Meet the lsu Elihle 2019 top six finalists!

South Africa’s Athandiswa Saba, Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia, Uganda’s Ruth Atim, Malawi’s Collins Mtika, Zimbabwe’s Kennedy Nyavaya and Kenya’s Thomas Otieno Bwire were announced as the top contenders on Monday 21 October during a ceremony held at JoziHub in Milpark Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ruth Atim

Ruth is a Ugandan Journalist, She works for the Uganda Refugee Online Network (RON), ( online platform that publishes articles, images and News pieces about refugees and Migrants. She is the sub-Editor and reporter. Ruth is also a Digital safety trainer under her initiative “The Gender Initiative- Uganda ( where she trains and empowers journalists and human rights defenders on digital literacy, Cyber security and Digital safety.

Collins Mtika

Collins was born in Malawi but bred in Zimbabwe where his parents worked in the mines there. He did his primary and secondary school level in Zimbabwe before he trekked back with his parents to Malawi after some of the mines where closed in the late 1990s.He has worked for Malawi’s biggest media company, Times Media Group that publishes, The Daily Times, Sunday Times, Malawi News and the defunct The weekend Times where he was is Bureau Chief for the Northern region.

He also worked for the tri-weekly publication The Guardian Newspaper as a Chief Reporter. He also corresponded for IPS (AFRICA) and Collins is a Malawian Investigative Journalist and founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Malawi (CIJM) – He heads the Investigations desk for Malawi’s popular online newspaper He is also the Malawi Correspondent for South African based weekly Mail & Guardian newspaper as well as Africa Independent.

He is studying for BA in Communication Science with the University of South Africa (UNISA) through distance learning. Collins started journalism in 2003. Collins also has a certificate in Journalism from Pen Point School of Journalism, a certificate in mental health, a Diploma in Journalism from Agrrey Memorial and an advanced diploma in Journalism (ABMA).

Thomas Bwire

Award-winning journalist with 10 years’ experience. Prior to founding Habari Kibra, Thomas worked at Pamoja FM, for nine years as News Editor and health reporter. He holds a BA in MassCommunication from Mount Kenya University. With awards like The CNN Multi-Choice in 2013, Internews StoryFest 2012 and Children Legal Action Network (CLAN) under his belt, Thomas brings a wealth of journalism experience and network to the team of Habari Kibra.

Thomas was also among the two Kenyan journalists who participated in a yearlong International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) September 2017-September 2018 Fellowship reporting on Early Childhood Development (ECD). This fellowship program has cultivated a deeper interest to continue reporting on ECD stories to date. Thomas is passionate about mentoring up-coming journalists so that they too can become better storytellers for the job market especially within informal settlements in Nairobi.

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi-award-winning investigative data journalist who is passionate about data, human-interest issues, and good governance. She has worked for three of the biggest newspapers in South Africa and recently established the Mail & Guardian Data Desk which she now heads up. She  has been internationally recognised for her work in data journalism by the Global Editors Network. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

Kennedy Nyavaya

Kennedy Nyavaya is a multiple award-winning journalist who works for one of the biggest private media companies in Zimbabwe, Alpha Media Holdings. His stories have been published in AMH’s three flagships: News Day, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent as well as several foreign platforms. He has a passion to catalyse informed solutions in society through enlightening the masses. Throughout his career he has travelled to different parts of the world on duty and has amplified stories on vulnerable populations, the environment and socio-political topics among others. With a firm belief that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind’s existence, he has also developed zeal to become an instrumental climate change activist. It is therefore in the bid to ensure mitigation and adaption to the effects of the CC phenomenon, particularly on vulnerable populations, that he has been on an advocacy drive for environmentally friendly activities through radio programs on local radio stations as well as articles in newspapers and social media.

Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia

Jamaine Krige

Jamaine Krige is a multi-award winning broadcast journalist who picked up her pen at age 14, writing for community papers, and has barely set it down since then. She believes in the healing, transformative powers of storytelling. She started her journalism career at the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 2014, where she spent the better part of five years telling stories of success and failures, heartbreak and happiness. She was awarded the ATKV Media Veertjie for Best Radio Documentary in 2018, as well as the SAB Environmental Journalism Award for Audio. She was also the 2018 Isu Elihle winner for her story on Scholar Transport Safety. She worked as an editor for a pan-african impact communication company before returning to her first love – telling the stories of the people she comes into contact with. She holds a degree in Psychology and Criminology, and Honours degree in Journalism and is currently completing her Psychology Honours degree. 

Yeshiel Panchia

Yeshiel Panchia is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a background in the corporate world, he was compelled to begin working in photojournalism due to the upsurge of xenophobic violence some years ago. Since then, he has worked as a staff photographer for The Citizen, stringer for The Sunday Times and serviced many news agencies such as European Press photo Agency (EPA), The Associated Press and Reuters, circulating many of his pictures worldwide. He has a passion for documentary photography and hard news, and works across the continent.

5 days left to enter child-centred journalism awards!

Media Monitoring Africa encourages journalists across Africa to submit their story ideas for the organisation’s Isu Elihle “Great Idea” Awards before the deadline at midnight on 23 September 2019.

Story ideas can be targeted at any mainstream news medium such as TV, Radio or Online. The top three story ideas will be selected and announced during an AWARDS ceremony that will be held in October 2019. The journalists behind these will each receive guaranteed financial support of ZAR 10 000. MMA will also offer support to the finalists to develop their concepts.

The final stories will be ranked once they have been published or broadcasted, and the final winners will be awarded: ZAR 25 000 (Overall Winner); ZAR 15 000 (2nd place); ZAR 10 000 (Third Place).

Project Coordinator at MMA, Girlie Sibanda says, “the call is for all African journalists to enter for these awards and it is important that they enter so that they will be able to promote children’s rights by reporting on both their abuse and achievements. This is a great opportunity for African journalists to showcase stories of African children. Journalists must however make sure that they follow the correct guidelines when reporting on children and make sure that they always put children’s best interests first”.

For more details, terms and conditions as well as the Application Form visit the Isu Eihle Award’s website

For enquiries please contact:

Girlie Sibanda


George Kalu

   Tel: +27 (0)11 788 1278



Isu Elihle Awards

Rewarding Innovative journalism about children

Media Release

23 August 2019

Entries Are Open for Media Monitoring Africa’s Child-centred Journalism Awards

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) invites journalists across Africa to enter the organisation’s Isu Elihle Awards and stand a chance to win ZAR 25 000.

MMA’s awards seek to give children a voice and highlight the status of children in our continent.   

Story ideas can be targeted at any mainstream news medium such as TV, Radio or Online. The top six story ideas will then be selected during an awards ceremony which will be held in October. The journalists behind these will each receive guaranteed financial support of ZAR 10 000. MMA will also offer support to the finalists to develop their concepts. The final stories will be ranked once they have been published or broadcasted, and the final cash prizes will be awarded: ZAR 25 000 (Overall Winner); ZAR 15 000 (2nd place); ZAR 10 000 (Third Place). 

Applications for this year’s awards open today (23 August 2019 ) and will close at midnight on 23 September 2019 

More About Isu Elihle Awards:

Isu Elihle: isiZulu meaning “Great Idea”

“Isu Elihle is isiZulu and could be translated into English as a beautiful, great or simply a neat solution… (The Awards) couldn’t have been conceived at a better time than this when the young are again asserting themselves through uprisings like #FeesMustFall and others…These awards also strike at many other stereotypes and seek to ignite a revolution in its own right.”  Joe Thloloe, Director in the South African Press Council.

The Isu Elihle Awards were launched in 2016, the awards seek to contribute to a change in attitudes and behaviours of opinion and decision-makers and citizens across the country and continent from the premise that the media frames debates in society and carries enormous influence and, therefore, ability to drive positive change.

The media can play an important role in protecting and promoting children’s rights and, in many instances, in exposing their abuses and triumphs. This is informed by the belief that children are not a homogenous group and deserve protection of their rights in all stages of their lives from early childhood development right up until they are legally considered to be adults.

However, satisfying the public’s right to hear stories about and affecting children, while at the same time respecting children’s rights to privacy and dignity, is a delicate and difficult balancing act. Along with ethical dilemmas of an extraordinarily complex and diverse nature, journalists who may attempt to report on children are often confronted with a myriad of challenges including:

  • A lack of resources, both time and technical means, to conduct adequate research for stories,
  • Challenging existing media methods for reporting on children, through investigative and fresh approaches to news practices,
  • Inherent views within newsrooms where children are seldom seen as target audiences for news media;

The Isu Elihle Awards therefore aim to encourage alternative thinking around reporting on children, and to contribute to an environment that enables journalists to expose and highlight issues affecting children in the country and the continent.

For more details, terms and conditions as well as the Application Form visit the Isu Eihle Award’s website

For enquiries please contact:

Girlie Sibanda 


George Kalu

Isu Elihle 2018 winner!

Media Monitoring Africa announced the 2018 lsu Elihle Awards winner on SABC news on Sunday 16 February 2019. “Isu Elihle is an isiZulu phrase that means a “Great Idea” when translated to English. The lsu Elihle Awards where launched in November 2015 and has been running for three years. lts aim is to encourage fresh reporting, innovative approaches and insightful investigations that seek to give children a voice and elevate the status of the child all over Africa. In the past two years the awards were open only for journalists in Eastern and Southern Africa but in 2018 journalists from all over Africa where included. This year’s top three winners are from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in South Africa and Mallick Mnela from Malawi took the 4th prize. The winner of this year’s organisation’s lsu Elihle Awards is Jarmaine Kringe for her in-depth coverage of the issue of scholar transport. She explores the dangers that children face every day when being transported by vehicles that are not road-worthy and are driven by negligent drivers. Children are also given a voice to reveal how this affects them through her three-part radio series which was broadcast on SAFM. Kringe receives a cash prize of ZAR25, 000 after being ranked the overall winner by a panel of judges including child monitors and media practitioners. The judges commended her reporting by saying, ”you always stayed true to the voices, experiences and wisdom of children and this is why as listeners we were frequently moved to tears”. Listen to the story “Surviving school Transport. The second prize of ZAR15,000 goes to Krivani Pillay for a radio series on “How some South African Children under five struggle to access adequate nutrition” which was also broadcast on SAFM. He deeply looks at the access to child nutrition and basic healthcare services in the country’s different provinces how this leads to the high rate of child mortality. Listen to the story “The Hunger Games – giving South Africa’s Children the right life”. The 3rd prize of the same amount (ZAR15,000) goes to Edwin Naidu who is the winner of the Mandy Roussow award on his three part article highlighting the issue of malnutrition and its impact on children in South Africa. The articles were published by the Sunday independent newspaper. Read the stories: “Children suffer in twilight zone” “Crisis in human development” “Starved of food and education” “SA 4th on Child-friendly Index” The final prize goes to Mallick Mnela from Malawi’s Zodiac Radio broadcasting cooperation who looks at the issue of textbook deficiency at schools in Malawi. He reveals how officials should be held accountable for the corruption at schools which sees free textbooks being sold in the black market. This unlawful act causes children to struggle as they are forced to learn with inadequate study material. His story was broadcast on Zodiac Radio Broadcasting cooperation. Listen to the story “Abuse of resources worsens primary education woes in Malawi”. The application date for this year’s awards is yet to be announced, we call upon journalists from all over Africa to enter this year’s competition.