DUT’s Lwandile Bhengu scoops second Journalism Award
Durban University of Technology (DUT) student Lwandile Bhengu won her second Vodacom Journalist of The Year award at the regional awards held in Durban.
Bhengu won her first Vodacom Journalist of The Year Award last year during her internship at Tiso Blackstar, with her co-workers Jeff Wicks and Suthentira Govender for their storytelling through the Durban Floods in 2017. They told the story of both heroes and ordinary people through print stories, video, photographs and a series of Tweets.
The theme of this years awards ceremony was ‘connect the dots’ symbolising how Journalists are expected to connect the dots to help the public understand the complex society that we live in, as well as expose the flaws and support the South African democracy. The theme also pays tribute to the fearless and fine journalism that South African Journalists have produced.
There were 12 categories of Journalism namely; Investigative, Opinion, Lifestyle, Photography, Sport, Economics, Politics, CSI, Live reporting, Data Journalism, Multi-platform and Young Journalist of the year. Bhengu won in the multi-platform category along with her co-workers Nivashni Nair, Orrin Singh and Suthentira Govender of Tiso Blackstar’s Sunday Times, Times Live and Times Select.
“It’s not something I expected so early in the game but also I don’t think it’s something I expected at all. When I thought of becoming a Journalist I didn’t think I was going to go out there and win awards but it is an amazing experience and it has been amazing to share with such amazing people, I work with some of the best in the game. It’s also nice to be recognised for something great particularly with the piece we did, it was nice to get peoples stories across for example we interviewed a family, where this lady’s RDP house slid of the side of the hill and knocked into a shack that was below and it crushed a child so having to tell stories like that ones that tug at your heart, in a good way,” said Bhengu.
‘Durban’s Easter Rain of Terror’ was the title of their winning body of work which covered a series of stories about the floods that took place in Durban earlier this year. The stories were published on print and digital platforms including video and tweets.
“I think we came into journalism in a very interesting and confusing time where we are transitioning into the digital era. We’re placed in the middle where you still have print news and you’re still being taught print news in school but you’re walking into a digital world and sometimes you walk in blind so its interesting to be one of the first sets of journalists to manoeuvre the wave in which journalism is changing and how we’re able to report stories and having to be social media conscience. I’m enjoying it thoroughly and it all goes back to the type of environment I found myself in – I have a large pool of experience to draw from but also its such a comfortable and heart-warming environment,” said Bhengu.
Bhengu and her colleagues will be heading to Gauteng in two weeks for the Vodacom Journalist of The Year National Awards.