July 2, 2022

SANDF honors award-winning journalist

By Jonk wa Mashamba

Everson Luhanga was the first to break the news of the soldiers who allegedly beat a man in to death in Alex.

The story of Collins Khoza, which became the international news, was part of Everson’s rolling coverage of Covid-19 on the streets of Alex, Diepsloot and Tembisa.

The man who, again was the first journo to report on the first corona virus case in Setswetla, received a certificate of appreciation from the South African National Defence Force in an event held at the Diepkloof Military Base in Soweto. Luhanga also reported on the security forces thrashing residents, where the army and the police were accused of assaulting people in the township.

Throughout lockdown, Luhanga has been on the streets of Alex, Diepsloot and Tembisa covering different stories in the townships about how Covid-19 has changed the lives of people who had little or no resources to fight the pandemic.

“This certificate is awarded to Everson Luhanga in recognition of your loyalty and support to fight the Covid-19. Your efforts and dedication are highly appreciated,” reads the certificate.

The certificate was given to him by the Interprovincial Command General Officer Brigadier General Renier Johannes Coetzee.

“It is an honour to receive the certificate. I am truly humbled by this recognition,” said Luhanga. The newly promoted Editor for Scrolla.Africa attributed his successful career in the notorious streets of Alex to the friendly residents of the township.

“This is my second recognition for the great work I do in Alex. In 2013, servant of people, Linda Twala also awarded me with Gold certificate for my selfless and dedication to developing Alexandra. Alex is like my home. I thank the people of Alexandra for always tipping me off whenever there is breaking news. Alex is beautiful and has talent,” said Luhanga.

Born in the poor, remote African village, Tchoko, in Malawi’s northern region in 1982, Luhanga was named Komani after his uncle. The family of nine lived off the land and the only means of earning an income was to sell what food they had left after feeding the family. Luhanga was a clever pupil and excelled in all subjects except maths. But he particularly liked reading and writing. Spending hours listening to the radio and reading newspapers eventually convinced him that he wanted to become a journalist. It was the only job that would satisfy him.

After matriculating, Luhanga enrolled at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) to study a journalism diploma. But he was kicked out just three weeks into the first year because of an outstanding fees balance which his parents couldn’t afford to pay.

“My father, who used to sell his livestock to pay for my secondary schooling, could no longer afford to pay for my tertiary education. The fees were too expensive to be paid by selling a cow.” Luhanga was left with no options, and in 2004, six months after being dismissed from the college; he made arguably the biggest decision of his life – to immigrate to South Africa in pursuit of his dream. Few years later, he is now a multi award-winning journalist and a senior investigative Chief Reporter and the Editor at Scrolla.Africa

“This is my whole life. I don’t want to do anything but read and write.” He worked for Daily Sun, Afro Worldview television (content producer for an investigative show called Open Files), Bona Magazine (Investigative feature writer), Sky News (as a fixer), UK Sunday Times (Published an article with them) just to mention but a few He has won the following awards: Media24 Online Hit of the Year Legend Award 2015, Media24 Legend Awards finalist 2016, the Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards 2016, and Daily Sun Story of the Year Award 2017, nominated for the Standard Bank Rising Star Awards 2018, am
ongst others. He is the founder of The Eye Across, a media company.