M&G Community Media Journalist of the Year: Linda Mnisi, Soweto TV
Bold ambitions drive the winner of the Mail & Guardian Community Media Journalist of the Year Award at the 2017 Township Entrepreneurship Awards, Soweto TV’s Linda Mnisi, who said he was “over the moon”, especially having only recently migrated into journalism.
“I was taking a leap of faith when I entered the competition,” says Mnisi. “It is not every day where new journalists like me win awards, yet there is still more room to learn and to grow.
“I am so grateful that Mail & Guardian saw something in me that adds positive input into the community and I am really honoured to be the first recipient of this prestigious award, the first of its kind in the Township Entrepreneurship Awards.
“Soweto TV has for many years continued to produce stars. It has been a stage of practice for those who are passionate about the media industry. Although it is not given much credit for it, the station gives intense and proper training.
“I have always wanted to be the go-to person when it comes to information. I just did not have the know-how and the training to be that. Now that I am a journalist, I am able to keep my ear on the ground for the entire community. I want to produce shows, grow my radio career and start a business in the creative space.
“I want to become a very well-known, part-niche journalist in arts and entertainment — not paparazzi, but telling the news stories about artists that need to be explored, such as them leaving labels and the contractual disputes they face. I want to produce journalism that focuses on their real issues.
“Soweto TV provides a brilliant platform to highlight real, grass roots community issues, bringing communities alive. Everyone focuses on the ministers, but we have to go into community homes and see how the ordinary men and women are going to suffer [or benefit] from government decisions. We need to provide a platform to see what is working and what is not and we need to share their stories.”
Mnisi says he wants to use his prize money to invest in his dreams, saying that at an early age he was taught to make money work for him.
A level N6 course holder in business management and an NQF level 4 course holder in film and TV production, Mnisi hopes to inspire his two younger siblings and other youth and says Soweto TV provides the right platform to motivate them.
Mnisi’s career started as a volunteer with the Muslim Aids Programme community project where he says he learned humility and that the world does not owe anyone anything. “You have to fight for what you want, regardless of where you come from. Nothing has come easy for me and I have had to work extra hard for everything I have.
“It is through this experience that I have learned the qualities of resilience and hard work. Hard work never goes out of fashion and your success is your own responsibility. Go out there and make things happen.”
In 2015, Mnisi joined Limco Consulting and Soweto TV as a film and television production intern. “I was spotted by Soweto TV’s news editor and was asked to produce a few inserts,” he explains.
“At the end of last year, I was officially appointed by Soweto TV as a news reporter although my studies had been around business management.
“I am grateful to and inspired by my mentors, who have been a blessing in my life. Through thick and thin, the continuous support is truly appreciated.”
In his spare time, Mnisi enjoys dancing, listening to music, blogging and reading.
The Township Entrepreneurship Award 2017 Finalists
While only some could take home the final prizes at the Township Entrepreneur Awards, the finalists took home R100 000, and have the distinction of standing out among the more than 200 entrepreneurs who entered.
All of the 33 finalists featured in the 14-episode Business Battle programme airing on eTV, where they were put through their paces by a team of expert judges who cast their critical eye over the performance of each business.
The finalists in 11 categories were the following:
Winner: Bright Future Agricultural — Based in Soshanguve South
& Real Estate
Winner: Shirinda Trading and Projects
Winner: DV Nhlapo Productions
Winner: Goapele Bakery
Winner: Nambitha Nutritional Products
Winner: Cool Apple Dude Buddy
Winner: Ama X-Rays
Winner: Ditshiamiso Business Enterprise
Winner: Kwa Jerry Fast Food
Winner: Zaza’s Guesthouse and Spa
Winner: Nyembe Waste Management