LOCAL sports journalists have been urged to dream big, using the exploits of veterans like Tommy Sithole, to inspire them in their pursuit of excellence.
This was said by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Deputy Minister, Kindness Paradza, at a function in Harare on Friday.
The function was held by the Sports Journalists Association of Zimbabwe to honour their outstanding members.
Sithole, who started his journalism adventure in sports, rose to become the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee chairman.
He also spent 10 years working as the International Olympic Committee director of international co-operation and development and had a stint as the secretary-general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.
Sithole is currently the president of the Africa Esports Development Federation and chairman of the Zimpapers group.
“Sports journalism has made sport one of the multi-billion dollar businesses in the world,” said Paradza.
“Without sports journalists disseminating the information, the industry would not have grown to its current levels where the best footballers now demand staggering salaries as high as US$400 000, a week. “Today, sports journalism utilises not only print media but also radio, television, and the Internet.
“Sports media has grown in leaps and bounds in independent Zimbabwe.
“Pioneers of sports journalism in this country include the likes of Jahoor Omar, Alan Hlatshwayo (the first black Sports Editor of the Herald), late Sam Marisa, the late Assel Gwekwere, the late Ephraim Masiwa, the late Lovemore Musharavati, the late Evans Mambara, Sam Mawokomatanda, and, of course, Tommy Sithole, who is the current chairman of the Zimpapers Board.
“That Tommy Sithole could rise from our newsrooms to become a director at the International Olympic Committee should serve as an inspiration to all of you seated here, and your colleagues around the country, to always dream big.”
Three veteran journalists – Charles Mabika, Steve Vickers and Robson Sharuko – were inducted into the SPOJA Hall of Fame.
Veteran journalist, Michael Kariati, was given an honorary award.
BetterBrands Jewellery were the event’s main sponsors and they were partnered by Salunda Holdings, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, 4 May and Romach Investments.
Langton Nyakwenda of The Sunday Mail was the biggest winner of the day
He won the SPOJA Sports Journalist Of The Year and the Print Media Journalist Of The Year awards.
He went home US$1 000 richer.
1. SPOJA Sports Journalist of the Year – Langton Nyakwenda (The Sunday Mail)
2. Print Media Journalist of the Year – Langton Nyakwenda (The Sunday Mail)
3. Print Media Journalist of the Year 1st Runner-Up – Henry Mhara (NewsDay)
4. Print Media Journalist of the Year 2nd Runner-Up – Tadious Manyepo (The Herald)
5. Electronic Media Journalist of the Year – Valentine Mabhugu (Classic 263)
6. Photographer of the Year – Knowledge Chingwecha (Freelance)
7. Videographer of the Year – Wilson Kakurira (ZTN)
8. Online Reporter – Brighton Zhawi (ZTN)
9. Young Reporter of the Year – Richard Zimunya (Heart & Soul)
10. Rookie Reporter of the Year – Chido Manuwa (ZTN)
11. Honorary Award – Michael Kariati (VOA)
12. Hall of Fame inductees – Robson Sharuko, Charles Mabika & Steve Vickers