Fellowship Programme 2015

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KAS Media Africa scholar Blessing Vava

KAS Media Africa scholar Blessing Vava from Zimbabwe

Since 2014, KAS Media Africa provides talented and promising young journalists with a scholarship to study Journalism at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Moreover, the Media Program offers participation in workshops, trainings and conferences as a stimulating addition to their studies as well as the opportunity to build up a strong network.

This year, Blessing Vava and Tapiwa Zivira, both from Zimbabwe, have been accepted to the programme.

Blessing Vava
Blessing Vava has made his mark in the field of journalism, PR and media consulting. The Zimbabwean studied horticulture at the Bulawayo Horticulture, attained an additional certificate in Marketing and Communication and recently started another bachelor studies in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of South Africa. During his studies, he served as president of the national student union as well as of the national movement of catholic students and, with that, represented Zimbabwean students on a national and international level. In 2010, he joined the national constitutional assembly – back then a democratic movement, now an official political party – and quickly made his way up to the secretariat where he was the person in charge for public relations. Alongside, he started off his journalistic career by writing for several newspapers and media institutes. Still, he is writing political columns, for example for his personal blog, and provides media consultancy for various institutions.

Blessing Vava on the KAS-fellowship:
“Studying at Wits University and the additional workshops and trainings by KAS are a great support and an opportunity for me to get prepared for a later leadership position in media and politics in Zimbabwe. After the studies I want to go back to Zimbabwe to play an active role in the social democratic movement, mobilize young people and promote human rights and an independent and value-oriented media landscape.”

Tapiwa Zivira
Tapiwa Zivira has made his mark as a rising journalistic talent with a particlular interest in digital media. He studied mass communication and journalism at the Christian College of Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe. In the following years, he completed several additional courses, including the 2013 Deutsche Welle Academy Multimedia and Online Advanced Journalism Course in Germany and ​the OSISA​ Summer Journalism School in Namibia. After his studies, he worked as public relations officer for an agricultural union and the General Agriculture and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe. He has written for and managed news websites and social media platforms for the Zimbabwe independent media house, Alpha Media Holding​s' (AMH) print and​ online ​publications, such as NewsDay, Southern Eye, The Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard. In 2013, he received the UN-OCHA Humanitarian Reporter of the year Award and together with his colleagues from AMH won the Telkom SA Highway Africa Award for the most innovative newsroom.

Tapiwa Zivira on the KAS-fellowship:
“I hope with studying at Wits University and the additional workshops and training from KAS I can add value to my understanding of journalism. Wits is a top-ranked institution which provides me with the opportunity to attain current knowledge and exchange notes on best practices in the profession with colleagues and experts in the field that I can put to use in Zimbabwe. After the scholarship, I intend to go back to Zimbabwe, with the ultimate aim to add value to the journalism practice. My primary focus is on the digital media revolution where I want to make a contribution to sustainable digital media publishing.”

We are very pleased to support Blessing and Tapiwa in their journalistic ambitions. We hope this year in South Africa will be a valuable experience for them and wish them all the best and lots of success.