News

Ugandan Lawyer Victor Ochen Nominated For The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

33-year-old Ugandan lawyer Victor Ochen and the African Youth Initiative Network have been nominated for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.


Desmond Tutu & 2015 Nobel Peace Prize nominee Victor Ochen (Photo: Courtesy of Victor Ochen)

On Tuesday, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) nominated Ugandan lawyer and grassroots activist Victor Ochen and his African Youth Initiative Network for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. According to the African Leadership Institute, at 33 Ochen is the youngest African to be nominated for the award, which is one of the five Nobel Prize categories awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee annually (with a few exceptions) since 1901.

“Victor Ochen has consistently shown both commitment and effectiveness in his efforts to address the needs of victims. He has worked for transitional justice, while simultaneously promoting human rights through nonviolent means, nourishing the leadership skills of other young people, and challenging systemic issues that lead to the continued vulnerability and suffering of war victims,” the AFSC wrote in its nomination letter. Ochen, who was born and raised in Abia (a former command post of the Lord's Resistance Army) in the Lira district of northern Uganda, founded the African Youth Initiative Network (AYIN) in 2005. Supporting communities affected by the LRA, the Lira-based non-profit aims to bring about transitional justice and healing in northern Uganda through two key areas: medical rehabilitation and the promotion of youth leadership.

Ochen and AYINET “offer a unique and powerful example to be emulated by marginalized people all over the world," added the AFSC, a Quaker organization who themselves won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. "We therefore respectfully request that the Norwegian Nobel Committee recognize Victor Ochen and the African Youth Initiative Network’s work on behalf of victims of violent conflict by awarding them the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize.”

AYINET wrote in an acceptance note on their website, "The nomination is a sign of deep respect for victims and survivors of unspeakable atrocities who, instead of being crushed by war, struggled and regained their dignity that allows them to leave in peace with their fellow humans. Further, it is a recognition for those victims who have devoted their lives to heal others. Many such people represent AYINET today, notably our director and founder, Mr. Victor Ochen."

Read more on Victor Ochen and the African Youth Initiative Network's 2015 Nobel Peace Prize nomination via AFSC.

**Correction: February 22, 2015

An earlier version of this article listed Victor Ochen as the first Ugandan to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Though not all nominees are announced, Dr. Frank Mugisha, a leading Ugandan gay rights activist, was nominated in 2014. Find more on Mugisha's work via Sexual Minorities Uganda, where he serves as Executive Director.

popular
Image courtesy of ARRAY.

What to Watch at Home During Coronavirus Shutdown: ARRAY's New Digital African Film Series

The film platform, from director Ava DuVernay, is hosting a weekly movie-viewing experience for the "global online community of cinephiles."

If you're looking for African films to dive into while at home during the coronavirus outbreak, a new digital series from award-winning director Ava DuVernay's film collective ARRAY is a great place to start. The multi-media platform and arts collective is launching its #ARRAYMatinee series, and each film will be available for viewing here.

#ARRAYMatinee is a virtual movie-viewing experience that will screen a string of the collective's previously released independent films from Africa and the diaspora. The weekly series begins on Wednesday, April 1 with a viewing of the 2015 South African coming-of-age film Ayanda. "Viewers will take a cinematic journey to the international destinations and cultures featured in five films that were released via the ARRAY Releasing independent film distribution collective that amplifies that work of emerging filmmakers of color and women of all kinds," says the platform in a press release. To promote a communal viewing experience, viewers are also encouraged to have discussions on Twitter, using the hashtag #ARRAYMatinee.

The five-part series will run weekly until May 13, and also includes films from Liberia, Ghana, and Grenada. See the full viewing schedule below with descriptions from ARRAY, and visit ARRAY's site at the allotted times to watch.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
"Mafa Mafa" cover art.

Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf Team Up for New Track 'Mafa Mafa'

Check out a new one from Davido's label DMW.

Now is a better time than ever to take in new music, and thankfully, some of our favorite artists have been delivering.

Nigerian stars Davido, Peruzzi, Dremo and The Flowolf inked up for the new collaborative track "Mafa Mafa," under Davido's record label DMW, which launched back in 2018. The song features mostly rapping as the artists trade verses back and forth in Yoruba. "Mafa" is a Yoruba saying that loosely translates to "don't pull it."

Davido originally teased the song with a short dance video shared last week.

Keep reading... Show less
News Brief
Image by Sabelo Mkhabela.

'If you have no savings you are screwed': South African Artists Call For Coronavirus Relief

South African artists take to social media to criticize the government's lack of plans during the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.

On Monday morning, a few ministers—including the minister of the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa—asked South Africans on Twitter to partake in a #LockdowngymChallenge.

Keep reading... Show less
popular
Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP via Getty Images

The First Black President of a First-Tier European Football Club Passes Away

Pape Diouf, the former President of French football club Marseille, has died after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Pape Diouf, the former President of French football club Marseille, has died according to reports by The Guardian.

Diouf, who is of Senegalese origin, had been hospitalised in Senegal after having tested positive for the coronavirus. He was 68.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

news.

popular.