Vickie Remoe Institute of Digital Communications

Meet Our Judges Panel | The Vickie Remoe Prize For Journalism, and New Media


Thank you to everyone who applied for the 2023 Vickie Remoe Prize for Journalism and New Media. We received 39 applications and shortlisted 13 of the best submissions in four categories: newsprint, photojournalism, videography, and content creation. 

In the newsprint category, we received nine applications; one was from a woman. We shortlisted the four best submissions. We received three applications for photojournalism; all applications were male. We shortlisted two. In videography/film, we received one application and shortlisted one. We received 18 applications for content creation, of which two were from women. We shortlisted six applicants. 

A panel of Sierra Leonean professionals in media, news, and talent development will evaluate the shortlisted applicants. They’ll be judged on excellence, originality, and creativity. Ultimately they’ll ask who among the shortlisted applicants has created the most fascinating, meaningful, newsworthy, local content that can and will #MakeSierraLeoneFamous.

The 2023 Vickie Remoe Prize Judges are…

Jemilah Alghali

Senior Marketing Coordinator, BET Networks

A proud Sierra Leonean, Jemilah Alghali grew up in central New Jersey and earned her undergraduate degree from the first HBCU, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania. Upon completing her degree, she was a freelance consultant to boutique PR and Marketing Agencies in North America, supporting clients in the beauty, fashion, and sports industries. 

A longtime friend and fan of Vickie Remoe, she joined the VR&C Marketing team in 2018 and co-led successful projects such as the launching of SL Mining and the growth and support of former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Twitter account.

In 2019, she joined the 360 Consumer Marketing & Brand Strategy team at BET Networks, and since then has worked on campaigns to support programs such as Tyler Perry’s Sistas (the #1 scripted series on the Network), and the BET Awards, which remains the #1 cable award show among P18-49. In 2020, she earned a Master’s in Advertising from Syracuse University and continues to advocate for and support rising talent at home and abroad.

Abu Yillah

Filmmaker, Co-founder, YSL

Abu B. Yillah is a British-Sierra Leonean filmmaker who utilizes his passion for film and poetry to create poetic films for individuals and established organizations. 

He has been commissioned by Safer London, Spread the Word, The Separated Child Foundation, Museum of London, and in 2019, he produced two films in partnership with Write2SpeakUK, funded by the Arts Council England. 

Alongside his creative work, Abu co-curates the Sierra Leone Arts & Culture Festival (#SLACfest), a celebration of work from Sierra Leoneans worldwide, aiming to increase the visibility of Sierra Leoneans in the U.K. & beyond.

Wilsar Johnson

VP of Digital Public Affairs, SKDK

Wilsar brings creativity, dedication, and vision to her strategic outlook, laying the foundations for brands, individuals, and institutions to build a personable, organic, and seemingly effortless social profile.

Organic social media strategy is the bedrock of Wilsar’s approach to brand development; Meticulous and thoughtful visual storytelling, brand cohesiveness, creative social media and crisis messaging, and audience engagement are just a few methods Wilsar uses to build authority in brands and loyalty in audiences. She prides herself in her people-first insight approach.

Wilsar served on Capitol Hill for over a decade, most recently as the Director of Digital Strategy at the Congressional Black Caucus for Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and the House Judiciary Committee. Her duties often put her on the path of history. She helmed the communications strategies during Justice Kavanaugh’s Senate Confirmation Hearing and the historic (first) Impeachment Inquiry against then-President Donald Trump. She’s built and organized digital communications programs from the ground up for Congressional offices, nonprofit organizations, and corporate leaders.

Ali Biko Kamanda

Filmmaker, Biko Studios

Ali is the owner and creative director of BIKO Studios, a studio that creates quality media projects that bridge the gap between diverse communities. BIKO produces, directs, and edits original narrative films, music, and documentaries. The studios’ first two short films, Salay and Kombra, won multiple awards from international film festivals including Best African Film, Best Director, and Best Short – Social Justice. 

Some of Ali’s recent regional projects include a music video to boost employee morale at Structure Care;  an 8-minute documentary showcasing families impacted by disability for Planned Lifetime Assistance  Network of New Jersey, Inc.; two educational films for the Art to Heart video series hosted by Millersville University; and the musical theater production of Head Over Heels at Franklin & Marshall College. In this instance, he trained students in film and lighting design and edited footage to capture the best performances from the three-night run held outdoors in October 2020.  

Ali is also the author of ‘Black Boy Black Boy’ & ‘Black Girl Black Girl’ 2022 – 2023 Children’s Picture books about self-esteem for African American boys and Girls, drawing on the history of the role models who came before them.  

He is also the President of Salone Rising. He oversees operations and fund development for international nonprofits supporting children and families impacted by the 2014 Ebola health crisis in rural Sierra Leone. Extensive governmental relations, staff training, educational program development, land procurement, and construction. Serving 265 small business owners with micro-lending and saving programs. Building Mamaland Children’s Community to provide protection, care, and education for disenfranchised youth ages five and up. 

Lansana Mansaray (Barmmy Boy)

Emmy Nominated Filmmaker, Freetown Media Centre

Lansana Mansaray aka Barmmy Boy, is a director of photography, documentary

filmmaker, and musician who lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Barmmy is a founding member at WeOwnTV Freetown Media Centre. He is the co-director and DP for the award-winning film Survivors (PBS 2018). He has been honored by the British Council on numerous occasions. He has been selected to travel abroad, representing the creative youth of Sierra Leone to London, the USA, Hull, Copenhagen, China, Nairobi, Abidjan, Accra, etc. Film Credits include YOUTH (Director/2010) and CHARITY 2010 (camera).

They Resisted 2011 (Director of Photography) and Disability is Inability (Director of Photography/in production). He has worked as a cameraman and producer on many award-winning international productions, including, Decisions (2011), Girl Rising (2013), They Are We (2014), and the Emmy award-winning fMeet the Africans: Many Rivers to Cross (PBS, 2013). He also co-directed the Emmy-nominated film on the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone Survivors (2018). PEABODY Nomination 2019 ( Survivors), Emmy Nomination 2019 (Survivors). In 2020 he was awarded Admiral of the Humber by the mayor of Hull City (UK) in recognition of outstanding filmmaking achievements. He is the director of the New Boats, a 2022 documentary film that premiered on ARTE in Germany and France.

Veralyn Williams 

Executive Producer, NPR

Veralyn Williams (she/her) is a Peabody and Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist who has been asking hard questions about our world since she picked up her first microphone in 2004. As executive producer of programming at National Public Radio, Williams brings her leadership (and editorial ears) to It’s Been a Minute, Code Switch, and The Limits with Jay Williams.

Previously, Veralyn was the senior editor at LWC Studios, where she developed and launched The Oprah Winfrey Network’s original podcast, Trials To Triumphs. She was also an Executive Producer for WNYC’s United States of Anxiety.

Through all of her endeavors, Veralyn aims to amplify perspectives—as complicated and multifaceted as hers.

Amadu Lamrana Bah

Multimedia Journalist, AYV TV

Amadu Lamrana Bah is a multimedia journalist who joined AYV in 2018 as a reporter, presenter, producer, and Deputy Director of News and Current Affairs, a position he still holds with an additional role as Director of Digital Media.

Lamrana helps supervise the newsroom, works with reporters’ pitch story ideas, and edit news scripts. He hosts the popular ‘Hot Seat’ weekly show, is a presenter of the breakfast show Wake Up Sierra Leone, and Prime Time News anchor.

A Digital Media savvy journalist, Lamrana is the 2019 AWOL National Achievement Awards Male Personality of the Year; he is also an Independent Media Commission and Sierra Leone Association of Journalists award-winning journalist

Aminata Kamara

Corporate Affairs Director, Sierra Rutile

Aminata Kamara is a Human Resources and Corporate Affairs Executive. She is the Corporate Affairs and Government Relations Director at Sierra Rutile Limited. Ms. Kamara has held various executive roles both in the UK and Sierra Leone.

Aminata holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management from the London Metropolitan University (formerly the University of North London). She’s a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).

She is the current Chair of the Institute of Human Resources Sierra Leone (iHRSL); Board Chair, of Bloom Bank Africa Sierra Leone (BBASL); a Board Member of the British Chamber of Commerce Sierra Leone (BCCSL), and a Board Member of the Employer Federation (SLEF).

In her social development capacity, she is the G100 ( Country Chair for Youth Leadership and Youth Enterprise. She is also the Co-Founder of the AA Kamara Foundation Sierra Leone – a registered Foundation in Sierra Leone set in the core principles of empowering and impacting lives for a better tomorrow.

About the Vickie Remoe Prize

The Vickie Remoe Prize highlights emerging journalists and new media content creators for excellence, originality, and creativity. The Vickie Remoe Prize Board selects winners. Winners will be announced every year in April. 

The following awards will be made annually in Journalism and New Media. The four categories include news writing, photography, documentary video, and content creation. In each category, the number of prizes will be split between male (s) and female (s) applicants. If no man or woman submits a finalist application in one or more categories, the prize will roll over to the next year. The maximum prize amount to be awarded for 2022-2023 is nLe. 200,000.


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