Isis-WICCE congratulates Jolly, Institute alumna from Democratic Republic of Congo for winning the HARUBUNTU Prize. At 36 years old, married and mother of three children, Kamuntu Jolly is a woman of character and of communication too. She graduated in law before she joined the radio Maendeleo as one adhering to religion: with passion. In 2000, she joined the Catholic Radio Maria; she later on joined radio Maendeleo in 2004 to date. There she worked as an associate, then as a journalist and producer, as a program manager and editor before she becomes the Director. Today, she is the Coordinator of the AFEM (Association of Women in Media in South Kivu)
In South Kivu region, rural communities have little rights of speech. They make the majority of the left out in the general management of public affairs. Because of conflicts, armed groups abound and make the peasants’ situation even more precarious. In this region, injustice has become the rule rather than the exception. Rural communities have all difficulties in playing their role in local development.
Fiercely opposed to injustice, Kamuntu Jolly first settled in her work as a journalist. She gives the floor to everybody, both women and men, without favoring one voice than another. Better, she give the floor to people in their language, she is interested in their wealth despite the poverty they live in … She goes to the field to listen to experiences of those who participated in armed conflicts; she covers trials describing cases of glaring injustice. In doing so, she utters a word, or allows expressing a word which reveals more truth than the well-known truth. This has attracted to her daily life threats. She constantly advocate for the creation of Radio Clubs and for their empowerment. To date, there are 145 of them. These radios organize internal debates and broadcast them because they are the closest to the villagers in their daily life. Through Radio Clubs, communities are able to freely express themselves, to talk, to share experiences, to share their lives and stand together for a change.
The Harubuntu Dimension
She could simply be a good journalist capable to spend weeks with rebels in order to give an account that no one can provide. She could simply give the floor to everybody, but it would simply be as expected since this is the reason as to why community radios have been created. What makes her famous is the fact that she promotes the culture of openness, dialogue and free speech. Her action goes far beyond her task as journalist. Her strength lies in her ability to bring together local communities around “Radio Clubs” which air the thoughts and the words of these communities.
Through her action, rural people have finally overcome their fear of the authorities; people feel free to express their opinion on issues like peace, local governance, or on local organizations. Her action is unleashing local potentials. Finally, she is famous because she challenges the stereotypes about women. Through her actions, her energy, her determination and her sense of justice, she shows other women that they can also bring about a change in South Kivu.
HARUBUNTU prize is open for the persons who bring hope to their community. Men and women who transform positively their environment.