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 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 8:57 PM EDT, Sat July 19, 2014
Children and youth are often the victims of the violence in Gaza. CNN's Ben Wedeman reports.
updated 11:07 PM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
A nun, an AIDS researcher, an athlete and a family traveling on summer vacation. These were some of the victims aboard MH17.
updated 2:21 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
In an ambitious plan to upgrade urban India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he will build 100 "smart cities" across the country.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Inspirational, creepy or just weird? CNN meets the 51-year-old man who dresses like a schoolgirl.
shakespeare moon illustration
It's been 45 years since the first moon landing. And still the giant rock continues to intrigue.
updated 8:49 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Nelson Mandela
21 ICONS has captured intimate portraits of some of South Africa's most celebrated. Founder Adrian Steirn reveals the story behind the images.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
A British nanotech company has created what it says is the world's darkest material.
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Yoga, meditation and watching a snake eat a frog alive: these are some of the experiences to be had at this Himalayan yoga retreat.
updated 7:39 AM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Just a few weeks ago, a boy tied to a bus stop in Mumbai barely received a glance from passersby. Now, he has a home, thanks to a local NGO.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT