Lukanyo Mnyanda recently returned to South Africa from Bloomberg in Edinburgh to join Business Day (where he worked as economics editor after graduating) this time as editor, succeeding Tim Cohen. His position took effect on Tuesday, 1 May.
Lukanyo Mnyanda, editor of Business Day.
“I am honoured to come back to SA to lead Business Day at such a crucial stage in the evolution of our democracy. I am especially proud to be coming back to this great newspaper, which I first joined as a young graduate more than 20 years ago.” He says he’s looking forward to contributing to the next stage of its development and working with some great journalists.
Andy Gill, MD of Tiso Blackstar Group, adds, “We are pleased to be able to appoint someone of Lukanyo’s stature and expertise. We are especially happy to be bringing SA talent back home at such an important time for media in the country.”
Here, Mnyanda goes on to share how he feels about moving back to South Africa at such a time as this and the challenge that lies ahead…
Briefly, how do you feel about moving back to South Africa and joining the Tiso Blackstar Group as editor of Business Day?
The most overriding feeling is one of pride and amazement that I’m actually here. After all these years away, this was not an opportunity I expected would come up – and even when it did and I applied, I wasn’t taking anything for granted as I’m sure a number of talented people were also in the running. There is also an extreme sense of responsibility when I think of people who’ve been here before me. I’m not talking just about the editors (it’s had some famous ones), but the journalists I encountered when I arrived. Big names and I hope to make them proud.
What does your role entail?
Bringing out a newspaper every weekday. On one level it’s as simple as that. After 13 years working in newswires, it’s really exciting to see the physical paper in the morning. Maybe technology won’t kill newspapers after all.
Which brings me to the next point:
The aim is to produce a product that’s sustainable in the current digital environment. That means producing business and politics news that is accessible to the reader and is important ‘news’ when they pick it up in the morning. It’s a big challenge in this age of social media and instant commentary.
What do you love most about your career and the media in particular?
Interacting with really smart and interesting people from all walks of life.
Tell us a bit about your experience in the industry; any highlights you’re particularly proud of.
It’s all been a highlight – from my first job as an intern at home newspaper, the E P Herald, to walking in here for the first time at Business Day. But, maybe getting my internship at the Herald – it’s hard to believe as a first-year student I was brave enough to simply call Robert Ball (managing editor at the time) and ask him for a meeting.
What’s at the top of your to-do list?
Taking our coverage of business forward. South Africa’s story of the past 10 years has been so dominated by politics that now might be the time for business to take the front foot.
Grid Worldwide launched its #HopeJoanna campaign on Freedom Day (Friday, 27 April) highlighting the highs and lows of the past 30 years in an effort to convey a message of hope and a sense of optimism to all South Africans...
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to for work?
I still have a box of things to arrive from the UK, so my bookshelf isn’t exactly full. I managed to carry Speeches That Shaped South Africa: From Malan to Malema by Martha Evans in my hand luggage. And a few days ago I picked up a copy of My Father Died for This by Abigail Calata and Lukhanyo Calata.
Tell us something about yourself not generally known.
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