After a stellar showing in the regionals, eNCA is proud to bring home the overall 2021 Vodacom Journalist of the Year and the Young Journalist of the Year Awards.
South African journalism has once again excelled at capturing and telling the stories of our colourful, vibrant and deeply complex society – made even more so by the enormous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This was the verdict by the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards’ (VJOY) judging panel as the winners were announced at a virtual ceremony Thursday night, 25 November 2021.
The overall 2021 Vodacom Journalist of the Year winner is Siphamandla Goge of eNCA for his story titled, “The sun sets on Zulu kingdom”, who walked away with the coveted R100 000 prize and title. Goge covered the deaths of the Zulu king and the queen regent, a moment in our country’s history which engulfed the nation in uncertainty, confusion and grief, as well as evoking a sense of pride and of learning. The coverage of this poignant event was described as “superb, incisive and instructive live TV reporting”.
Goge started his journalism career in 2004 and joined eNCA in 2015 where he covers mainly politics, business and environmental stories. He holds a Master of Arts in Multimedia (Broadcast) Journalism from the University of Westminster in London, United Kingdom and a Master of Management from Hohai University in Nanjing, China. He identified a gap in the media industry about under coverage of news stories relating to traditional leaders, Kings, Queens, Kingdoms and royalty in general. The departure of King Zwelithini and his late wife, Queen Mantfombi, is regarded as one of the biggest stories in South Africa; a period that shook the powerful Amazulu Kingdom. Goge continues to cover the Kingdom as it continues to be plagued by royal dispute over the throne. His passion for covering news stories relating to traditional affairs and royalty, earned him this top honour and recognition among his industry peers.
“It’s an honour to win the prestigious Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award and many thanks to my hard-working cameramen Bongumusa Mkhize and Nkanyiso Mdlalose. Journalists have a critical role to play in building our nation and I’m grateful to be able to make a meaningful contribution. With the support and encouragement of Management and a talented team of people at eNCA, I have been able to hone my craft and freely share the stories of our people,” said Goge.
The Young Journalist of the Year Award went to Jabulile Mbatha from eNCA Checkpoint. This award emphasises the VJOY’s commitment to furthering the career of a dynamic young rising star journalist in South Africa. Mbatha has won an all-expenses-paid overseas trip to work in an international newsroom. Should the pandemic continue to interrupt international travel, an alternative arrangement will be made.
“I am more than honoured to have won this award because of its prestige. It has affirmed my abilities and made me feel appreciated for being recognized for the hard work I put in. I am looking forward to having an international working experience and seeing what opportunities are available for me thereafter,” said Mbatha upon hearing the wonderful news.
“At eNCA, we endeavour to create a newsroom climate where our journalists can continue to report on news with the viewer in mind. They do this without fear or favour and it is pleasing to witness the industry, recognizing our journalists for passion for story-telling in a real, truthful way with passion and commitment. On behalf of the eNCA family, I salute Siphamandla and Jabulile and their support teams and thank them for the honour they have brought to eNCA.” says Norman Munzhelele, Managing Director of eNCA.