October 14th, 2013

Msindisi Fengu And Yandisa Monakali Named CNN MultiChoice African Journalists 2013

Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali, from South Africa, have been awarded the top prize at this year’s CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 Awards Ceremony.

Fengu and Monakali shared the overall ‘CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year’ Award for their work ‘Investigation series: School hostels of Shame’, which appeared in South African daily print newspaper Daily Dispatch and was chosen from 1387 entries from 42 nations across the African continent.

The work investigates appalling conditions being 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.

Fengu and Monakali said: “It’s a huge honour to win.  It means all the work we put in has been rewarded.  It always feel good to be recognised by your fellow journalists.  We’ll keep pushing this agenda.”

Collins Khumalo CEO MultiChoice South Africa and Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President, Global Relations CNN Worldwide presented Fengu and Monakali with the Award at a Gala Awards ceremony held at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, South Africa on Saturday 12 October.

Chairperson of the judging panel, Ferial Haffajee, said: “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.”

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.

Parisa Khosravi, Senior Vice President, Global Relations for CNN Worldwide said: “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.”

Collins Khumalo CEO MultiChoice South Africa, congratulated all the winners of this year’s Awards: “Thank you to each of you for telling the stories of Africa and its people to the world. We are proud to play a role in amplifying your voices and the voices of other journalists across the African continent.”

Nico Meyer, CEO MultiChoice Africa, said: “Congratulations to all the 2013 finalists, we trust the acknowledgement you have received this year will allow you to continue telling the African story. Although there can be only one overall winner, we are proud of each and every journalist that entered. Without your hard work and perseverance, the development of the media across Africa would not be possible.”

Now in its 18th year, the Awards are supported by a range of prestigious sponsors: The Coca-Cola Company; Ecobank; Ericsson; IPP Media, Tanzania; MSD; UNICEF and A24 Media.

The overall CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 wins a substantial cash prize, and 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.

For more information, news and updates visit:

Ways to Watch the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards:

Viewers across the continent and around the world will be able to watch the CNN Multichoice African Journalist Awards in the following ways:

  • M-Net will broadcast the ‘Highlights Programme’ of the Award Ceremony on AfricaMagic on Mzansi Magic on 24 October at 2130 SAST and M-Net Domestic on 29 October at 0930 SAST
  • Broadcasters in 45 countries on the African continent will be transmitting the ‘Highlights Programme’ during October, November and December
  • Internationally, the ‘Highlights Programme’ will be shown on BEN TV and in the UK, The Africa Channel in the United States / UK and on RTP Africa.

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’

Judge’s Citation: “An excellent production. Great shots, good sound and the right soundbites made this captivating story a winner!  Nicola de Chaud demonstrated great skills in reporting, researching and story-telling, and an effective use of TV that stood out amongst the other entries.”

DIGITAL PLATFORM AWARD, presented by Magnus Mchunguzi, Managing Director, Ericsson South Africa
Winner: Thanduxolo Jika & Media24 Investigations Team, South Africa
Title: ‘Faces of Marikana’

Judge’s citation: “In this category, we found that few entries had made full use of the multimedia capacity of the internet.  The notable exception was City Press’ team of ten reporters, photographers, videographers and designers who went to extraordinary lengths to find and record the background of each victim of the Marikana tragedy. It was a very effective use of multimedia – including inviting citizen participation to help fill gaps in their information – to drive home the impact of one of the biggest stories of the year. The result is a powerful evocation of the extent and human impact of this tragedy.”

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’

Judge’s Citation: “So much has been said about ‘Africa Rising’. This piece by Tolu Ogunlesi on a mega project ‘Eko Atlantic City’ comes with excellent storytelling through the eyes of a construction worker. It is aspirational too, as it takes the reader on a journey to re-imagine the Lagos we know today as the Manhattan of West Africa tomorrow.”

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’

Judge’s Citation: “Thanks to the talent of Toyosi Ogunseye and the dedication of her newspaper, Punch, a deadly polluting plant has been stopped. Working on a tip-off she showed great endeavour to get to the bottom of this story. When this pollution was denied both by the steel company and by the environmental agency, the newspaper set up independent tests. They proved that there was a direct link between this plant and the high levels of toxicity found in the blood and urine of the residents of this upscale neighbourhood, in the heart of Lagos.  It was a noteworthy piece of reporting and there could have been no better outcome.”


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’

Judge’s Citation: “This investigative TV piece by Axcel Micael Chenney from Mauritius tackles a web of societal issues: drugs, politics, sports, money.  All narrated through the story of a fallen hero – masterfully put together!  Could well be a winning thriller movie.”


FREE PRESS AFRICA AWARD, presented by Ferial Haffajee, Chairperson of the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 Judging Panel
Winner: Woubshet Taye, Ethiopia

Judge’s Citation: “This year, sadly, the judges had too much choice in a category we hoped would diminish as the continent of Africa grows and takes her rightful place at the table of nations.  But there are still too many hot spots where the media is not free.  In the final assessment, we have decided to make the award to Woubshet Taye.  Mr. Taye, who is imprisoned in Ethiopia after being sentenced under anti-terrorism laws, was convicted for his work as the deputy editor of the Awramba Times. Ethiopia is a jewel in the African crown for its beauty, its people, its history and, most recently, for its astounding growth rates.  It is our view that journalists like Mr. Taye should be out of prison and working to build the prosperity and the freedom of a new 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’

Judge’s Citation: “The images are vivid and the message unmistakable. The photographs tell a story beyond the prints and naturally provoke questions. Sometimes the only thing that takes a journalist from good to great is being at the right place at the right time. De Kock was in the middle of the stampede. He then deployed his skills and keen sense of what is newsworthy in capturing a man in flight over the barricade. Very quick on the draw.”


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’

Judge’s Citation: “This is a difficult subject – gender identity – but the journalist not only told the story well but the subject was handled with sensitivity.  This entry was outstanding because of the depth of research that went into it; the writer looked at all facets of the subject and interviewed the key people important in presenting a fully rounded picture.  The story is beautifully written as she weaves the facts together.”

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’

Judge’s Citation: “This article illustrates the investigative flair that should be present in the kind of journalism that seeks to tell the truth and to denounce wrongs, thus contributing to the positive values of man and society. In this piece the reporter refused to be satisfied by evasive answers, half-truths or the craven denial of the truth, which he pursued to the end.  In order to utterly untangle the story, the reporter faced the jungle and visited the natural preserve of the endangered species until he got to the bottom of the undeniable truth, an effort which enriches and enlivens this work.”

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’

Judge’s Citation: “The story displays the reporter’s strength of will against all obstacles, day or night in her determination to obtain the first-hand testimony of the cruel conflict for contended territory between man and beast.  The goal of the journalist was to reach the victims and the heroes to tape their testimonies of death and survival.”


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’

Judge’s Citation: “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.”

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’

Judge’s Citation: “It makes good use of sound to bring the story alive.  The reporter takes us through a journey across the slum where young girls sell their bodies to survive.  It is a sensitive but attention gripping story that would naturally commit people to action to end this kind of phenomenon.  The reporter uses powerful sound bites from the underage girls involved in the sex trade to illustrate the desperation experienced by these girls.”

SPORT AWARD, presented by Nico Meyer, CEO, MultiChoice Africa
Winner: Passant Rabie, Egypt Today, Egypt
Title: ‘And the fans play on’

Judge’s Citation: “This was a story about sports that actually focussed on the fans of a football club in Egypt.  It was a very well written story that showed depth and understanding of the deep feelings of the fans – particularly against the police.  It showed how politics and sports have come together in the Egypt of today.”

IPP MEDIA, TANZANIA TELEVISION FEATURES AWARD, presented by Joyce Mhaville, Director, ITV Tanzania
Winner: Roseline Wangui Wanyiri and Wambui Leah Kurema, NTV, Kenya
Title: ‘Beads of Bondage’

Judge’s Citation: “Never will you look at beads in the same way.  Among the Samburu, in arid Kipsing, women wear beautiful beads.  Beneath them, a story untold until now.  Moran, the thrusting young men who lead the Samburu, take young women as temporary wives.  The ensuing relationship is tragic: forced abortion, sexual exploitation, young dreams snuffed out.  Roseline Wangui Wanyiri and Wambui Kurema cross a thousand taboos to journey into a Kenya far removed from the modern East African democracy we know.  It is a shocking story, empathetically rendered, beautifully shot. The range of characters – young girls, their mums, morans, activists, officials – also make this a full-bodied and fair story.  A winner.”

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
Title: ‘Public toilets in perspective’

Judge’s Citation: “It is a narrative that resonates with the African audience, not just Ghana.  It brings to the fore the challenges of rapid population growth, the environment and the organisation of settlements.  It is also an agenda setting story done ahead of the Ghana elections.  It makes an effort at holding the political class accountable.  It makes a great piece of journalism.”

Again this year the Judges highlighted some excellent work and awarded Certificates of Commendation to ten journalists. These journalists participated in the finalists’ programme in Cape Town and received a cash prize in addition to a Certificate of Commendation:

Rebekah Adwoa Awuah, GBC 24, Ghana

Domingos Bento, Seminario Novo Jornal, Angola

Thomas Otieno Bwire, Pamoja FM, Kenya

Ibrahima-Benjamin Diagne, Radio Futurs Medias (RFM), Senegal

Geoff Iyatse, The Guardian, Nigeria

Judy Jeptum Kosgei & Mauritius Odour, Citizen TV, Kenya

Lucas Ledwaba, City Press, South Africa

Carol Natukunda, New Vision, Uganda

Amon Ngabo, Uganda Broadcasting Corporation, Uganda

Note to Editors: Competition Criteria

To enter the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2013 competition the journalist must have been an African national and have worked on the continent for African owned, or headquartered, media organisations that produced a printed publication or broadcast through an electronic medium (television broadcaster, radio station or website) primarily targeted at and received by an African audience.

Note to Editors:

The independent judging panel, chaired by Ferial Haffajee, Editor-in-Chief, City Press, South Africa includes: Debo Adesina, Editor-in-Chief, The Guardian Newspaper, Nigeria; Betty Dindi, Managing Editor, Nation Media Group, Kenya; Jean-Paul Gérouard, Editor-in-Chief, France Télévisions ; Anton Harber, Professor of journalism & media studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa; Joel Kibazo, Journalist and Media Consultant; Arlindo Lopes, Regional Regulatory GM, MultiChoice Angola; Arlindo Macedo, Journalist Rádio Nacional de Angola, (RNA); Amadou Mahtar Ba, CEO, African Media Initiative and Kim Norgaard, CNN Africa Bureau Chief

MultiChoice Africa Corporate Social Responsibility:

MultiChoice Africa, as the continent’s leading satellite pay TV service, understands that success depends on the health and growth of the communities within which it operates. In contributing to this development, they are able to leverage our core assets and expertise to nurture talent, harness skills and expand opportunities across Africa. By running a profitable business, MultiChoice Africa are able to make a significant contribution to communities on the continent through significant investment in Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes.

The flagship MultiChoice Resource Centre (MRC) initiative leverages the company’s powerful digital satellite platform to make a difference to the lives of students and teachers across the continent. By working together with local governments and service providers, we provide schools in need with all the resources they require to access DStv’s best educational channels. To date, more than 1569 MRCs have been deployed.


Turner Broadcasting Corporate Social Responsibility:

The African School Building programme is the company’s flagship corporate responsibility project which has helped staff to raise several hundred thousand dollars and give their time to build schools in Mali, Rwanda, Malawi and Ethiopia.  The project has won major awards and was featured on CNN’s ‘BackStory’ programme and the next group of volunteers will be building an early learning centre in Tanzania in 2014. The company has donated funds and millions of dollars’ worth of airtime to these and other projects and to Plan International, Turner’s school-building partner, as well as funding the trips and giving the time for the volunteers who help build the schools. In recent years the company and its staff have also partnered with Habitat for Humanity to provide houses in South Africa and with UNICEF to provide schooling, food, drugs and transport for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in Kenya. Using their paid volunteer time, staff have created advertisements for other African charities including the ‘Mozzy’ campaign for Malaria No More which generated 19.5 million impressions from alone.



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