". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  18. ^ Salihu, Idoko (19 December 2016). "Winners of Future Awards Africa 2016 named". Premium Times. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  19. ^ "21 winners emerge in The Future Awards Africa". The Guardian. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  20. ^ N, Emeka (8 March 2016). "'Arunma Oteh, Tara Fela-Durotoye, Yasmine Belo-Osagie & more. These are Nigeria's 100 Most Inspiring Women – #YWomen100 #LLA100Women". YNaija. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  21. ^ "Nigerian-American Reporter Wins Award for Coverage of Pressing Global Issues | ICFJ - International Center for Journalists". ICFJ. 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2017-02-09.

External links

  • Official website
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