Female Liberian Journalist Produces International Documentary on Plight of African Migrants
Monrovia-A young Liberian female Journalist, Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh has completed a documentary on the plight of Liberian migrants and other Africans trying to cross the Sahara Desert and make daring attempts to reach Europe by boat across the Mediterranean Sea.
Her hour-long video documentary commissioned by the renowned media outlet, National Geographic is titled: “Tales of Liberian and Other African Migrants in Niger, their journey to Europe.”
Besides the video documentary, the Liberian Journalist has also produced online article and radio pieces which are due to be published between July 5-10, 2019 in both local and international media outlets.
Journalist Kpadeh-Seagbeh says gathering the contents for her documentary around the West African region was made possible through a story grant from the National Geographic Society.
“I was able to travel to Niger along with a cinematographer who did the filming where I successfully gather facts about issues surrounding Liberians and other Africans who got stranded, rescued and taken to the IOM transits in Niger,” she says.
This story idea came to her back in 2018 after she covered the arrival of 130 Liberian migrants deported from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Niger, Libya and other countries.
“They had illegally entered those countries in their quest to reach Europe. Some of them I interviewed on arrival at the Roberts International Airport explained their harrowing experiences in those countries and the desert. They told me how Liberians and other Africans were still in Niger after being rescued by IOM in the desert and taken to the transit center awaiting repatriation. This made me more passionate about their stories. The piece produced from that interview was published on my blog and broadcast on DW Africa Link,” says the Liberian female Journalist.
Evelyn formerly reported for the Liberian Women Democracy Radio (LWDR) and served as Correspondent for Turkish News Agency (Anadolu Agency) from mid-2014 to 2016. Currently, she is serving in similar post with Deutsche Welle (DW Africa) German National Broadcaster.
“I wanted to go to either of the countries mentioned above to have firsthand facts on the ground on what those Liberians and other Africans were going through attempting to enter Europe,” she explains.
“Tales of Liberians and other African Migrants in Niger” is emotional, and nonetheless makes me to deeply reflect on decisions people sometimes make in life and how those decisions impact them. Besides, it also brings out some of the contributing factors that are leading Africans to flee their homeland to other countries; especially Europe. The contents also tell the harrowing experiences of Liberians and other Africans in the desert and host countries, the roles those countries and organizations are playing to have the stranded migrants repatriated back home and controversies their repatriation, among others,” Evelyn explains.
This Liberian female Journalist has won three prestigious media awards – two from the Press Union of Liberia and one from the Liberia Media Center sponsored by UN Women Liberia.
“My overall goals for taking on the “Tales of Liberian and African Migrants” are to provide factual information on what Liberians and other African Migrants endure in their quest to illegally enter Europe; to create awareness especially among Liberians on risks associated with such expedition; to bring governments’ attention to the number of their citizens that took the risk but did not achieve their dream of entering Europe and are now stranded; to highlight the roles host country Niger, the IMO and other actors are playing to help the stranded African Migrants rescued from the desert,” this young and enterprising Liberian female Journalist says.
It is no doubt that the professional tenacity she is made of, the “Tales of Liberians and other African Migrants in Niger” is certainly not going to be her last on the international arena when it comes to documentaries.
“My passion for the media began taking root since joining high school press clubs and the Firestone Agriculture Workers Union of Liberia Radio Station Stone FM. I afterward worked for the Voice of Firestone Radio and the Liberia Women Democracy Radio from 2011-2016. At the Women Democracy Radio, I excelled from the post of Reporter to Senior Reporter and then to Executive Producer. While there, I covered the House of Representatives and later the Executive Mansion (Presidency), though for a relatively brief period,” Journalist Evelyn Kpadeh Seagbeh says.