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Online journalism winner sets new benchmark



At the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards this weekend, the winner of the online category earned the highest praise.|At the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards this weekend, the winner of the online category earned the highest praise.

An investigation into South Africa’s growing role in the international heroin trade, by Susan Comrie of City Press, won the online category of the Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards over the weekend, for its exemplary use of the digital medium.

“The winner sets a new benchmark in the range of platforms that can be successfully combined in strong online journalism in South Africa,” the judges said of the feature, Pushing Heroin, which can be viewed at

The Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards celebrates what makes journalism great. The judges faced a tough job processing entries that were of a very high standard. This year there were 976 entries, an increase of 204 from 2015.

“The increase in numbers of entries this year was heartening,” said Mary Papayya, convenor of the judging panel. “We were presented with outstanding submissions and we are pleased that some of these came from smaller publications and online sites. Next year we hope to see even more entries from as wide a range of media platforms as possible

“We were very happy to see entries from all areas grow – and across all media. This year the Vodacom Awards welcomed an exciting new category, ‘Young Journalist’, which replaced the Editor’s Choice Award, and the judges were unanimous in their praise for the high quality of submissions in this category. Fifty young journalists entered their work. The overall quality and depth of entries bodes well for journalism in South Africa.”

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at Vodacom Group, said: “Once again, I pay tribute to the judges, who, year after year, provide their expertise and knowledge in the adjudication of these prestigious awards, thereby ensuring the integrity of the process.

“I would like to thank Mary Papayya, Arthur Goldstuck, Ryland Fisher, Elna Rossouw, Patricia McCracken, Nikiwe Bikitsha, Peter McKenzie, Mathatha Tshedu, and Albe Grobbelaar for their service and wisdom.

“Communication is one of Vodacom’s core functions, and with increased connectivity and data speed, the link between connectivity and journalism, we are proud to say that Vodacom serves journalists in keeping track of breaking stories, and indeed breaking them.”


Group shot of the national winners at the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards 2016. Front row L – R: Piet Rampedi, (award accepted on behalf of Bongani Fuzile), Thanduxolo Jika, Zikhona Tshona, David Ritchie, Sameer Naik, Junia Stainbank and Muraga Mpaphuli. Second row L – R: Izak du Plessis, Qaanitah Hunter, Ntokozo Sindane, Sam Nzima, Takalani Netshitenzhe, Pontsho Pilane, Susan Comrie, Lisa Steyn and Julie Laurenz. Back row L – R: Matshwela Ngoveni, Hazel Friedman, Pieter Brewis and Sabelo Skiti.

Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award

The 2016 Overall National Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award goes to a journalist from the Western Region who displayed through his photography a nuanced and captivating montage of one of the biggest stories of the year. For his entry published in the Cape Argus, UCT Under Fire, David Ritchie wins R100 000 and the accolades that go with being the Vodacom Journalist of the Year.

Entries were received in 12 categories this year: CSI/Sustainability, Young Journalist, Financial/Economic, Online, Photography, Print Feature, Print News, Radio Feature, Radio News, Sport, Television Feature, and Television News.

The national winners in the various categories are as follows, with each winner taking home R10 000:

2016 Radio Feature

Courage, strength, seeking the truth, and the appetite for skillful storytelling defined the winner in this category at national level. This radio feature was exemplary in all aspects that make for a riveting radio feature – live sound, in-depth analysis, strong news value, and debate. The winner in this entry featured stories that brought to the fore the specialist skills that are needed for the genre of radio features. The winner is: Izak du Plessis, for SABC Current Affairs, RSG.

2016 Radio News

In a category that featured strong entries highlighting a range of socio-political and economic issues – it was clear that radio remains a powerful medium – with minute-by-minute breaking stories from the scene, and at the heart of the community. While on par with every medium when it came to highlighting the key stories that made the headlines, our winner added new angles, refreshing perspectives, and breaking story hooks in the ever-changing face of radio news. The winner is Nkululeko Nyembezi for his story about the court case and sentencing of the king of the Abathembu for SABC Radio News.

2016 TV Feature

This category was highly contested with 79 entries in the five regions. While a news story on television requires amongst other elements good footage, presentation, and story appeal – it is the overall package that determines its desired impact and result. Our winning entry highlights how the television journalist through sheer hard work can find exclusive angles to stories that have already made social media, print, and radio headlines. The winners are:  Matshwela Ngoveni for the Lily Mine Tragedy, and Ntokozo Sindane for Payola for Checkpoint at eNCA, and Hazel Friedman, Pieter Brewis, and Marc Mullenberg for Afterburn for SABC Special Assignment.

2016 TV News

This category attracted 52 entries throughout the country and the content was riveting. It was clear that those who pushed the limits when it came to telling a story added something extra to what was already known about the issues at hand. The winners brought us insights into all of the key stories that made the headlines and took us to the heart of the community behind the news. The winners are: Zikhona Tshona and Muraga Mpaphuli for eNCA.

2016 Print Feature

There were some very good news features this year, dealing with, among others, the local government elections and serious societal issues, such as rape and serial killing. But it was also a year in which there were several excellent features about prisons and prison conditions in various parts of the country. Our winner in the feature category goes to someone who went beyond the call of duty to expose serious corruption in the prisons system, where millions appeared to have been paid for non-existent security measures. The winner is: Bongani Fuzile for Maximum Insecurity in the Daily Dispatch.

2016 Print News

This category had more than 150 entries, many of which were high quality stories that informed the news agenda and debates in the country. They were as many as they were varied. This can be seen from the regional winners which ranged from stories that compared how media and society reacted to two gruesome virtually identical murders of young girls who were separated by class. There was also the body of work on medical shortages, great coverage about the killing fields of the Glebelands hostel, and the body of work around the coverage of a well-known business family’s alleged influence in the state. Lastly, there was the gruesome tale of a mutilator from Denmark. The winners are: Qaanitah Hunter, Thanduxolo Jika, Sabelo Skiti, Sibongakonke Shoba, and Piet Rampedi for State Capture for the Sunday Times.

2016 Photography

The national award is a vindication for the enduring ability of strong photography and dedicated photographers to represent, reflect, interpret, hold reality up to scrutiny, the moment in time, and the elements in the frame.  The winner is: David Ritchie. UCT Under fire for the Cape Argus.

2016 Financial/Economic

The winner demonstrates a broad range of work combined with insightful analysis and well-formed commentary, highlighting key continuing abuses of power in the economic system. The winner is: Lisa Steyn for a body of work for the Mail & Guardian.

2016 CSI/Sustainability

The winner showed how personal tragedy and local interests clashed with corporate plans and implementation of regional and national political interests on the Wild Coast. The winner is: Julie Laurenz for Mining Murder for eNCA Checkpoint.

2016 Online

The winner sets a new benchmark in the range of platforms that can be successfully combined in strong online journalism in South Africa. The winner is: Susan Comrie Pushing Heroin for City Press.

2016 Sport

This category unveiled a picture of a country mad about sport. The coverage was exceptional from soccer to rugby to cricket, with spy sagas and other associated debates making the headlines. The winning entries highlighted the skill in the sport reporting genre. Journalists have to be on top of their game to cover this demanding field. The winners in this category are: Sameer Naik for the Saturday Star, and Junia Stainbank for eNCA.

Young Journalist

The winner in this category gets an opportunity to fast track his or her professional and personal development through an all-expenses paid overseas trip that includes a visit to the renowned Thomson Foundation, as well as the opportunity to work in a newsroom. Journalists must have worked in the media for up to, but not more than three years, and have demonstrated their potential through their entries. The 2016 Young Journalist Award goes to the Mail & Guardian’s Pontsho Pilane.

Vodacom Journalist of the Year Lifetime Achiever Award

This award honours a journalist who has made a significant lifetime contribution to the media in South Africa. June 16 marked a turning point in the history of resistance to apartheid. When the high school pupils in Soweto undertook their march from Orlando West bent on showing their displeasure at being taught maths and other subjects in Afrikaans, they were saying more than just “Away with Afrikaans”. History has recorded that the march did not go far, and that the apartheid police unleashed bullets on school children.

One of those children was Hector Pietersen, who went on to become the face of the Soweto uprising. The picture of a dying Hector, carried by Mbuyisa Makhubu in his Delela overall, with sister Antoinette screaming alongside, is the aggregate representation of the start of the phase of the revolution that eventually saw Nelson Mandela released 14 years later, and democratic elections ushering in a new dispensation 18 years after that fateful day.

At the centre of that iconic image stands the unassuming Sam Nzima, who was at the right place at the right time and ensured that the first draft of history the following day in The World, could graphically represent the brute force unleashed on Soweto and in following days, on the nation as a whole. Bra Sam shot the picture, had the presence of mind to realise he had a good frame, and took the film out and hid it. When the police later forced him to hand over his film that picture was saved. As the picture grew in stature, the attention of the security police on him also grew.

He left journalism and went on to become a businessman in Bushbuckridge, where he still lives. The judges of the VJOY Awards 2016 are convinced that, as we remember the courage, bravery and commitment of the young ones of 1976, it is time to also honour Bra Sam for his work. The 2016 Vodacom Lifetime Achiever winner is Sam Nzima.

“This year has been a celebration of excellence with great stories being entered into the Vodacoms,” said Netshitenzhe. “From entries telling the everyday tales of human life, to massive breaking stories, we saw entries from journalists who looked beyond the obvious and found jewels.”


AppDate: DStv jumps on music bandwagon

In this week’s AppDate, SEAN BACHER highlights DStv’s JOOX, Cisco’s Security Connector, Diski Skills, Namola and Exhibid.




DStv is now offering JOOX, a music streaming service owned by China’s Tencent, to DStv Premium, Compact Plus and Compact customers.

In addition to streaming local and international artists, JOOX allows one to switch to karaoke mode and learn the lyrics as well as create and share playlists. Users can add up to four friends or family to the service free of charge.

DStv Family, Access and EasyView customers can also log in to the free JOOX service directly through JOOX App, but will be unable to add additional friends and won’t be able to listen to add-free music.

Platform: Access the JOOX service directly from the services menu on DStv or download the JOOX app for an iOS or Android phone.

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.


Cisco Security Connector

With all the malware, viruses and trojans doing the rounds, it is difficult for users and enterprises to ensure that they don’t become targets. Cisco, in collaboration with Apple, has brought out its Cisco Security Connector to protect users. The app is designed to give enterprises and users overall visibility and control over their network activity on iOS devices. It does this by ensuring compliance of mobile users and their enterprise-owned iOS devices during incident investigations, by identifying what happened, who it affected, and the risk of the exposure. It also protects iPhone and iPad users from accessing malicious sites on the Internet, whether on the corporate network, public Wi-Fi, or cellular networks. In turn, it prevents any viruses from entering a company’s network.

Platform: iPhones and iPads running iOS 11.3 or later

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the Apple App Store for downloading instructions.


Diski Skills

The Goethe-Institut, in co-operation with augmented reality specialists Something Else Design Agency, has created a new card game which celebrates South African freestyle football culture, and brings it alive through augmented reality. Diski Skills is quick card game, set in a South African street football scenario, showing popular tricks such as the Shibobo, Tsamaya or Scara Turn. Each trick is rated in categories of attack, defence and swag – one wins the game by challenging an opponent strategically with the trick at hand. Through augmented reality, the cards come alive. Move a smartphone over a card and watch as the trick appears on the screen in a slow motion video. An educational value is added as players can study the tricks and learn more about the idea behind it.


The game will be launched on 27 October 2018 at the Goethe-Institut.

For more information visit:



With  recent news of kidnappings on the rise, a lot more thought is going into keeping children safe. Would your child know what to do in an emergency? Have you actually asked them?

Namola, supported by Dialdirect Insurance, is a free mobile safety app. Namola’s simple interface makes it an ideal way for children to learn how to get help in an emergency. All they need to do is activate the app and push a button to get help that they need, even when their parents are not around.

Parents need to install the app on their child’s phone, hold down the request assistance button, program emergency numbers that will automatically be dialled when the emergency button is pushed, and teach their children how and when to use the app.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.



Exhibid could be thought of as Tinder, but for for art lovers. The interface looks very similar to the popular mobile dating app, in that users swipe left for a painting that doesn’t appeal to them, or swipe right for something they like. Once an art piece is liked by swiping right, one can start bidding or make an offer on it. The bid is automatically sent to the artist. Should he or she accept the offer, the buyer makes a payment through the app’s secure payment gateway and the two are put in contact to make arrangements for delivery.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download.

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device.

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New kind of business school

At a recent meeting, ALLON RAIZ, founder and CEO of Raizcorp, realised that in order for today’s youth to become entrepreneurs, teachers, the curriculum and the parents need continually expose them to entrepreneurial thinking from a young age.



Several years ago, I found myself in a meeting with my business partner and two of my staff members. In front of us was a client who was sharing some of the frustrations in his business. At the end of the meeting, my partner and I were extremely excited about the prospect of two massive opportunities we had both independently identified while listening to the client. My two staff members, on the other hand, completely missed them. This led me to wonder what it was in my own and my partner’s backgrounds that allowed us to so easily spot opportunities while my two staff members remained oblivious … I realised that the difference was that my partner and I both had an early exposure to entrepreneurship while they didn’t.

Not long afterwards, I was delivering a lecture about how Raizcorp grows and develops small businesses at Oxford University’s Said Business School in my role as their Entrepreneur-in-Residence. I mentioned the above incident and spoke about my intention of going into children’s education with a view to providing an entrepreneurial perspective.

One of the professors in attendance asked me if I’d ever heard of a piece of research by Henrich R Greve called Who wants to be an entrepreneur? The deviant roots of entrepreneurship. It’s a pretty unfortunate title but a fascinating piece of research nonetheless. It highlights how certain contexts in childhood result in a much a higher probability of becoming an entrepreneur. For example, kids who participate in solo sports such as tennis or athletics are more likely to become entrepreneurs than children who play team sports like soccer and cricket. Conversely, your mother’s participation in the parent-teacher association has a negative correlation to you becoming an entrepreneur. I spent the rest of the afternoon in the professor’s office discussing other research papers that unequivocally proved that context during your childhood has a massive influence on whether or not you will follow the entrepreneurial route.

Another member of the lecture audience was a double-PhD from the USA who was completing her MBA at Oxford. After the lecture, she approached me and volunteered to help build a framework to incorporate entrepreneurship in the school curriculum without interfering with the formal requirements of the CAPS curriculum.

She spent nine months in South Africa working with me to build out a practical framework. The next phase of the plan was to find the right school at which to embark upon this journey. In December 2015, Raizcorp purchased Radley Private School and we began our entrepreneurial education adventure in earnest in 2016.

At the centre of the Radley philosophy is that the school (the physical building), the teachers, the curriculum and the parents are the “marinade” in which the kids need to soak in order to be continuously exposed to entrepreneurial thinking from a young age. The aim was that if, in future, the kids found themselves sitting in a boardroom with me and my partner, they too would be able to identify the opportunities that we did.

A big shift this year has been the launch of our Entrepreneurial Educator Guide (EEG) programme where we have been training our Radley teachers (whom we call guides) to understand entrepreneurship, business language, business concepts, financial documents and the like. (The EEG training makes use of Raizcorp’s internationally accredited entrepreneurial learning and guiding methodologies.) We have also employed a full-time staff member to ensure that these concepts are imbedded into all lesson plans and classroom activities.

Through my network at Raizcorp, I have been pleasantly surprised by the massive support we’re receiving from prominent entrepreneurs and businesses who want to participate in our Radley Exposure programme, where we take our kids of all ages on visits to different types of businesses so they can understand the difference between retail, wholesale, manufacturing, logistics and so on. Prominent businesspeople have put up their hands to come to the school and tell their stories of hard work, resilience and perseverance. This ties in beautifully with the 17 entrepreneurial concepts that we are instilling into our Radley learners (such as opposite eyes, lateral thinking and opposable mind), while never compromising on our quality academic offering.

As parents, we’ve all heard the terrible statistics about the probability of our kids finding jobs in the future. At Radley, we’re working hard to ensure that our kids have a legitimate and lucrative alternative to finding traditional employment and that is to become an entrepreneur. Radley is all about producing job creators and not job seekers!

To enrol your child or find out more about the school, please visit

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