Chika Oduah

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Chika Oduah
Chika Oduah 2018.jpg
Chikaodinaka Sandra Oduah

(1986-03-14) March 14, 1986 (age 37)
NationalityNigerian, American
Alma mater
Years active2010–present

Chikaodinaka Sandra Oduah (born March 14, 1986) is a Nigerian-American journalist who has worked as a television news producer, correspondent, writer and photographer.[1] She is currently a correspondent for VICE News.[2] Known for her unique human-focused ethnographic reporting style with an anthropological approach,[3][4] she was awarded a CNN Multichoice African Journalist Award in 2016. Upon the abduction of 276 schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram in Chibok, northeastern Nigeria, she was the first international journalist to visit and spend extensive time in the remote community of Chibok. Her thorough and exclusive coverage of the mass kidnapping won her the Trust Women "Journalist of The Year Award" from the Thomson Reuters Foundation in 2014.[5] Oduah's reporting explores culture, history, conflict, human rights, and development to capture the complexities, hopes and everyday realities of Africans and people of African descent.[6]

Early life and education[edit]

Oduah is of the Igbo ethnic group. She was born as the eldest of seven children to Dr. Emmanuel and Mercy Oduah on March 14, 1986, in Ogbaru, Anambra State and moved to Metro Atlanta, United States with her family at the age of 2.[7] During her time in high school, Chika joined VOX newspaper as a staff reporter with particular on stories about immigrants and refugees in Atlanta.

In 2004, Oduah worked at the Center for Pan-Asian Community Services in Doraville, Georgia where she taught refugee teenagers from Sudan, Afghanistan, Liberia, Iraq, Bosnia, Rwanda and South Sudan.

Between 2004 – 2008, she attended Georgia State University where she studied film, anthropology and broadcast journalism and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in telecommunications broadcast journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree in anthropology. During her time in Georgia State University, she served as Vice President of the University's chapter of the Society for Professional Journalists, wrote for the Signal Newspaper and contributed to the university radio station, WRAS Album 88.5FM. She is also an alumna of the Medill School of Journalism of Northwestern University where she received her Master of Science degree in 2010 after studying broadcast journalism.[8]


In 2009, she worked as a commercial photographer in Atlanta and in 2010 she relocated to Nairobi, Kenya to work as a television news reporter and documentary features producer for K24 where she met Jeff Koinange. She also worked for National Broadcasting Corporation at Rockefeller Center in New York, where she reported for The Grio. She later worked at Sahara Reporters.

Oduah relocated to Nigeria in 2012 and began working with Al Jazeera as a reporter and television news producer. She also worked with CNN, the Associated Press, Voice of America and the English language channel of France 24.[9]

Chika Oduah's work has been published in notable media platforms including The New York Times, The Guardian, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, CNN and The Huffington Post.[10][11]

In 2014, Oduah rose to recognition after her coverage of the Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping, thus making her win the 2014 Trust Women "Journalist of The Year Award" from the Thomson Reuters Foundation.[8] One of her stories published in The Atlantic titled "In the Land of Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls" saw her selected as a finalist of the 2015 Livingston Awards for Young Journalists.[12][13]

In 2017, Oduah relocated to Dakar, Senegal. She made her Al Jazeera onscreen debut when Al Jazeera broadcast a documentary in November 2015 about breast cancer that Chika reported alongside Ghanaian undercover investigative journalist, Anas Aremeyaw Anas.[14] Since 2012, Oduah has covered the ongoing Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram in northeastern Nigeria.[15] Her reporting highlights the plight of women and children with exclusive coverage on orphans, mediation talks,[16] escapees and wives of jihadists[17][18][19] In 2017, she launched Biafran War Memories, a digital archive which seeks to preserve the history and first-hand accounts of the Nigerian-Biafran War.[20][21]

Awards and recognition[edit]

She was the winner of the 2015 African Story Challenge award by the African Media Initiative and the International Center for Journalists for her coverage of the aftermath of a 2010 lead poison outbreak in Nigeria, a project which also won her the Dow Technology & Innovation Reporting Award at the 2016 CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.[22] On March 8, 2016, she was listed in YNaija's "Nigeria's 100 Most Inspiring Women", before she went on to be voted the category winner of The Future Awards and EbonyLife Prize for Journalism at the eleventh edition of The Future Awards.[23][24][25] In September 2016, she became the inaugural recipient of the Young Reporter for a Sustainable Future Award from the International Center for Journalists in partnership with the United Nations Foundation.[26]

She won the 2018 Percy Qoboza Award, an annual honor by The National Association of Black Journalists in the United States to the journalist who best exemplifies the spirit of Percy Qoboza.[27]


  1. ^ Courtney McLarnon (5 June 2015). "Our Interview of the Month with Chika Oduah". Make Every Woman Count. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  2. ^ Chika Oduah (5 December 2020). "Police brutality in Nigeria". VICENews Youtube. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  3. ^ Sarda, Juan (5 March 2016). "Una mujer contra Boko Haram". El Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  4. ^ Chika Oduah (30 June 2015). "A Close Encounter With Boko Haram". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  5. ^ Walstrom, Stephanie (5 May 2015). "Award Winner Chika Oduah on women, technology and "demystifying" Africa". ONE Campaign. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  6. ^ Oduah, Chika (9 December 2020). "Award Winner Chika Oduah- Rest of the World". Rest of World. Retrieved 25 January 2021.
  7. ^ Nkem-Eneanya, Jennifer (2 April 2013). "Chika Oduah: The Journalist and Writer Extraordinaire Is Live On Konnect Africa!!!". Konnect Africa. Retrieved 24 March 2016.
  8. ^ a b Goldsmith, Belinda (18 November 2014). "PROFILE-Nigeria journalist puts faces to girls kidnapped by Boko Haram". Thomson Reuters Foundation. Retrieved 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ Ochieng, Akinyi (31 May 2015). "Behind the headlines with Chika Oduah". Ayiba Magazine. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Nigeria - A Fractured Giant?". The Huffington Post. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Chibok: the village that lost its daughters to Boko Haram". The Guardian. Chibok. 15 May 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Finalists 2015". Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  13. ^ Oduah, Chika (21 May 2014). "In the Land of Nigeria's Kidnapped Girls". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Ghana: Cancer Ward". Al Jazeera. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2016.
  15. ^ "Reporter's Diary: Still on the trail of Boko Haram". The New Humanitarian. 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  16. ^ "'Mama Boko Haram': one woman's extraordinary mission to rescue 'her boys' from terrorism – podcast". The Guardian. 3 August 2020. Retrieved 26 January 2021.
  17. ^ "The women who love and loved Boko Haram - News from". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  18. ^ Oduah, Chika (2015-03-23). "Life as a Boko Haram Captive | Al Jazeera America". Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  19. ^ "The lost children of Nigeria: Boko Haram orphans thousands".
  20. ^ Oduah, Chika (30 May 2018). "Opinion: Why young Africans need to know their history". CNN.
  21. ^ Commentary, Chika Oduah. "Nigeria needs to start talking about the horrors of the Biafra war, fifty years on". Quartz Africa.
  22. ^ CNN International (2015-12-09). "CNN Journalist Award: 2016". Archived from the original on 2017-01-16. Retrieved 2017-02-09. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  23. ^ Salihu, Idoko (19 December 2016). "Winners of Future Awards Africa 2016 named". Premium Times. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  24. ^ "21 winners emerge in The Future Awards Africa". The Guardian. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  25. ^ N, Emeka (8 March 2016). "'Arunma Oteh, Tara Fela-Durotoye, Yasmine Belo-Osagie & more. These are Nigeria's 100 Most Inspiring Women – #YWomen100 #LLA100Women". YNaija. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  26. ^ "Nigerian-American Reporter Wins Award for Coverage of Pressing Global Issues | ICFJ - International Center for Journalists". ICFJ. 2016-09-13. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  27. ^ Riley, Jovan. "NABJ Honors Chika Oduah with 2018 Percy Qoboza Award". Retrieved 2021-01-26.

External links[edit]