Morlai Ibrahim Kamara, a staff reporter and team lead at Sierraloaded, has been named among the first-ever recipient of the Vickie Remoe Prize for News Writing in Sierra Leone. His award comes with a prize of NLE15,000.

The story which earned him the news writing award shed light on homeless police officers who are sleeping rough with their families as a result of a fire disaster in Freetown.

โ€œI feel honored for my work to be recognized. I consider the nomination as a springboard and motivation to do more to aspire for higher heights in the field of Journalism,โ€, Kamara told his colleagues when he was first nominated.

While reflecting on the efforts taken in pursuing the story, he said, “There are some tasks we embark on that will not pay off now but will surely yield benefits in the future. In recent times, I had to re-visit the fire victims (police officers) and conduct fresh interviews with them, unfortunately, nothing has changed as they are still sleeping rough in a canteen and their houses are yet to be constructed.

“Personally, I felt bad that IG Sovula promised to look into their plight but couldn’t do anything for them. Current Inspector General of Police, Fayia Sellu, had also visited them with words of encouragement but nothing has been done for these serving police officers to get decent accommodations.”

Kamara, who joined Sierraloaded in 2021 was recently promoted to the role of a Team Lead. Since joining Sierraloaded, he has pursued human interest and sports stories. He has over a thousand stories to his credit and was awarded a special certificate in 2021 by researchers from Bournemouth University for his contributions to the “Tie U Orjra Project.”

A total of 39 applications were submitted for the 2023 Vickie Remoe Prize for Journalism and New Media. Thirteen submissions, categorized as The Vickie Remoe Prize for News Writing, Photography, Film, and New Media, were shortlisted as the best entries. These submissions were evaluated by a panel of Sierra Leonean media professionals who used excellence, originality, quality research, and creativity as the criteria for assessment.

The Vickie Remoe Prize recognizes emerging journalists and new media content creators for their excellence, originality, and creativity.