Cape Town - An Independent Media photographer has stolen the show at the Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards 2023 and brought back the Journalist of the Year award.
Photojournalist Phandulwazi Jikelo, 39, is no stranger to winning awards for his amazing work, however, at the weekend he was hit for a six when he was named Journalist of the Year at The Venue in Melrose Arch.
The Sikuvile Journalism Awards is hosted annually by the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef), and sponsored by Standard Bank.
Jikelo won the News Photographs category for his incredible snap of Parliament named ‘Parly Fire as Questions Mount’ which was published in the Cape Times and Weekend Argus newspapers.
This was the second year in a row Jikelo has won the category.
Sanef said the winner of the Journalist of the Year category usually stemmed from the Investigative or Hard News Category. It is the first time a photojournalist has been named the winner.
Speaking to IOL on Monday, Jikelo said he could never have imagined winning the Journalist of the Year award.
“I feel good. I am so grateful for the awards. Not in a million years did I think I would win the Journalist of the Year award,” Jikelo said.
The photojournalist, who knows how to get down and dirty, said not many people realise how important the job of a photographer was.
He has been with Independent Media for 13 years.
“Many people rely on us to be their eyes and ears,” he said.
“Hard work and dedication is what keeps you going and what keeps people going. This job plays a huge role in the lives of our communities,” he said.
While many people across South Africa have literacy struggles, having photographs makes it that much easier for those to remain up to date with what is happening around them.
“We as photographers are real storytellers. Photographs play a huge role in the lives of people,” he said.
He also had a word of those entering in to the field of photography.
“There is no doubt when it comes to our job, the younger ones can learn a lot from older guys. If you believe it and give everything you do in all you do. I need to say so, photography is a profession one can survive on,” he added.
Other winners of the evening included Michelle Banda from Daily Maverick who was named the Juby Mayet Rising Star of the Year.
Justin Langeveld of News24 and Netwerk24 was named Manager/Publisher of the Year.
The Allan Soga/Standard Bank Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement went to Eusebius McKaiser who died a month ago.
All category winners received the coveted Sikuvile Journalism Award Trophy, certificate, and R15,000 prize money.