Top honours for SADC journalists
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) honoured journalists in the region during an awards ceremony to recognise those who excel in the profession.
Zambian journalist Patson Phiri won the top prize in the print category at the awards, which were held in Tshwane recently.The ceremony was part of the 37th SADC Summit, hosted by South Africa as the incoming chair of the regional body.
Phiri walked away with US$ 2 000 for his entry on cascading energy and how challenges are being addressed to put the region back on the industrial revolution rails.
“It is very important that we, as journalists of the Southern African region, tell our own stories. Many times, we are engulfed in news packaged by foreign news agencies, and the verge of distortion and the appetite for distortion is quite high. As a result, the world is misinformed on what takes place in the region,” he said.
Flying the South African flag high at the awards ceremony, South Africans Msibi Nkosini Samuel and Dennis Tshetlhane both won US$2 000 in the television category, for their story which looked at the illicit trade of minerals in the SADC region and the growing number of illegal miners operating in South Africa.
“Illegal mining is a very hot topic in our country right now, especially when you look at the economic impact it has on communities,” said Tshetlhane.
Other winners included Aristides Kito Afonso Jorge from Angola, who won US$2 000 in the radio category. His entry highlighted the importance of conservation and the protection of cultural heritage in Southern Africa as a factor for regional integration.
The photography category was won by Gasietsiwe Moruakgomo from the Republic of Botswana for his entry on ferry transport linking Botswana and Zambia in Kasane.
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said the awards serve as a link for coordination and synchronisation between the formal structures of SADC member states and the media.
“These awards further seek to bring and enhance partnerships between media and government institutions in advancing the achievements and good stories of this region in bettering the lives of its citizens.”
Minister Dlodlo said SADC countries needed to work together to popularise the projects that are underway in the region.
“It is through the media that the work of SADC can be visible. We need more African voices to tell SADC stories. Africa is rising and we need to tell that story,” she added.