In partnership with major South African media outlets, the IWMF continues to prepare journalists to produce in-depth reporting on issues surrounding the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The Reporting Fellows represent a range of both national and community media organizations from several different South African regions, most notably KwaZulu-Natal, the region with the highest HIV prevalence in the country.
Child is a journalist for The Times in Johannesburg. After teaching English as a second language in Taiwan and Cape Town, she returned to study Journalism at Wits University. She subsequently interned at Talk Radio 702 and trained students to write and collect radio news at Wits University’s radio station.
In 2011, Child was awarded the Anthony Sampson Fellowship to do rural health reporting. She went to the middle of nowhere in KwaZulu-Natal to find untold stories, one of which was published in Mail & Guardian. Child has worked for The Times since January 2012.
The IWMF fellowship will give her the opportunity to find middle class health stories which are usually not told. Child believes that most stories about HIV are about the poor but wealthier people who can afford private doctors, stay ‘hidden, as do their stories.’
Dyala is a freelance researcher, producer and presenter for the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) Channel Africa in Johannesburg. She currently produces and presents Let’s Talk About It – a program on HIV/AIDS lifestyle, aimed at empowering young people, addressing issues that are shunned by society.
She studied towards a BA degree at Rhodes University and joined SABC Channel Africa in 2006, having been an HIV/AIDS activist and worked for the National Association of People Living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. She also works for HEARTLINES and has covered issues raised by one of the vocal and active organisations advocating for treatment, support and care of people living with HIV/AIDS – the Treatment Action Campaign.
She is hoping to focus her investigative reports on practical ways of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, on ways of disclosing and dealing with one’s HIV status in relationships and HIV in the workplace.
Gori is a journalist at SABC Digital News in Johannesburg, with a passion for new media and radio. Gori began her career as a news anchor for a community radio station while studying towards her BA degree. She went on to produce a daily drive time show and present current affair shows. She also held the position of sub-editor for a community newspaper.
Gori holds a Psychology degree from University of South Africa and a Honors Degree in Journalism from the University of Witwatersrand. She volunteered at a drug/rehab center while studying and mentored young aspiring writers over the years. She hopes to focus on humanitarian and investigative journalism.
While working as a producer for the AM Drive on Radio Al Ansaar, she produced a show focusing on HIV/Aids and the Muslim community with the Islamic Care Line and various other caregivers. She is also a certified HIV/Aids Counselor.
Green is a health reporter at Mail & Guardian in Rosebank and obtained an Honours Degree in Health Journalism from Rhodes University in 2011.
An affinity for writing as well as a compulsion to shape the discussion on health issues in a more creative and critical way inspired her entry into the profession.
Prior to joining Mail & Guardian, she investigated the abuse of the attention deficit disorder drug, Ritalin, among university students – an expose that was published on the ebook website Mampoer Shorts. Amy has also written for publications such as Grocott’s Mail, The Springs Advertiser, Ezempilo Health Matters and Health Workers for Change.
Green applied for the IWMF fellowship because of the prominent place the HIV issue still holds in the South African society so that she can write these stories with accuracy, sensitivity and confidence to ultimately become a responsible and effective health journalist.
Langa is a journalist working for Isolezwe Newspaper in Durban. She completed her Journalism Diploma at the Durban University of Technology in KwaZulu Natal in 2006. She served as a Media intern at Art for Humanity (AFH), a non-profit organization specializing in HIV/AIDS, women and children’s rights and Human Rights.
She got her grounding in covering health while working as an intern journalist and later a junior journalist with Health-e News Service. She covers a range of beats with a special focus on health issues, ranging from HIV and TB to cancer. She has a regular column that appears in the paper every two weeks where she writes informative pieces with the assistance of medical practitioners.
Langa joined the IWMF Fellowship to gain more experience in investigating reporting on HIV issues.
Madlala is a reporter for The Daily News in Durban. She studied Journalism at Varsity College. After graduating, she started working for The Natal Witness as a weekend reporter and also worked full-time for the company’s community newspaper, The Mirror. In 2008, she joined The Daily News as a morning shift reporter.
She covers various beats, including court, municipal, health and crime, and has worked on various human interest stories. She is passionate about making a difference in the lives of people, especially those who could not speak for themselves.
During the fellowship, Madlala hopes to investigate the treatment of the virus and efforts to find a cure, write about children who are born with the virus, and cover life in an HIV hospice.
Mere is an editor at Northern Cape Express in Kimberley. After studying Public Relations, she joined Township Roundtrip Community Newspaper and later Scarlet Dawn Trading which publishes several community newspapers in different districts in the Northern Cape Province. She has also contributed to Umsobomvu Youth Magazine and Northern Cape Premier’s Office Magazine called Puisano.
She came across the effects of HIV/Aids when she was a caregiver for Red Cross in Kimberley. As a home-based caregiver, she learned how ‘the entire community gets exposed to the pain of seeing one of their own being ravaged by this disease’. Working for Township Roundtrip Community Newspaper in Kimberley, she had the opportunity to give HIV/Aids infected and affected people a voice to express their concerns in writing through a weekly column that was called Positive Living.
Participating in the IWMF Fellowship, she hopes to learn how to tell the many HIV/AIDS stories, particularly in the black communities, that need to be told.
Mkize is a health reporter for The Star in Johannesburg. After graduating at the University of Pretoria with a BA in Languages specializing in Journalism, she started off through the Independent Newspapers cadet program. At The Star, she started off as a general reporter covering a range of stories from court to features and crime before being assigned to health reporting.
Although Mkize is new to the health beat, she is fully aware of how important it is because health is something that affects everyone. Joining the fellowship, she hopes to improve her writing, investigating and journalistic skills, as it is in her and the paper’s best interests to give the health beat the due diligence and respect it deserves.
She is planning to investigate stories about the triple fixed dose combination tablet as well as HIV/AIDS in prison.
Soji is a freelance journalist for The Daily Sun in Johannesburg, the biggest daily newspaper in South Africa. She completed her Bachelor of Arts Honors Degree in 2011 at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, majoring in Journalism and Media Studies. Her curiosity to read anything with words led her to gaining a coveted year-long internship with Media 24 Newspapers.
In 2012, Soji joined The Daily Sun as an intern and currently still works at the news desk where she can be reporting on service delivery issues or interact with the country’s political and business elite. She has a strong interest in women and children’s rights and aims to change the plight of the voiceless through her journalism.
Soji is interested in exploring the attitude towards HIV amongst young people, the 16 to 40 age group, as well as assessing the changing attitude of South Africans over the past 19 years, from the early years of denialism to present day where there is much information available on the pandemic.
Stuurman is a digital media producer at the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) in Johannesburg. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Rhodes University and describes himself as a versatile journalist who has done radio, TV and online journalism. He started off working for NGO media houses such as Health-e News Service and IPS Africa.
In 2012, he won a Discovery Health Journalism Award for Best Health Radio Journalism and he was also a finalist in the Young Health Journalist of the Year category. He covered the 5th South Africa AIDS Conference which attracted senior scientists and government officials from around the world.
Stuurman is planning to cover HIV/AIDS in the rural areas, particularly access to medicine, and traditional circumcision vs medical male circumcision (MMC), among many other stories, during the fellowship.
Zeenat Abdool is an award-winning journalist at SABC Radio Channel Africa. She currently produces and presents a talk show, African Dialogue, which deals with issues of gender, education, health, politics and environment; as well as a program called @SociallyAfrica, which monitors trending topics on online and social media.
Abdool made her radio debut in 2006 at a community radio station in Lenasia, moving to SABC Channel Africa radio station in 2008. She has covered assignments in Gaza, presidential elections and climate change summits. Abdool qualified as an English teacher from the University of Witwatersrand, then pursued her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science degree through the University of South Africa. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Journalism through the University of Witwatersrand, and hopes to specialize in investigative reporting.
Tanja Bencun has worked as a feature producer for SABC Digital News for three years, and as a journalist for 10. In her current position, she focuses on human interest and lifestyle topics, particularly in the arts and health. She enjoys the multimedia producing aspect to telling stories, and uses video footage and photographs to enhance her reporting and to engage her audience.
Bencun earned her B.A. in English and has also studied psychology.
Euline Fillis, Current Affairs producer for SABC’s FOKUS, has covered a range of stories from human interest to education, health and social economic issues. In addition, she has delivered breaking stories for the daily main news bulletin and current affairs program since joining SABC in 2008. She is passionate about social media and runs the FOKUS Facebook page. In 2011, Fillis was nominated by the ATKV for the best in-depth news insert “uit die dwelm hel.”
In 2001, Fillis made her debut as a disc jockey at Imonti FM, in the Eastern Cape. After completing her journalism studies at the Walter Sisulu University in 2006, she worked as a news reporter at Die Burger. She started at SABC in 2008 and worked as an output journalist for radio until joining FOKUS in 2009.
Mukelwa Hlatshwayo has been a Junior Producer for eTV’s top current affairs program, 3rd Degree, and in May, 2012 she accepted a post at The New York Times, working in their Southern African region in Greenside, Johannesburg. She recently won The Discovery Health Journalism Award in the Television Feature Category for her piece, “Hospital Horrors,” which documented the tragic story of three South African families who suffered at the hands of health care workers in various government hospitals.
Born and raised in Swaziland, Hlatshwayo resolved to become a journalist at age nine, and began her Journalism studies at the University of Witwatersrand; however, family tragedies prevented her from completing her degree. She refused to give up her dream, and freelanced for community media and various agencies until she got her break at eTV.
Sibongile Mashaba, Mpumalanga correspondent for the Sowetan, began her media career there in 2007. Previously, she covered crimes and courts for the newspaper.
Mashaba completed Media Studies and Journalism coursework at Rosebank College, and has also participated in training at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. In addition to being a journalist, she is a qualified alcohol and drug abuse counselor.
Sipho Masombuka has been a reporter for The Times since 2011, and has worked as a journalist since 2003. Previously, he was a senior reporter for the Sowetan and the Pretoria-based Tshwane Sun Community Newspaper group, where he helped to launch a township edition of Tshwane Sun community newspapers in 2006.
Masombuka studied journalism at Intec College and completed Media Law and Ethics and Election Reporting courses at the Institute for Advancement of Journalism.
Ina Skosana has been a health news reporter at The New Age, a national newspaper, since 2011. She recently received a top achiever award for the most aspiring person in her newsroom.
Skosana earned her B.A in journalism at the University of Pretoria, where she co-founded and chaired the journalism society and served as the political reporter for Kampus Beeld, a varsity installment of the regional publication. During her school years, Skosana served as an HIV/AIDS peer counselor.
Bibi-Aisha Wadvalla, a freelance journalist focusing on science and development, has worked in radio, print and online media. While studying for a Bachelor of Science, she volunteered at a community radio station, presenting a youth talk show. Radio seduced her, and after a stint at another community radio station, she pursued a career in media. She established herself in mainstream South African media by presenting a current affairs program at SAfm, South Africa’s national talk radio station. She left SAfm to move to Egypt, after being asked to start an internet radio service for Islamonline.net. She later corresponded for the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) from Egypt. Her work has appeared on The Guardian, Al Jazeera, SABC, Nature Middle East, IPS, SciDev and Daily News Egypt.
Wadvalla is a mentee in the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) SjCOOP mentorship programme. A Reuters health reporting fellowship affirmed her commitment to report on science, and further motivated her to dedicate coverage to women’s health and HIV/AIDS.
Nomsa Zwane, who joined Alex FM in 2009 as a volunteer, worked her way up through the ranks to become a news reader, field reporter, and current affairs producer.
Zwane has been directly affected by HIV/AIDS, losing her parents and other relatives to the disease. Five her family members are currently living with the virus. Zwane is determined to address the stigma and fear associated with HIV/AIDS in her work as a journalist.
Laura Lopez Gonzalez began covering HIV in 2003, when she completed an in-depth reporting project on HIV among men who have sex with men in Chicago, Illinois, and Cape Town, South Africa, as part of her undergraduate coursework at the Medill School of Journalism in Chicago. She later completed a master’s thesis on counterintuitive links between conflict and HIV transmission in Mozambique as part of the University of Chicago’s Committee on International Relations before returning to South Africa.
Lopez has spent the last five years as a freelance journalist reporting for the United Nations HIV/ AIDS news service, IRIN/PlusNews. Prior to this experience, she worked for various South African print media outlets such as The Star, The Sunday Times and The Cape Times. While working for IRIN/PlusNews, she has covered HIV epidemics in South Africa, Namibia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland. She has also partnered with organizations such as the Johns Hopkins Center for Global Health and South Africa’s Aurum Institute to train fellow journalists in the reporting of clinical trials.
In 2010, she was awarded a Gender and Media in Southern Africa Award for best sustained reporting for her work on forced sterilizations among HIV-positive women in Namibia and pregnancy-related HIV stigmas.
Thabile Maphanga has been in the news industry for six years. She is a health journalist at the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation’s (SABC) Radio News as well as a news presenter on SABC TV News. She started her journalism career as an intern at the weekly publication Echo under The Witness in Pietermaritzburg before becoming a producer for, Vuleka Productions in Durban. She joined the SABC in 2004 as a news anchor/bulletin writer on Ukhozi FM, the biggest radio station in South Africa. After two years on the bulletin desk, Maphanga became a general radio news reporter. In her time as a radio reporter she was honored with the Tourism Journalist of the Year Award. A few months later she received the SABC Journalist of the Year Award in Radio Current Affairs for a story she covered on virginity testing and the reed dance in KwaZulu Natal. In 2010 she was honored with the Discovery Health Journalist of the Year Award for a story related to the doctor’s strike in 2009.
Zinhle Mapumulo is an award winning health reporter for the City Press newspaper. She joined the publication in November. Previously, she worked for The New Age and the Sowetan newspapers as a health reporter for more than six years. Prior to that, Mapumulo worked for several magazines including Enterprising Women and Garden and Home as a lifestyle reporter. She won the Discovery Best Health News Reporting Award in 2009 and 2010. She has participated in numerous fellowships including the Panos: STOP TB Media Fellowship.
Harriet McLea is a health news reporter at The Times newspaper, a national daily, where she has worked for more than two years. She studied politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Cape Town before obtaining an honors degree in journalism at Rhodes University in Grahamstown in 2008. While studying, Mclea wrote for two university newspapers, The Oppidan Press and Varsity Newspaper, and read news at the University of Cape Town (UCT) Radio.
Yolisa Njamela works as a senior TV journalist at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). She is an award-winning journalist whose career as a journalist spans all media including radio, print, TV and the Internet. In addition to working as a reporter, Njamela was also a content development executive member for KhumbuleKhaya – a highly successful show on SABC, the premise of which is to connect long lost families. She has worked as a commissioning editor at SABC Content Hub Drama, where she was responsible for pitching program ideas, evaluating proposals, and developing and writing briefs. Njamela earned B.A.’s in english and psychology. She also pursued a post-graduate degree in communication and media studies at Rhodes University.
Ramatamo Sehoai works as a reporter at Alex Pioneer, a community newspaper in Alexandra, a township of Johannesburg. His job has exposed him to the dire effects of poverty and underdevelopment in his community. He has attended science reporting and investigative reporting conferences at Wits University. He is currently working on a B.A. in communication science at the University of South Africa. Sehoai had to confront the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS after losing two of the closest people in his life to the disease, his friend and his cousin. He has covered several stories relating to the epidemic in his community.
Thandi Skade permanently joined The Star as a journalist in 2008 after completing an internship in April 2007. Skade graduated from the University of Cape Town in 2006 with a B. Soc. Sc in media and writing and politics. She has received additional media training on interpreting and reporting on clinical trials for cancer, TB and HIV/AIDS. While studying she volunteered at an AIDS fundraising shop in Cape Town, South Africa.
David Steynberg studied information science, specializing in publishing at the University of Pretoria from 2002 to 2004. He began working at Farmer’s Weekly magazine as a junior sub-editor in March 2005. In May 2007, he was promoted to Deputy Chief Copy Editor, and for the first eight months of 2008 worked as a journalist. His main areas of interest included legal and business journalism. In September 2011, he received two awards, Caxton Magazines Editorial Excellence Awards for Best Feature: Real Life for the story Tragedy At Grootvlei Gold Mine: Ruined Lives and Suicides, and runner up for Writer of the Year.
With a desire to cover human interest stories, he moved to People magazine in August 2008. He has covered issues like pedophilia and rape.
Nastasya Tay is the features and investigative reporter at EyeWitness News in Johannesburg. She is also a freelance foreign correspondent covering the southern Africa region, and has worked with agencies and broadcasters including The Associated Press, the InterPress Service and the BBC. Nastasya’s work spans various formats, including television, print, radio and stills. Raised in Australia, Tay was educated at Oxford University and the School of Oriental & African Studies in London. She worked for various think tanks and advocacy organizations, as well as the UN across several continents before becoming a full-time journalist.
Fidelis Zvomuya is from Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe. He received a diploma in Mass Communications at the Harare Polytechnic. He joined the department of information in 1995 as a district information officer covering development issues within rural areas.
In 1997 he started working at the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation as a television reporter responsible for environment, health and development issues, where started writing about HIV/AIDS. In 2000 he received an M.A. in mass communication and media research from the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
He then joined the BBC and was posted to Zimbabwe. He held this position until the BBC was banned by the Zimbabwean government. He focuses on health issues, especially HIV/AIDS, with the intention to promote accurate, responsible, and supportive coverage of the issues and the effect HIV/AIDS has on the continent’s agricultural sector as well as on food security.