Ms Nosipho Mngoma, a former Daily News Journalist and now Centre for Creative Arts (CCA) staffer, won the KZN Vodacom Journalist of the year regional award in the Print Feature category for her story in the Daily News, Jailhouse rocked.
This is her second award after winning the Discovery Health Journalism Award for Best News Reporting. ‘For someone who started journalism later than normal, and being in the industry for a short while, the recognition validates my decision to start over and follow my passion. I’m encouraged and although I am no longer in mainstream journalism, I am motivated to write even more,’ she said.
Mngoma’s award-winning feature is about a raid for contraband at Westville prison, written mainly from her observations. ‘Prison is not an everyday place. Fuelled by my own curiosity, I watched, listened and tried to take in as much as I could while there, so that in my writing I could bring the readers into those cells with me. It’s true what one of my mentors told me, that the smallest things can be the most telling. That’s what I looked out for and tried to capture in the piece.’
Mngoma considers herself a storyteller who sees writing as both exciting and cathartic. This love for writing, led her to take up another career, this time in journalism.
‘Beyond writing, journalism is a unique and exciting path. I say path because it’s more than a job. It has given me the opportunity to meet all kinds of people. The access I have into people’s lives, the trust given to me to tell their stories, the camaraderie with fellow journalists, travel, exposure to different walks of life, there are many highlights. I have never been more fulfilled,’ she said.
Mngoma is a strong supporter of the CCA, previously participating in Talent Press at the 2013 Durban International Film Festival. ‘I love the arts and jumped at the opportunity to work in an organisation that dealt exclusively with the arts. All the CCA festivals are about storytelling; whether in film, poetry, dance or literature and I wanted to be a part of that as an aspiring storyteller.’
Her advice to other aspirant media students is, ‘Don’t limit yourself. I almost didn’t join the Daily News because I was afraid I would not be able to cope with the pressure of a daily newsroom. Put in the work and chances are, you will surprise yourself.’
Mngoma plans to now pursue her Masters in Media Studies at UKZN ‘to learn a different method of storytelling.’