KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of Congo, March 3, 2022/ — Merck Foundation the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany announced the Winners of Merck Foundation Film Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2021 in partnership with African First Ladies who are also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

The theme of the awards was: to create a film or docudrama to deliver strong and influential messages about breaking Infertility stigma, Empowering Girls and Women through Education at all levels.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation, President of “More than a Mother” campaign emphasized, “I am extremely happy to announce today the winners of Merck Foundation Film Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021 in partnership with African First Ladies. Big congratulations to all the winners. I appreciate the efforts put in by the young talents across Africa in their films through which they have beautifully conveyed important messages in line with the theme of the awards.

I strongly believe that all forms of art including filmmaking can play a significant role in bringing about a culture shift in society, in the world. Our aim was to utilize this medium to encourage promising filmmakers and new talents across the continent to create short or long films either drama documentary or docudrama conveying messages to break the stigma of infertility or empower Girl Education at all levels.”

This year, Merck Foundation had two categories: English and French.

Here is the list of Award Winners:


Sharon Kavhu and Hatite Hoabeb, NAMIBIA
Film Name: Matumaini

Emulo Kgomotso, BOTSWANA
Film Name: 3 in 5


Nanmet Anthony, NIGERIA
Film Name: Future Present


Doux-mignon MALOBA, DRC
Film Name: Le défi de Mariana

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Merck Foundation ”More Than a Mother” Film Awards were launched in 2017.

Winner of 2017 edition:

Ms. Molatelo Mainetje, SOUTH AFRICA

Film Name: Womb Man


Winners of 2019 Edition:

Ms. Cecilia Oppong-Badu, GHANA

Film Name: Her She Woman


Mr. Godfred Dela Duvi, GHANA

Film Name: Exhale


Ms. Jane Labous, SENEGAL

Film Name: Angels


Ms. Fatou Fadiga, GUINEA

Film Name: Infertile


Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej further added, “I would also like to announce the Call for Applications for the new edition of the Merck Foundation Film Awards ‘More Than a Mother’ 2022. I am looking forward to the entries from our African Filmmakers and students of film making institutions this year too.

However this year, I’d like to emphasize that the theme in 2022 aims to address wider range of topics such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

Filmmakers and Young talents of Africa, it’s time to showcase your talent and contribute towards making a difference in society with your unique films with strong and relevant messages about app critical ca and sensitive issues we face in our continent. Be the voice of the voiceless, break the silence and let’s all join hands to create a cultural shift.”

Who can apply?

All African Filmmakers, Students of Film Making Training Institutions or Young Talents of Africa are invited to create and share a long or short FILMS, either drama, documentary or docudrama to deliver strong and influential messages to address any of the following social issues such as: Breaking Infertility Stigma, Support Girls’ Education, End Child Marriage, End FGM, Stopping GBV and Women Empowerment at all levels.

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Last Date of Submission

30th July 2022

How to Apply?

Please share your work as YouTube links on:

Share a short brief about the issue you are addressing

The subject line of the mail should mention: Merck Foundation FILM Awards “More Than a Mother” 2022

Please specify your name, institution name, country, and contact details in the mail.

Prize money: USD 1000 for each category.

Selection committee can decide to award more than one winner for each category based on the quality of work received.

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard:
Download the Merck Foundation App:

About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign

“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management, and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

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The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

The First Lady of Botswana
H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia
H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia
H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE, The First Lady of Burundi
H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana
H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria
H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic
H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia
H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone
H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville
H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi
H.E. MUTINTA HICHILEMA, The First Lady of Zambia
H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo
H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique
H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe
The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as.

  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards
  • ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards
  • Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it
  • Children storybook, localized for each country

About Merck Foundation:
The Merck Foundation, established in 2017, is the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany, aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people and advance their lives through science and technology. Our efforts are primarily focused on improving access to quality & equitable healthcare solutions in underserved communities, building healthcare and scientific research capacity and empowering people in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) with a special focus on women and youth.

All Merck Foundation press releases are distributed by e-mail at the same time they become available on the Merck Foundation Website.  Please visit to read more. To know more, reach out to our social media: Merck Foundation (; Facebook (, Twitter (, Instagram( , YouTube ( and Flicker (

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