In South Africa, the weeks before Christmas are punctuated with fireworks during Diwali, the festival of lights celebrated by the local Hindi population, and Guy Fawkes, a British celebration that still brings out the cracker enthusiasts in our country.
The South Africa Media Innovation Program had its own explosive time with events and developments galore. It’s hard to think that our small program is just one year old with all the work done with our grantees and our interactions with our partners in the media.
The main highlight for the program were the awards our grantees bagged at the WAN-IFRA Digital Media Africa Awards which took place after the conference which was held in Sandton on 23 November. Several of our grantees were nominated in categories ranging from Best Digital StartUp, Best Data Visualization and Best Reader Revenue Initiative.
The grantees that walked away awards were:
Daily Maverick: runner up for Best Website, runner up for Best Reader Revenue Initiative
Hashtag Our SA: runner up for Best use of Online Video
Children’s Radio Foundation: winner of Best Innovation for Youth Engagement
We’re proud of our grantees for all they have achieved this past year.
During the conference our program manager, Bilal Randeree, sat with Frayintermedia founder and managing director Paula Fray to discuss media entrepreneurship which is at the heart of what we do.
In collaboration Code for Africa SAMIP held another round of Perfect Pitch, this time in the Mother City. The theme for this run was innovative revenue models which SAMIP is in search of as we continue to add to our growing cohort of participants.
We saw six great pitches, including a wildcard submission from CfAfrica’s very own program manager Ashlin Simpson. Our judges featured our usual shark, MDIF entrepreneur in residence, Matthew Buckland, SAMIP advisory committee member Dinesh Balliah and CfAfrica’s program director Chris Roper.
At the end of session three winners emerged: The Good Tree, Radcast and Podmeet.
After our short detour in Cape Town our program officer and assistant (Siyabonga Africa and Lerato Mashianoke) traveled to the Eastern Cape where Highway Africa 2018 was held in Makana (Grahamstown).
Back in Cape Town the Open Society Foundation South Africa held its 25th anniversary celebrations which featured tributes to its founder George Soros. As one of two programs being funded by OSF-SA, SAMIP got a mention by OSF vice-president Patrick Gaspard who was at the launch of our program last year.
We have had a busy 2018 and are looking forward to the close of the year and the start of an even better more impactful 2019.