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The Story​

African Ringer refers to the sound of the school yard bell as it rings out to alert the students about the next lesson, break time or that it is time to go home. This newsletter is our way of alerting you about underreported topics related to health and trends concerning women and children in African countries. We provide you with on-the-ground reporting on diverse stories.

New beginnings sometimes come after a hard ending. In 2020, as the pandemic took its toll on economies across the globe, African Ringer’s founder Janet Otieno lost her job at a leading news organization. It was with mixed emotions that she put the days of editorial meetings behind her.

“There were days I dreaded attending editorial meetings, this is because at times when I proposed that a story about women or children be given the front page, my male colleagues would often give priority to business news or politics. Women and children’s stories would always find themselves in the middle of the newspaper.”

Despite the important contribution women are making in society, gender stories were very rarely prioritized. So when Janet left the newsroom, her priorities were set straight. Women and health should go on the frontpage.

The same night, Janet started to conceptualize a media dedicated to maternal health, women entrepreneurs, and everyday issues faced by women. The next day, she called Anne Kidmose, a former colleague with similar interests, and they decided to set up this newsletter. 

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African Ringer Founder

Janet Otieno

Janet is an award-winning journalist and ICFJ Fellow with over ten years experience in East African newsrooms. She is keen on health, women and children issues.

                                                                               African Ringer Co-founder 

    Anne Kidmose

Anne Kidmose is an independent journalist and photographer. She has been covering East Africa for the past five years, focusing on women's rights, mental health, migration and technology. She is an eager traveller but also fascinated by the everyday stories we tell each other.


As we are now embarking on this journey, we hope you will follow us and interact along the way. The African Ringer bell is already chiming


If you sign up to the newsletter, you will receive thoroughly reported stories and analysis on women and children’s issues. We will keep you informed about trends that affect millions but rarely hit the headlines. Stories about breastfeeding, unlicensed beauty products, neglected lifestyle diseases, and the pandemic’s effect on family structures are our kind of breaking news stories. We believe they deserve to land at the top of your inbox too