MMA Announces 2017’s Top Three Finalists!


Isu Elihle Awards Ceremony

Rewarding Innovative Journalism about Children

                                                                                20 September 2017

MMA has announced and congratulates the top three finalists for its annual Isu Elihle Awards!

South Africa’s Beth Shirley Amato, Uganda’s Collins Hinamundi and Malawi’s Bashir Amin, were announced as the top contenders on Wednesday 20 September 2017 during a ceremony held at Google South Africa, in Bryanston, Johannesburg.

Translated from IsiZulu to mean “Great Idea”, the Isu Elihle Awards aim to encourage fresh reporting and insightful investigations that seek to give children a voice and highlight the various issues they face across the continent. This is done by inviting journalists from East and Southern Africa to submit original child-centred news story ideas for publication or broadcasting in mainstream news media.

MMA launched the awards last year in partnership with Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD) in Zambia as well as Save the Children International (SCI).For this year’s competition, 35 entries were received from media professionals in Southern and Eastern Africa between 29 May and 30 June to be considered for the coveted prizes presented during the awards ceremony.

The entries were adjudicated and the top three finalists selected by a panel of media experts including Talk Radio 702’s Phemelo Motene, representatives of the various partners and child journalists and media monitors. “I was encouraged by the level of thought that went into the type of stories that journalists are telling,” said Motene of this year’s entries.

Director at MMA, William Bird was also impressed with the stories submitted for this year’s awards, “We were all so thrilled with the quality of entries and each of our finalists have cracker stories lined up. There can be no doubt that each would be worthy winners. We congratulate Bashir, Collins and Beth for making the top three and look forward to the stories. We thank our media partners for agreeing to take the stories on. We believe they will add great value to their titles.”

Leanne Manas who gave the keynote address during the ceremony applauded the finalists and other journalists who entered the competition, “… The fact that you have even decided to pick up your pens or sit in front of your computers and tap away at the issues that are affecting our children, I thank you – and I thank you loudly because the louder we thank you and the louder we speak, the more people may listen…”

The finalists will each receive a guaranteed R10 000 to develop their story ideas for publication or broadcasting. These stories will then be ranked and each finalist will stand a chance to win the following cash prizes: R25 000 (Overall Winner); R15 000 (Second Place) and R10 000 (Third Place).

Said Bird, “While this is only the second year of the Isu Elihle Awards, planning for next year has already begun. If you have a great news story idea with or about or involving children, write it down now. Competition is tight and next year our awards will be bigger and better.”

For more details please contact:

Ayabulela Poro or William Bird

Tel: 011 788 1278

Email: or

Social Media

Please follow the following accounts on social media for updates during the event:

MMA:   Facebook: @MediaMattersZA  Twitter: @MediaMattersZA

SavetheChildren: Twitter: @ESASaveChildren

MNCRD:   Facebook: @MNCRDAfrica

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