Female Catholic Journalist in South Sudan Says “honored” on Receiving Excellence Award

Ibasi Patricia Tobs, recipient of the July 8 Excellence in Journalism Award from the South Sudanese Women Intellectuals Forum/ Credit: Courtesy Photo

A female journalist based at Emmanuel Radio of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Torit has told ACI Africa she is “very honored” on receiving the Excellence in Journalism Award.

Ibasi Patricia Tobs who is a news editor at the Diocesan radio station was declared the recipient of the July 8 Excellence in Journalism Award from the South Sudanese Women Intellectuals Forum the global non-profit platform that aims to realize a free, just, and equitable society.

“I feel very much honored for this award of excellence in journalism. I didn’t expect it but I really thank God for bringing me this far,” Ms. Tobs told ACI Africa Monday, July 12. 

The news editor who doubles as the Program Manager at Emmanuel Radio added that the Award serves as a motivation “to work harder and harder.”

“I am so interested in investigative journalism, as I move on with this award, in five years’ time, I will do much better than this. I have not done any investigative stories so far but I look forward to doing it,” she said.


The Catholic journalist was among twenty South Sudanese females awarded in various categories including Excellence in leadership, Lifetime of Service, Activism, Health Care, Gender, Human Rights, Technology, Environment, Humanitarian Service, Education, Innovation, Sports and Business.

In the July 12 interview, the graduate of Makerere University in Uganda told ACI Africa that her nomination for the award was also a surprise.  

“I also got a nomination alert in a shocking way. One of my friends on Facebook sent me a screenshot congratulating me,” Ms. Tobs said, and added, “I don’t know how I got myself nominated; I don’t know who nominated me; I can’t really tell.”

The South Sudanese Catholic journalist said she first started practicing journalism with South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) and later shifted to Emmanuel Radio, one of the radio stations that constitute the Catholic Radio Network (CRN).

“I was volunteering with SSBC when I was still pursuing my studies. Each time I came from Uganda to South Sudan, I would stay in Juba and I would say instead of doing nothing let me enroll myself and volunteer,” she said, and added, “I started with SSBC, the radio part; I used to write news and would help in editing news that time in 2015. Immediately I graduated in 2018, I came to Torit and I started working for Radio Emmanuel till now.”

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“Working for this radio station has really helped me. When we were still studying, we didn't do a lot of practical parts; we did a lot of theoretical parts but when I came to radio Emmanuel, it built me to where I am today in terms of practical parts,” Ms. Tobs shared.

She recalled having started as a reporter before she was promoted as a news editor, then later taking up the additional roleof Program Manager.

Addressing herself to journalists in South Sudan, she said, “I encourage each of us to work harder and harder; I know journalism in South Sudan is not so easy, especially to those people who are doing investigative journalism.”

“Sometimes you want to do a story and something takes you back because sometimes there is no freedom of expression or there is no freedom of media to allow journalists access work in the field,” she said, adding, “I encourage journalists not to give up; keep working harder and harder until one achieves his or her goal.”