Mading Ngor is the most listened to radio host in the world’s newest nation.
In Juba, South Sudan, Ngor uses his powerful voice to speak out for transparency and democracy. On his hard-hitting morning show, Wake Up Juba!, the influential journalist interviews politicians and decision-makers and asks the tough questions others are afraid to raise in a country that lacks media laws. He also contributes to international media, such as Reuters and the Huffington Post.
Ngor’s brand of fearless reporting is new in South Sudan, which is not yet comfortable with press freedom. The government has silenced journalists; Ngor himself was thrown out of parliament and roughed up by four security guards. Still, he remains dedicated to revealing the truth and informing people about what is happening in a country recovering from a civil war that killed two million people and displaced millions more.
Ngor remembers dodging bullets in the jungles of South Sudan to escape a massacre. His father was killed and his village was wiped out in 1991. Along with his mother and siblings, he wandered Sudan for years before arriving at a Kenyan refugee camp in 1995, where he remained until securing a visa for Canada in 2001.
Ngor went to high school in New Westminster, B.C., before studying journalism at Grant MacEwan University and earning his Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University. While still a student, he contributed to major media outlets in Canada and established New Sudan Vision, an online news site, to which he continues to contribute.
Ngor returned to South Sudan last year, just before the nation officially split from Sudan, to share what he learned in Canada – including freedom of speech – with his homeland.
“I want to be an honest witness to history,” he says, “someone who tells it like it is, whether good or bad.”
Alumni Excellence Award winner Mading Ngor shares his thoughts on the role of media in South Sudan through a Q&A session with School of Communication and Culture faculty member David Black Oct. 24 on campus.