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Sonja Smith

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Sonja Smith
Journalist

Sonja Smith is an award-winning journalist and a correspondent for the Associated Press based in Namibia.

Sonja Smith is an award-winning journalist based in Namibia. She is a member of the Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism (CCIJ) and a correspondent for the Associated Press. Smith has worked for various Namibian media outlets, including Confidente, the Windhoek Observer, and The Namibian.

Her CCIJ investigation on the working conditions of Namibia’s grape farmers, was recognized at the 2021 Editor’s Forum of Namibia Journalism Awards as the winner of the Best Agriculture and Environmental story.

At the 2021 Editors’ Forum of Namibia Journalism Awards, Smith was named Journalist of the Year, and her investigative report “Grape Crops Bring in Millions, Farm Workers Live a Harsh Life” won the Best Agriculture and Environmental Award.

At the 2023 Merck Foundation Africa Media Recognition Awards, she won first place in the print category for the article “The Agony of Infertility,” which details how Namibian women struggled to get pregnant.

He pushed for Africa on world stage.
Co-authors: Farai Mutsaka | Associated Press | February 2024

Namibia’s president and founding prime minister Hage Geingob died Sunday at age 82 while receiving treatment for cancer, and the southern African nation quickly swore in his deputy to complete the term in office.

Geingob played a central role in what has become one of Africa’s most stable democracies after returning from a long exile in Botswana and the United States as an anti-apartheid activist. He was the country’s third president since it gained independence in 1990 following more than a century of German and then apartheid South African rule.

Associated Press | February 2021

The government of Namibia has closed the southern African country's state-owned airline, Air Namibia, saying that it can no longer afford the financial losses.

All Air Namibia flights have been canceled, 10 aircraft have been grounded and the reservations system has been closed. Air Namibia's 644 employees have lost their jobs and will receive a severance package of a year's salary, according to a Cabinet announcement.

Vineyards well watered, while people struggle for water.
Center for Collaborative Investigative Journalism | December 2020

Located about 50 kilometres from the Noordoewer border post that separates Namibia from neighbouring South Africa, Aussenkehr has vast vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see.

But the oasis-like beauty of the area’s grape farms hide a dark secret: the 16,000 farmworkers who care for the vines and harvest the grapes earn a pittance and live under harsh conditions. Two kilometres from the grape farms, they live in an unnamed settlement in rudimentary reed and zinc structures, and have endured decades without potable water and other basic services like electricity and sanitation facilities. Residents even use the river and mountains as toilets.

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