Alex Basopo Njovu, Zambian journalist is a senior reporter with Zambia Daily Mail, has 16 years of experience in journalism with a mission of being a role model of success and achievement by performing to the best of his abilities in everything.
Alex has won so many awards ranging from most decent employee in 2012, most hardworking employee, best reporter on water and sanitation among others. He covers news and sports and he is the spokesperson for Northern Region Airtel Media Club Zambia.
According to him, I have always been a writer and my earliest passion was to grow up and become a paid writer. When my single mother died in 2000 my aunties and uncles pleaded with me to become a teacher so that I could easily get a job in government and start looking after my siblings as the first born in the family but I disagreed with them and told them I wanted to be a Journalist, they were upset with me, they rebuked me harshly and disowned me. They refused to pay my tuition fees but that did not discourage me. Their argument was that journalism is a saturated field where the competition is immense, in as much as they had a point I believed I could pull through in the saturated career because we live in the world of competition.
The second factor that influenced me to be a journalist is that the world has stories that are moving, stories that change lives. These stories need to be told with competence, accuracy and fairness. I believe as a journalist we are here to educate the masses with information that will make them question, how we can make this world a better place for everyone. Journalists are responsible for bringing these issues to the forefront and challenging the public to face and correct society. Furthermore, I am a journalist because I believe there are people out there who have stories that the world needs to hear. Without journalists, the world would be a bad place and far more ignorant than it is today.
One of the challenging moments in my career was in 2014 when I was dragged by a citizen of Netherlands but resident in a small mining town on the Copperbelt Province called Kalulushi in Zambia. This man was using his dogs to sleep with young girls to make movies which he sold in Europe. As fate may have it one day the community in Kalulushi rioted, burnt a police station after news broke out that his dog had sex with a girl after she was drugged. When the newspaper I work for [the Zambia Daily Mail] carried the story and other run up stories I was dragged to the Zambian High Court for alleged defamation. I was sued in my individual capacity as a reporter and my employers were also sued. To win such a case I needed to produce one of the victims to confess in court but most of the victims were reluctant to tell their stories and the Non-Government Organizations [NGOs] that assured me they would testify in my favour withdrew for fear of being caught up in the web. The police equally refused to testify as the man had paid some of them, and yet they were aware of what he was doing with young innocent girls. To worsen the situation most of the victims shifted from the town where the incident happened as people were laughing at them that a dog(s) had broken their virginity instead of human beings. I had to move around Zambia in the remotest parts of the country in search of these girls, luckily I found one of them in a town called Kalomo in Southern part of the country and she bravely told the court that she slept with a dog for about 45 minutes against her will after she was drugged. She narrated the ordeal, that was how the court ruled in my favour and I won the case.
He also has these to say to young and aspiring journalists, “be focused, never lose hope and guard against being used by corrupt sources who want to find their way to the top through the back door or the sources who want to enrich themselves at the expense of the community they serve. Cub reporters especially young ladies, be wary against sources that want to sleep with you and editors that want to sexually exploit you before they can use your stories and other favours”.