Mayoyo holding a momento after winning the 2022 The National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication that is given by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures. PHOTO/UGC
By ABDULHAKIM SHERMAN
Patrick Mayoyo is a dynamic, skilled, innovative and experienced, award-winning investigative journalist with a remarkable track record in social justice. He boasts more than 10 international journalism awards in his career spanning more than two decades now.
He is an advocate for stories that spotlight human rights violations, environmental degradation, transparency and accountability, democracy and good governance, gender inclusivity and those that highlight public interest issues and generally aim to spark reforms.
The London School of Journalism trained scribe is the 2022 winner of The National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication that is given by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures.
Mayoyo topped the science journalist local or regional category and in their citation, the judges said he worked hard to incorporate facts, figures, and explain clearly the science of what he was talking about – whether it was fungi, carbon credits, or tectonic plates.
“He illustrates scientific phenomena in a unique and meaningful ways by incorporating tradition and centering his work on ideas that are largely unheard of,” the judges concluded.
Mayoyo is also the 2021 gold winner of The Prince Albert II of Monaco & United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) Global Prize for Coverage of Climate Change for a series of stories he did on how Kenyan villagers are using carbon credits trading and indigenous knowledge to fight the effects of climate change.
Mayoyo is the winner of 2022 National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards for Excellence in Science Communication that is given by the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in partnership with Schmidt Futures. PHOTO/UGC
In their citation, the judges described Mayoyo as an investigative journalist and environmental enthusiast whose submissions consisted of important and complex environmental stories.
“His stories highlight deforestation and destruction of the Mau Forest ecosystem as a major contributor to massive flooding. Mayoyo’s work is characterized by a combination of vivid on-the-ground reporting, supplemented by relevant scientific analysis and UN reports,” the citation noted.
In 2018 Mayoyo won a bronze medal for the same UNCA award for his series of stories on why Kenya’s plan to invest in a coal plant in the idyllic Lamu Island that is a UNESCO World Heritage site went against its commitments to The Paris Agreement that entered into force on November 4, 2016.
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 Celsius by investing more in clean energy by keeping off fossil fuels that include coal.
In 2017, Mayoyo bagged the Nobert Zongo Africa Investigative Award for his expose titled Lunatic Express Files on how World Bank loans to Rift Valley Railways (RVR) meant to improve the Kenya-Uganda Railway were misappropriated.
In the story, Mayoyo a former Deputy News Editor with the Daily Nation, detailed how part of Sh 17 billion (US$164million) loans meant to improve RVR’s services by buying new locomotives was used on purchasing used ones that were modified at a cost of six times their value.
Mayoyo is also the winner of the 2016 European Commission`s Lorenzo Natali Media Prize.
He won the Europe professional category with the story, “How to grow food in a slum: lessons from the sack farmers of Kibera” that was published by The Guardian of UK.
The story revealed how residents of Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya, one of Africa’s largest slums, had found a new way of responding to the challenges of food insecurity and climate change.
Mayoyo receiving the Social and Environmental Responsibility World Journalism Prize in 2007 that was given by the World Editors Forum.
An investigation Mayoyo did on the phenomenon of disappearing glaciers on Africa’s top mountains after he successfully climbed to the peaks of both Mt Kenya in Kenya and Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania won him four awards.
The awards included the 2014 CNN African Journalist Awards Environment Category winner, 2014 African Climate Change and Environmental Reporting (ACCER) award online category and overall winner and the 2013 East Africa Community Awards’ Environment Reporting award and the 2017 KCK International Award for Excellence in Print Journalism.
An expose he did on how oil exploration firms searching for oil in Kenya did so in total disregard to internationally accepted principles for sustainable development won him the Social and Environmental Responsibility World Journalism Prize in 2007.
Mayoyo is the 2014-2015 The ACCER Awards Finalists Academy (TAAFA) Fellow, 2020-2021 French Media Development Fellow, 2022 Thomson Reuters Foundation (TRF), Wealth of Nations Media Skills Development Program Fellow and the 2023 The National Academies Eric and Wendy Schmidt Awards Fellow in partnersip with the Knight Science Journalism Program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).