Sama Tounwendsida Hugues Richard, a 24‑year old journalist from the Observateur Palga magazine in Burkina Faso, won the 2019 West Africa Media Excellence Award for his impactful reporting of mental illness in northern Burkina Faso. He collected first-hand accounts from an association called Sauler (“Save the rest”), which offers psycho-social care and facilitates the reintegration of people with a psycho-social disability. In May 2019, Richard won the Galian 2019 Award for his article on the northern road bridge in Ouagadougou (« Pour aller à Larlé, on monte ou on descend ? »). In an interview, Richard states that he never creates any challenges for himself. I live my daily life. I approach everything with optimism and the desire to give the best of myself regardless of the outcome. I do my job. If tomorrow there are other laureates, that’s great. If not, that’s ok as well. This won’t impact me. As long as I do a job that I freely chose, I do not necessarily expect to receive a reward for doing it,” he declared. He also advised his peers to always look at the experiences of the elders, and see them as models.
Read his article « Maladie mentale dans la région du Nord : Le sacerdoce fou de ‘’vagabonds de la charité » (French)