2019 African Festival of the Arts Honorees
The 30th Annual African Festival of the Arts has selected NABJ Chicago president Maudlyne Ihejirika (Chicago Sun Times) to be Grand Yeye and Hosea Sanders (ABC 7 Chicago) to be Grand Baba at this year’s festival.
Maudlyne Ihejirika is an award-winning, urban affairs reporter, columnist and author with 30 years experience in journalism, public relations and government. She holds a B.A. in journalism from University of Iowa, an M.S.J. from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and an honorary Doctorate from Saint Xavier University. She writes the Sun-Times “Chicago Chronicles,” long-form columns on “people and places that make Chicago tick,” with a focus on black and brown communities. Her honors include the prestigious Studs Terkel Award, top national and local awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists, and several civic awards. She’s president of the Chicago Journalists Association and the National Association of Black Journalists Chicago. Her expertise in urban affairs, immigration and refugee issues, and social justice has led to appearances on CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS and NPR. She’s a frequent guest contributor on WTTW’s “Chicago Tonight: Week In Review” and FOX32’s “Good Day Chicago.” Follow her at @Maudlynei on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Hosea Sanders plays a major role at ABC 7, both in the news and programming areas. For ABC 7 Eyewitness News, he anchors the first primetime newscast in Chicago each weeknight, ABC 7’s 7 pm newscast broadcast on WCIU, provides regular reports for evening newscasts on issues important to Chicago neighborhoods, and covers key disability related stories. Sanders’s reporting on the disability beat was recently lauded in a story published in the Columbia Journalism Review. On the programming side, Sanders hosts ABC 7’s Emmy Award winning series, Heart & Soul, which showcases Chicago’s vibrant African American community. He also co-hosts ABC 7’s popular New Year’s Eve special, Countdown Chicago, and ABC 7’s Bud Billiken Parade special, covering one of the biggest parades of its kind in the country. He is one of the on-air faces representing important station initiatives including the ABC 7/The American Red Cross Chicago Blood Drive and the food drive done in conjunction with the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.