ZIMPAPERS continues to dominate National Journalism Media Awards with nine of its reporters bagging gongs from 14 categories at this year’s event held in Harare yesterday.
The awards, organised by the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, are aimed at rewarding outstanding journalism in the country and spurring reporters to improve themselves through comparing their works with their peers and awarding excellence.
The winners received certificates and prize money.
Zimpapers journalists maintained their stranglehold at the awards, winning through taking unique angles to stories and showing mastery of the subjects they wrote about.
Five scribes at the group’s Bulawayo branch, three at the Harare branch and one at the Mutare office won. In Harare the winners are Roselyne Sachiti, Muchaneta Chimuka and Tadius Manyepo while Rab Bande of Manica Post also won.
Victoria Falls-based senior reporter Leonard Ncube was voted Local Tourism Journalist of the Year for a story he wrote about a rare type of tourism where lovers flock to the Victoria Falls bridge over the years to make love vows and leaving locked padlocks depicting their undying love.
The story, written in picturesque language, showcased a side of tourism that is not commonly talked about, but attracts visitors to the country in droves.
Rainbow Tourism Group sponsored Ncube’s award.
Chronicle health reporter Thandeka Moyo-Ndlovu walked away with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)-sponsored Maternal Health Reporter of the Year Award in recognition of her stories on infertility and effects of maternal deaths on children and men.
Judges said her article on a man who was raising a six-month-old baby following the death of his wife during delivery was an indication that safe deliveries were a thing of the past.
The heart-tugging story was an epitome of the ethos of parenthood and resulted in donors rushing to assist the father, who had busted stereotypes of men as beings with little emotion and less care for children.
BMetro correspondent Hazel Marimbiza got the UNFPA Gender Based Violence (GBV) Journalist of the Year Award for a series of stories on the effects of abuse. Marimbiza was commended for digging deeper into the abuse of men who often suffer in silence even though they are also victims of sexual abuse.
Chronicle reporter, Nqobile Tshili was runner up in the GBV category. Tshili was awarded for presenting a story of a 22-year-old woman who created WhatsApp chat groups with more than 700 followers, which discussed how to handle relationship issues in the wake of escalating cases of GBV during the lockdown.
Sunday News senior reporter Robin Muchetu got the UNFPA special recognition award for consistent coverage of maternal health and children’s rights.
Ncube said: “Modern newsrooms are about teamwork hence the award is for Zimpapers, particularly Chronicle and am grateful to all colleagues who I share ideas with, on a daily basis,”
Multi-award-winning journalist Moyo-Ndlovu said the latest award will be a constant reminder that a lot needs to be done to ensure women enjoy their right to life without worrying about the high risk to maternal deaths.
“I am grateful for this 11th journalism award and would like to say thank you to my family, friends and the editorial staff at Chronicle for the support and encouragement in my journey as a journalist. I dedicate this award to all the women who have risked their lives while trying to give life to unborn babies and women out there who continue being pillars of strength despite challenges,” said Moyo-Ndlovu.
Marimbiza said the award marked a beginning in her journalism career and will motivate her to work harder.
“It’s a privilege to have got my first award and my special thanks go to my colleagues and my editor Tumeliso Makhurane for their commitment in mentoring me to be a journalist who serves the public,” she said.
Muchetu said:“I am elated about this recognition. It gives me zeal to continue writing health stories that sell while educating the public. This one is also for all those women, girls and young people who give me the urge to write about issues affecting them.”