Asanda. Magaqa


Asanda Magaqa is one dynamic lady who has a passion for journalism. She does not see it as merely a job she does but as a lifestyle that she has incorporated. This is shown in the outstanding works that she has been recognized and awarded. She believes in the saying that 'If you ask a person their story, you have an obligation to tell it'. That is the nature of our business she says- telling the story of South Africans in the most accurate, fair & balanced manner possible. This is clearly what she does in her work as we have seen great journalistic and heart wrenching features that she has produced such as the Xenophobia feature. She desires to plough back into South Africa as she sees herself being a part of the movement that seeks to put South African media on par with the likes of BBC, Al Jazeera etc as she hopes to work in the international media powerhouses temporarily. She is disturbed by the distortions of what true patriotic, developmental, civic/public journalism is today and urges young striving journalists to be true to the SA press code and report on what is factual and is truth, and as she and her colleagues try to emulate the brand of journalism done by the likes of Dr Aggrey Klaaste, Joe Thloloe & Percy Qoboza, they too should take it as their duty to the same and raise the standard of Journalism in South Africa. Like any other person she looks up to international journalist-Christiane Amanpour. 'I can see myself growing as a journalist in the same way that she has,' she says. 'She's incredible- equally at ease reporting live in the field, & then again interrogating issues in studio'. Mandisa could be the future Christiane Amanpour of South Africa as she has shown such outstanding great works in the media industry.

Personal information

Asanda grew up in the Eastern Cape. She has lived in Butterworth, Bhisho, King Williams Town and Port Elizabeth. She attended Kingsridge High School (King Williams Town) till Grade 9 and thereafter went on to matriculate at Collegiate Girls High School (Port Elizabeth). She did her tertiary education in Cape Town at AAA school of advertising and graduated with integrated marketing communication. She then went on to do a journalism diploma at Damelin for a year, whilst working as a print intern. Asanda believes in breaking stereotypes, she has entered various beauty pageants, regardless of her short height. This led to her landing second place in Miss PE in 2005 and then winning Miss Commonwealth in 2006. Miss Commonwealth was more than just a beauty pageant but also looking for a ambassador that would be able to articulate concerns of the youth and especially. Asanda says that these pageants give one a genuine platform for success, one just has to take the initiative. For her the pageants just expanded her career because she was already established as a journalist, this just gave her more exposure.
She is now furthering her studies and is currently studying toward a BA Honours in Journalism at Wits University, under the tutellage of Professor Anton Harber.

Career information

She started off as a newsreader for BayFm (formerly known as CBFM), in July 2004, at the age of 21. At the same time she worked for SABC News Eastern Cape as an intern. From there she first did packages for current affairs shows and six months later she was appointed as the presenter for the morning current affairs show on Umhlobo Wenene Fm. In 2007, she made the transition from radio to television and worked as a temporary host, for about just under a year. Asanda was appointed to this position, on the prime-time show- because she was a Nguni first-language presenter who had extensive experience in presenting current affairs. She also did producing for Asikhulume. Asanda found this as a "mind-blowing experience" and a long term goal achieved sooner than expected. She is now a Special Assignment specialist producer and her job entails contextualising stories, brainstorming documentaries, directing shoots, post-editing and scripts. She finds the job stretching, as executing, unpacking and taking stories to new heights is challenging. Asanda goes on to say that her job has improved her standards and her investigative skills. She does though enjoy radio more than television as it is continuous and spontaineous- and Asanda thrives on live news. She has immense interests in Human Rights-related stories. This has seen her attaining awards for feaurtures as well as stories such as the Xenophobia news feature and Ghosts to mention a few.

Recognitions and awards

She has won the BBC Africa Radio Award: News journalists of the year (Southern Africa).
She has also been awarded with the Vodacom Journalist of the year in Radio News
As well as attaining the SABC News Award in Radio Current Affairs.

Other professional activities

"I don't see anything wrong with living my work... it is my life" said Asanda. She enjoys playing golf or watching international news networks to see how news is done on a global scale.

Asanda. Magaqa - zajournos

Primary Sources: Asanda Magaqa (Telephonic interview). Can not disclose her personal phone number.
E-mail address:

Secondary Sources: (The Citizen)
(SABC News)

More pages