THE Herald Sports Reporter Tadious Manyepo continues to scale dizzy heights after bagging yet another prestigious award last week.
Manyepo, not only a writer of note but an ardent sports lover, was crowned the print journalism second runner-up for the year 2021 in the delayed Sports Journalists Association’s (SPOJA) awards ceremony last Friday.
He was rewarded with a certificate of excellency and some cash for the achievement.
This is Manyepo’s third award in two years after winning the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists’ Sports Journalist of the Year gong in 2020 and a similar award in the Northern Region Division One Soccer League last year.
Manyepo said he was humbled to win the SPOJA prize and hailed The Herald staff especially The Editor Hatred Zenenga.
“I can’t really find the right words to express how I am feeling but well, I am elated with this recognition.
“I would like to thank The Editor Mr Hatred Zenenga for affording me a chance to be part of the newspaper’s family and for his unconditional support,” said Manyepo.
“Special thanks goes to the The Herald Sports desk led by Sports Editor Collin Matiza, Eddie Chikamhi, Grace Chingoma, Ellina Mhlanga and Takudzwa Chitsiga for their support.
Also not forgetting H-Metro Editor Robson Sharuko and Sunday Mail Sports Editor Petros Pablo Kausiyo for the roles they played in nurturing me and of course their continued support.
“But in journalism you can never be complete, you keep on learning everyday of your life and I will continue to learn especially in light of the fast-changing journalism arena.
“I would also like to reserve special appreciation to my mother Judith Mapurisa, my six siblings and my family for their unwavering support.”
Manyepo’s winning entry was a captivating article on ZPC Kariba striker Newman Sianchali’s tough upbringing in his Binga rural home.
The reporter went out of his way, funding himself to be in Binga where he met Sianchali at a time when the player was in lockdown and into fish-selling business.
The awards ceremony was held on the eve of World Sports Journalism Day commemorated every year on July 2.
Deputy Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Honourable Kindness Paradza who was the guest of honour, hailed the role played by sports journalists in the development of sport in the country.
“Just imagine what the history of the Olympics or the FIFA World Cup would be like without some men and women making it their primary responsibility to record the sights and sounds of these events over the years?
“When we came of age, as a country, in 1980, it is important to remember that football was the sport which this country used to celebrate its Independence with, that unforgettable Four Nations tournament, featuring our Warriors, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique,” said Hon 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.
Pioneers of sports journalism in this country include the likes of Tommy Sithole, a big brother who is the current chairman of the Zimpapers board.
“That he (Tommy Sithole) could rise from our newsrooms to become an executive director of 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.” Other winners from Zimpapers Group at the same awards function included Sunday Mail’s Langton Nyakwenda, Wilson Kakurira, Brighton Zhawi and Chido Manuwa (all ZTN Prime).