South Africa’s Athandiswa Saba, Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia, Uganda’s Ruth Atim, Malawi’s Collins Mtika, Zimbabwe’s Kennedy Nyavaya and Kenya’s Thomas Otieno Bwire were announced as the top contenders on Monday 21 October during a ceremony held at JoziHub in Milpark Johannesburg, South Africa.

Ruth Atim

Ruth is a Ugandan Journalist, She works for the Uganda Refugee Online Network (RON), ( online platform that publishes articles, images and News pieces about refugees and Migrants. She is the sub-Editor and reporter. Ruth is also a Digital safety trainer under her initiative “The Gender Initiative- Uganda ( where she trains and empowers journalists and human rights defenders on digital literacy, Cyber security and Digital safety.

Collins Mtika

Collins was born in Malawi but bred in Zimbabwe where his parents worked in the mines there. He did his primary and secondary school level in Zimbabwe before he trekked back with his parents to Malawi after some of the mines where closed in the late 1990s.He has worked for Malawi’s biggest media company, Times Media Group that publishes, The Daily Times, Sunday Times, Malawi News and the defunct The weekend Times where he was is Bureau Chief for the Northern region.

He also worked for the tri-weekly publication The Guardian Newspaper as a Chief Reporter. He also corresponded for IPS (AFRICA) and Collins is a Malawian Investigative Journalist and founder of the Centre for Investigative Journalism in Malawi (CIJM) – He heads the Investigations desk for Malawi’s popular online newspaper He is also the Malawi Correspondent for South African based weekly Mail & Guardian newspaper as well as Africa Independent.

He is studying for BA in Communication Science with the University of South Africa (UNISA) through distance learning. Collins started journalism in 2003. Collins also has a certificate in Journalism from Pen Point School of Journalism, a certificate in mental health, a Diploma in Journalism from Agrrey Memorial and an advanced diploma in Journalism (ABMA).

Thomas Bwire

Award-winning journalist with 10 years’ experience. Prior to founding Habari Kibra, Thomas worked at Pamoja FM, for nine years as News Editor and health reporter. He holds a BA in MassCommunication from Mount Kenya University. With awards like The CNN Multi-Choice in 2013, Internews StoryFest 2012 and Children Legal Action Network (CLAN) under his belt, Thomas brings a wealth of journalism experience and network to the team of Habari Kibra.

Thomas was also among the two Kenyan journalists who participated in a yearlong International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) September 2017-September 2018 Fellowship reporting on Early Childhood Development (ECD). This fellowship program has cultivated a deeper interest to continue reporting on ECD stories to date. Thomas is passionate about mentoring up-coming journalists so that they too can become better storytellers for the job market especially within informal settlements in Nairobi.

Athandiwe Saba

Athandiwe Saba is a multi-award-winning investigative data journalist who is passionate about data, human-interest issues, and good governance. She has worked for three of the biggest newspapers in South Africa and recently established the Mail & Guardian Data Desk which she now heads up. She  has been internationally recognised for her work in data journalism by the Global Editors Network. She is an author, an avid reader and trying to find the answer to the perfect balance between investigative journalism, online audiences and the decline in newspaper sales. It’s a rough world and a rewarding profession.

Kennedy Nyavaya

Kennedy Nyavaya is a multiple award-winning journalist who works for one of the biggest private media companies in Zimbabwe, Alpha Media Holdings. His stories have been published in AMH’s three flagships: News Day, The Standard and Zimbabwe Independent as well as several foreign platforms. He has a passion to catalyse informed solutions in society through enlightening the masses. Throughout his career he has travelled to different parts of the world on duty and has amplified stories on vulnerable populations, the environment and socio-political topics among others. With a firm belief that climate change is the greatest threat to mankind’s existence, he has also developed zeal to become an instrumental climate change activist. It is therefore in the bid to ensure mitigation and adaption to the effects of the CC phenomenon, particularly on vulnerable populations, that he has been on an advocacy drive for environmentally friendly activities through radio programs on local radio stations as well as articles in newspapers and social media.

Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia

Jamaine Krige

Jamaine Krige is a multi-award winning broadcast journalist who picked up her pen at age 14, writing for community papers, and has barely set it down since then. She believes in the healing, transformative powers of storytelling. She started her journalism career at the South African Broadcasting Corporation in 2014, where she spent the better part of five years telling stories of success and failures, heartbreak and happiness. She was awarded the ATKV Media Veertjie for Best Radio Documentary in 2018, as well as the SAB Environmental Journalism Award for Audio. She was also the 2018 Isu Elihle winner for her story on Scholar Transport Safety. She worked as an editor for a pan-african impact communication company before returning to her first love – telling the stories of the people she comes into contact with. She holds a degree in Psychology and Criminology, and Honours degree in Journalism and is currently completing her Psychology Honours degree. 

Yeshiel Panchia

Yeshiel Panchia is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. With a background in the corporate world, he was compelled to begin working in photojournalism due to the upsurge of xenophobic violence some years ago. Since then, he has worked as a staff photographer for The Citizen, stringer for The Sunday Times and serviced many news agencies such as European Press photo Agency (EPA), The Associated Press and Reuters, circulating many of his pictures worldwide. He has a passion for documentary photography and hard news, and works across the continent.