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KZN Newsmaker of the Year

KZN Newsmaker of the Year

The people of KwaZulu-Natal have voted overwhelmingly for Hashim Amla as their KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2011…

18 November 2011

KZN Newsmaker of the Year

Durban and South African cricketer Hashim Amla has been named as the KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2011.

The people of KwaZulu-Natal have voted overwhelmingly for Hashim Amla as their KZN Newsmaker of the Year 2011. The announcement was made at a special celebratory dinner at the Durban University of Technology’s Hotel School in Durban on Thursday, 17 November. Mr. Amla received a special wooden trophy for his achievements. It is the first KZN award of note that has been bestowed on the SA cricket hero who has a fan base across the world. Representing Amla, his manager and brother Ahmed who was injured in practice was his long time friend and mentor Jay Naidoo, manager of amateur cricket at the KZN Cricket Union.

Themba Mthethwa, Chief Executive Officer: Public Protector of South Africa represented Ms Thuli Madonsela who was unable to deliver the keynote address.

The KZN Newsmaker of the Year identifies any KZN-linked individuals or events that have made the headlines and most shaped the news. The inaugural award, hosted by the Durban University of Technology (DUT), is an initiative of the DUT Journalism Advisory Board.

The candidates for the 2011 Newsmaker of the Year were:

• Hashim Amla, star batsman at the 2010 World Cup and acting captain of the national one-day cricket team;
• National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele;
• The 150th Anniversary Celebrations of the Arrival of the Indians in SA in 1860;
• The Moses Mabhida Stadium & 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The public voted by sending an SMS and selecting one option from the four nominees. DUT Vice-Chancellor and Principal Professor Ahmed C. Bawa congratulated Amla on his win. “History shows us that sports and sporting heroes unite a people and a country. This is true of Hashim’s contribution.” Professor Bawa also congratulated the other finalists who were awarded runner-up prizes.

Amla was not present at the awards evening at DUT as he was representing South Africa in the second cricket test against Australia in Johannesburg. Jay Naidoo received the award on his behalf. DUT Advisory Board Chairperson Mary Papayya, a veteran media freedom campaigner, said Amla received the lion’s share of the votes cast via the sms voteline, as well as via email and postal entries.

“The results show Hashim Amla as the People’s Choice. All finalists however, received a proportion of the votes.” She said, “the Board is confident that the event will grow in stature and will continue to cast the public spotlight on the media and journalism in KZN and its role in promoting the public interest.” The DUT Journalism Advisory Board comprises key community, media, public and private sector communication leaders.

Mr Eric Apelgren, head of eThekwini’s International relations received the award for the stadium and the World Cup. Durban Photographer and Producer Satish Dupelia received the 1860 Anniversary Celebrations Award on behalf of the KZN 1860 Legacy Foundation and the 1860 Commemoration Council. The finalist award for national police commissioner Bheki Cele, who has since been suspended, will be forwarded to his office.

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