Bhekisisa director Mia Malan has been named the regional Vodacom Journalist of the Year in the print features category while journalist Pontsho Pilane takes home the competition’s newly created Young Journalist award.
Announced Wednesday night, Malan took home the top feature writing prize for her story about child rape, “Diepsloot: Where men think it’s their right to rape”. The long-form narrative story moves past the headlines and unpacks the factors – including family dynamics and alcohol – that contribute to child rape in the community of Diepsloot in northern Johannesburg.
Winning in the competition’s northern region division comprising reports from Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, Malan’s story competed among more than 300 entries. Her win comes on the heels of a CNN MultiChoice African Journalist Award she received Saturday night.
Mail & Guardian journalists Athandiwe Saba and Sebabatso Mosamo were also commended in Vodacom’s feature category for their series, “The Believers”.
This year’s competition replaced the previous Editor’s Choice award with a category looking to acknowledge growing talent in the field and introduced the Young Journalist award. Known for her coverage of gender and education, Pilane nabbed this inaugural award.
Mail & Guardian business journalist Lisa Steyn also won in the category of finance/economic reporting for a series of reports that included, "When good property turns bad," and "Lawyers in debt loophole”. Fellow reporter Phillip de Wet was also commended in the category for his piece, "Oakbay and Optimum Coal".
National winners in the competition will be announced on 11 November.
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In this township, alcohol makes violent men close to three times more likely to rape a woman.
Bhekisisa means "to scrutinise" in Zulu
In South Africa, Zulu patients who would like to be thoroughly assessed by a doctor, would ask the physician to "bhekisisa" them.