Maliba was nominated beside Sowetan’s Patience Bambalele, Qhama Dayile from Drum magazine, Kedibone Modise from The Star, and Daily Sun’s Doreen Molefe.
In a conversation with Bizcommunity Maliba said it is an honour to have won the award which was voted for by the public.
“There's not a lot of recognition towards journalists. So when this happens it feels like a very big thank you… I'm very happy,” she said.
Maliba studied PR and Journalism at Boston Media House but never thought she would end up as a journalist.
“I originally went to school for radio broadcasting. But while I was in school, I fell in love with PR, which is what I majored in. I had an opportunity to double major in journalism,” she said.
After graduating she started working for a small agency but did not enjoy the work.
“I never thought I'd go into journalism at all. It was always PR. I got a job at a small firm which was horrible. Then there was an internship opportunity at The Star under the publication The Workplace which they launched for the youth,” she said.
“They needed a young person so then I applied for that and got the opportunity. That's where my journalism career started. I used to write about anything that had to do with graduates but also work-related content. I did that for four years. After that I moved over to the big guns and I started writing a mix of entertainment and hard news for The Sunday Independent,” she said.
Maliba was at The Star and The Sunday Independent for 10 years before moving to Sowetan to work as an entertainment reporter. In her decade long career she has interviewed celebrities such as Oliver Mtukudzi and Thandiswa Mazwai.
She recently decided to take a break from journalism and returned to The Star to do layout designing.
Maliba said she enjoys taking readers on a journey to get to know their favourite celebrities.
“I like writing about people and what I enjoy is getting to know the musician behind the particular song or particular album. I've been very fortunate to move past a story being just about an event, for example if Thandiswa Mazwai has a new concert I let the reader get to know her and I love that. It brings people closer to their favourite artists,” she said.
Maliba is a big proponent of mental health especially in stressful careers like journalism.
“Sometimes the industry is a thankless industry. You can go the extra mile but I don't think it'll go the extra mile for you. And you sometimes feel alone,” she said.
“That's why I took a bit of time off from the writing because my mental health has changed a lot this year. I needed a space where I can breathe but within the industry. This way I don’t feel too detached from the industry. My mental health took a serious dip and I just needed to recalibrate and so far so good . I’ll forever love writing and I hope to go back to writing someday.”