Home » From Mzansi to Switzerland: Duncan cracks IFAJ’s global top 10 list

From Mzansi to Switzerland: Duncan cracks IFAJ’s global top 10 list

From Mzansi to Switzerland: Duncan cracks IFAJ’s global top 10 list

For the second consecutive year, Food For Mzansi is celebrating a rising star in agricultural journalism. Assistant editor Duncan Masiwa has been named one of the top 10 young agricultural journalists in the world by the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists (IFAJ).

Masiwa’s recognition follows last year’s achievement by Food For Mzansi news editor, Tiisetso Manoko, who received the same honour and travelled to Canada as part of the prize. This year, Masiwa will be heading to Switzerland for the IFAJ Global Congress in August. Similar to Manoko’s feat last year, Masiwa is the only South African agricultural journalist on the 2024 list.

Masiwa expressed disbelief and gratitude upon learning of the award. “It feels like a dream,” he said, reflecting on his career shift from hospitality to journalism six years ago. He highlighted his newfound passion for agriculture and rural communities, acknowledging the dedication and hard work that led to this recognition.

The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award offers more than just prestige.

Masiwa will participate in a three-day professional development workshop before the congress, focusing on honing his reporting skills and leadership abilities.

This programme is sponsored by Alltech, a global leader in animal nutrition and crop science.

The award ceremony will take place at the IFAJ Global Congress in Interlaken, Switzerland. There, Masiwa will connect with other passionate journalists, experts, and thought leaders in the agricultural field, fostering a valuable exchange of ideas and best practices.

Masiwa credited his mentors, Food For Mzansi co-founders Ivor Price and Kobus Louwrens, for their unwavering support. He also expressed his deep appreciation to the agriculture news publication for shaping his journalism career.

“Since joining Food For Mzansi, my life has been transformed in ways I could never have imagined. This award is a tribute to them and to everyone else who has played a pivotal role in shaping my journalism career,” added Masiwa.

Nurturing future leaders in agricultural journalism

“Duncan’s recognition by the IFAJ is a testament to his talent and dedication, and also a reflection of Food For Mzansi’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of agricultural storytellers,” remarked Price.

“We are incredibly proud of Duncan and his contribution to co-creating the new face of South African agriculture, one that is innovative, progressive, and tells the stories that will inspire a future-focused agricultural industry.”

The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders Award programme has been instrumental in developing future leaders in agricultural journalism for nearly two decades. With its focus on training, networking, and fostering a spirit of collaboration, the program equips young journalists with the tools they need to excel in their field.

In a release, IFAJ secretary-general Addy Rossi said, “The IFAJ/Alltech Young Leaders programme is more than just an award… With its generous sponsorship and deep commitment to the future of agricultural journalism, Alltech has helped train a generation of world leaders.”

This intensive training, coupled with the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals, positions these young journalists for impactful careers in agricultural communication.

Duncan Masiwa, assistant editor at Food For Mzansi, engages with high school learners during the publication’s 2024 AgriCareers roadshow. His enthusiasm and insights inspire the next generation of agricultural leaders. Photo: Food For Mzansi

Agricultural Writers SA chairperson Lindi Botha said they couldn’t be more proud of Masiwa for being named one of the top ten IFAJ/ Alltech Young Leaders.

“Duncan has achieved a remarkable amount at such a young age. His energy and positivity are infectious and have already made their mark on the media and agricultural sector.

“We are all looking forward to seeing him grow further in this career path and know that his participation in the IFAJ/Alltech bootcamp will boost him with a wider network in which he can make his mark.”

Joining Masiwa on the prestigious list of 2024 Young Leaders are Carola Urdangarin from Argentina, Brooke Littlewood from Australia, Michaela Sandmayr from Austria, Wiebke Herrmann from Germany, Emma Davies from Ghana, Alex Black from Great Britain, Daniel Plaiasu from Romania, Kristina Hansén from Sweden, and Courtney Girgis from the United States.

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