Two South African journalists from the Daily Dispatch, Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali, from South Africa, have won top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 Awards Ceremony. The pair were honoured for their investigation series, ‘School hostels of Shame’, was chosen from 1387 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.
The work investigated appalling conditions experienced by thousands of pupils in the Eastern Cape, uncovering hygiene and safety risks in school hostels and lifting the lid on corruption within the education department.
“Choosing the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the year was tightly fought to the end. But we felt that Hostels of Shame had resonance across the continent. We live in an era of fast everything, so fast journalism is a big part of it. To find a piece of work where people took their weekends, took months to do it and told the story over some length is a real joy,” said chairperson of the judging panel, Ferial Haffajee.
“This is a great piece of investigation. The issue covered indeed resonates across all the countries of Africa and gives the story a unique relevance. Thorough and unrelenting in search of the facts, the story is comprehensive. The writing is simple but elegant; the narration is so engaging that even as a long series, it retains the reader’s attention. Brilliant prose. Balanced. Exhaustive. The images enrich the story and ‘take the reader there’. As good journalism does, ‘School hostels of shame’ tugs at the heart-strings. And as good journalism does, it has immense capacity to provoke anger and inspire action,” the judges’ citation read.
Fengu and Monakali said they were honoured by their win. “It always feel good to be recognised by your fellow journalists. We’ll keep pushing this agenda.”
Fengu and Monakali, winners in the General Print News category, were among 27 finalists from 11 countries who attended the Awards ceremony as the culmination of a four day programme of workshops, media forums, networking, and sightseeing.
“Once again the Awards have highlighted the depth and strength of journalism in Africa. These men and women have proven that top-notch journalism is alive and prospering, and Africa will have its stories told to the world,” said Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president of global relations for CNN Worldwide.
The winners take home a substantial cash prize, and will go on a visit to CNN Centre in Atlanta to attend the three week CNN Journalism Fellowship. All finalists receive a cash prize, and all category winners receive a laptop computer and printer.
Winners in the individual competition categories are:
CULTURE AWARD, presented by Errol Barnett, CNN International
Winner: Nicola de Chaud, Carte Blanche, South Africa
Title: ‘Michaela de Prince’
DIGITAL PLATFORM AWARD, presented by Magnus Mchunguzi, Managing Director, Ericsson South Africa
Winner: Thanduxolo Jika & Media24 Investigations Team, South Africa
Title: ‘Faces of Marikana’
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY ECONOMICS & BUSINESS AWARD, presented by Dr Susan Mboya, President, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation
Winner: Tolu Ogunlesi, Ventures Africa, Nigeria
Title: ‘Eko Atlantic City’
ENVIRONMENT AWARD, presented by Steven Allen, Regional Director, UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office
Winner: Toyosi Ogunseye, Sunday Punch, Nigeria
Title: ‘The Rich Also Cry’
FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: PRINT MEDIA, presented by Amadou Mahter Ba, CEO, African Media Initiative
Winner: Nassima Oulebsir, El Watan, Algeria
Title: ‘Enfants nes au maquis cherchent identite’
Judge’s Citation: “Nassima Oulebsir’s story is really an outstanding piece. It raises the existence of hundreds of children who officially don’t exist. These children were born from the so-called “temporary weddings” that were made by the jihadists in the black years of Algeria’s civil war.”
FRANCOPHONE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: ELECTRONIC MEDIA, presented by Amadou Mahter Ba, CEO, African Media Initiative
Winner: Axcel Micael Chenney, Teleplus, Mauritius
Title: ‘Rajen Sabapathee, la chute d’un heros’
FREE PRESS AFRICA AWARD, presented by Ferial Haffajee, Chairperson of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 Judging Panel
Winner: Woubshet Taye, Ethiopia
MOHAMED AMIN PHOTOGRAPHIC AWARD, presented by Salim Amin, Chairperson of A24 Media
Winner: Adrian de Kock, The Star, South Africa
Title: ‘The Jump That Started it All’
MSD HEALTH & MEDICAL AWARD, presented by Michael Azrak, Managing Director, MSD South Africa
Winner: Brenda Okoth, The Star, Kenya
Title: ‘Gender identity – the other sex’
PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: PRINT, presented by Arlindo Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice Angola
Winner: Lázaro Mabunda, O Pais, Mozambique
Title: ‘Luxury Business – Negócio de luxo’
PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE GENERAL NEWS AWARD: TV / RADIO presented by Arlindo Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice Angola
Winner: Selma Inocência, Rede de Comunicação Miramar, Mozambique.
Title: ‘Turf Wars – Guerra de Espaço’
PRINT GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by Charles Kie, Group Head, Corporate Banking Ecobank Group
Winner: Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali, Daily Dispatch, South Africa.
Title: ‘Investigation series: Hostels of Shame’
RADIO GENERAL NEWS AWARD, presented by Tom Mboyo, CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year 2012
Winner: Florence Dallu, KOCH FM, Kenya
Title: ‘Children in sex survival’
SPORT AWARD, presented by Nico Meyer, CEO, MultiChoice Africa
Winner: Passant Rabie, Egypt Today, Egypt
Title: ‘And the fans play on’
IPP MEDIA, TANZANIA TELEVISION FEATURES AWARD, presented by Joyce Mhaville, Director, ITV Tanzania
Winner: Roseline Wangui Wanyiri and Wambui Leah Kurema, NTV, Kenya
TELEVISION NEWS BULLETIN AWARD, presented by Deborah Rayner, VP and Managing Editor for Europe, Middle East and Africa, CNN International
Winner: Gifty Andoh Appiah, Joy News Channel, Ghana