Durban – Cape Times editor Siyavuya Mzantsi has bagged top honours in two categories at the International News Media Association’s inaugural 30 Under 30’s awards for rising stars in the global news media industry.
INMA announced the winners during a virtual ceremony on Thursday.
More than 160 nominations were received from 20 countries and Mzantsi won in the leadership category (the other categories were advertising, audience, content+product and business intelligence). Mzantsi also won the grand prize for Africa.
Mzantsi comes from humble beginnings in Tsolo, a small town in the Eastern Cape, also home to Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi. He launched his journalism career as an intern at Independent Media and has quickly climbed up the ranks since then.
Before being named the first black African editor of the Cape Times in its 143-year history last year, he had shown his versatility as a journalist by serving as a multimedia reporter, content producer, news editor, and assistant editor.
His appointment to editor at the age of 26 also makes him the youngest editor in the news media group and possibly in Africa. He has been recognised for his bold voice, which includes winning the regional Vodacom Journalist of the Year for his work on racial inequalities and the marginalisation of women.
He is dedicated to bringing more black women into the newsroom while also reaching under-served communities.
“The day this publication becomes accessible to children of gardeners and domestic workers, the lowly paid in our society, is the day I would have achieved my goal,” he said.
The judges also selected six young professionals as regional grand prize winners.
Other shortlisted Indy candidates included:
MaryAnne Isaac – Studio Independent
Tara Isaacs – Cape Community Newspapers
Lubabalo Grant Poswa – African News Agency
Londiwe Gumede – Studio Independent
Dhivana Rajgopaul – IOL
Criteria for selection included being under 30 years of age, early career achievements, insights into innovation, ability to influence, and likely management skills.
INMA’s Young Professionals Initiative was set up to look at how to engage under-30 rising stars to help them elevate the news media, guide the INMA community, and bring new life and energy to an industry undergoing transformation.
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