Namgay Zam

Activist Type
Human Rights

Namgay Zam is a prominent Bhutanese journalist and activist known for her work in broadcasting and promoting press freedom. After graduating from the University of Delhi, she worked as a producer and news anchor for the Bhutan Broadcasting Service, becoming a well-known figure in Bhutanese media. Zam faced a significant legal challenge in 2016 when she was sued for defamation, a case that drew attention to press freedom concerns in Bhutan. Despite the lawsuit, she continued her journalism career, launching Bhutan's first mental health radio show and podcast. In 2019, she became the executive director of the Journalists Association of Bhutan, focusing on gender equality and legal support for journalists. Zam is also a dedicated activist, advocating for social justice, gender equity, LGBTQ+ rights, and mental health awareness in Bhutan.

Artwork by
Tashi Wangmo Gyeltshen

I was delighted to create a portrait illustration for Namgay Zam. She has been a constant source of wisdom and inspiration in our community therefore I went with the concept of depicting her through our traditional window. Overall the colour palette chosen and the decorative elements drawn are all derived from our local art. The smoke at the back symbolizes how she has been key in spreading awareness in the community as a journalist and storyteller. She's wearing ‘kira’, our national attire for women, with the ‘mathra’ which is a pattern worn and adored by all Bhutanese. This is to indicate how she has been representing and advocating for Bhutanese from all walks of life.


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