President Barack Obama’s wife was speaking to young women from across Africa at a Johannesburg church that has become a landmark of the 1976 Soweto uprising on Tuesday.
“And then there is Robyn Kriel,” Obama said. “She is a young reporter from Zimbabwe who has written about corruption and human rights abuses in her country.
“She was beaten by police, her home raided, her mother imprisoned.
“But she still hasn’t lost her passion for reporting because, as she put it, the people of Zimbabwe “want their stories to be told.”
Kriel who was born in Bulawayo works for e-News in Johannesburg.
She studied in the United States where she worked for a television station affiliated to CBS before returning home in 2007.
She got into trouble with the Zimbabwean authorities when she covered the controversial 2008 presidential elections for CNN, BBC and the Voice of America.
Kriel has also covered the war in Afghanistan for eNews. Obama is on a five day working vacation to South Africa and Botswana.