Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

South Africans Fengu, Monakali win CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award

By CNN Staff
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Mon October 14, 2013
Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali share the top honors at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2013.
Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali share the top honors at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Their story was an investigation into hygiene and safety risks in school hostels
  • It ran as a series in a South African newspaper
  • The award was presented at a ceremony in Cape Town Saturday

(CNN) -- An investigation into appalling conditions in school hostels has won two South African journalists the top prize at the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Awards.

Msindisi Fengu and Yandisa Monakali shared the top honor of CNN MultiChoice African Journalist of the Year for their series "School hostels of shame," which appeared in South African newspaper Daily Dispatch.

The series investigated appalling conditions experienced by thousands of pupils in South Africa's Eastern Cape, uncovering hygiene and safety risks in school hostels and lifting the lid on corruption within the education department.

AJA 2013: African Journalist of the Year

Their winning entry was chosen from 1,387 submissions from 42 nations across the continent. It also won the Print General News Award.

AJA 2013: Print General News Award

"It's a huge honor to win," the pair said in a statement. "It means all the work we put in has been rewarded. It always feel good to be recognized by your fellow journalists. We'll keep pushing this agenda."

Ferial Haffajee, chair of the judging panel, said the top prize was tightly contested. "But we felt that 'Hostels of shame' had resonance across the continent. We live in an era of fast everything, so fast journalism is a big part of it. To find a piece of work where people took their weekends, took months to do it and told the story over some length is a real joy."

The award carried a substantial cash prize, plus a visit to CNN Center in Atlanta to attend the three-week CNN Journalism Fellowship. All finalists received a cash prize, with category winners receiving a laptop and printer as well.

Fengu and Monakali were among 27 finalists from 11 countries who attended the Awards ceremony at the Cape Town International Convention Center Saturday as the culmination of a four day program of workshops, media forums, networking, and sightseeing.

Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president, global relations for CNN Worldwide, said the awards highlighted the depth and strength of journalism in Africa.

"These men and women have proven that top-notch journalism is alive and prospering, and Africa will have its stories told to the world."

Nico Meyer, CEO of MultiChoice Africa, said journalists played a vital role in the development of African media.

"Without your hard work and perseverance, the development of the media across Africa would not be possible."

Khosravi presented the top award with Collins Khumalo, CEO of MultiChoice South Africa.

The awards were established in 1995 to encourage, promote and recognize excellence in African journalism.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
updated 8:01 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Put yourself in the shoes (and sixth-century black robes) of ISIS' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the mysterious boss of the terror group.
updated 1:00 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
China's Xi Jinping and India's Narendra Modi, leaders of the most populous nations face similar challenges. Can they learn from each other?
updated 6:36 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
The U.S. is not returning combat troops to Iraq, President Barack Obama insists.
updated 8:38 PM EDT, Tue September 16, 2014
A man abducted alongside killed U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff tells CNN that no one from the U.S. government has tried to talk with him.
updated 11:08 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Mulatu Astatke is the founding father of ethio-jazz: a fusion of Ethiopian music with western jazz.
updated 9:11 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Have you been to these? The global museum list, released Tuesday, ranks 25 of the world's best museums.
updated 1:03 PM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
iOS 8, the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, comes with new features that you'll enjoy.
updated 5:27 AM EDT, Wed September 17, 2014
Psychedelic drugs are being researched as a potential treatment for conditions ranging from anxiety to tobacco and alcohol addiction.
updated 10:09 AM EDT, Thu September 18, 2014
Even death couldn't part two skeletons excavated from a lost chapel in an English county, found with their fingers entwined.
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT