Asmaa James is a Sierra Leonean journalist, activist and a philanthropist. What makes Asmaa different is her fearless and unique way of discussing controversial topics on air. Her 20 years of journalism experience and management informs her mindful but competitive approach to creating safe spaces whilst strengthening democratic governance.
Asmaa is the station manager at Radio Democracy 98.1, where she creates opportunities for diverse panellists, guests and citizens to discuss current affairs and issues ranging from human rights to social justice.
Asmaa attended multiple schools and later proceeded to the Annie Walsh Memorial School, which provided an environment that allowed her to find her identity and thrive. She is an alumni of the London School of Journalism. Asmaa is one of five children and faced many challenges growing up. Her childhood and life experiences took many turns but it gave her a broad base from which to approach many topics.
Asmaa’s journey to her journalism career sprouted from her curiosity and her desire to hear and elevate stories. Her stories have started conversations and initiated movements such as ‘Black Tuesday’, a movement she initiated in December 2018 to raise national awareness around the increase of incidences of rape and sexual abuse in Sierra Leone. Whether she is covering a story or empowering young girls, her media platform and brand has helped influence national debate and awareness leading to change. Asmaa is the recipient of various national and global awards, and is recognised as a social change maker in the 21st century by BBC 100 Women.
As a journalist, Asmaa continues to use her voice, platform and network to advocate and raise awareness for multidimensional challenges affecting women and girls in Sierra Leone. Her passion is to utilize her experience, insight, and influence to improve the lives of girls from marginalised backgrounds by giving them access to reproductive health education, scholarships, mentoring, and life skills training. This passion led to the formation of the Asmaa James Foundation.
Asmaa is married with two amazing boys, whom she often says gives her permission to do what she loves.
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