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2020 Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year

29 October 2021

Financial Mail Journalist, Ms Claire Bisseker, has scooped the Journalist of the Year prize at the Sanlam Awards for Excellence for the second consecutive year.

The awards happened at a socially distanced gala event last night at the Marriott Hotel, Melrose Arch, Johannesburg. Established 46 years ago by Sanlam, the awards recognise exceptional financial journalism on the African continent.

Bisseker, who also won in the Economy category, is no stranger to the awards and is a regular contender in the competition having won the financial journalist of the year award in 2013 and was a joint winner in 2014.

The African Growth Story Award, which continues to grow in stature since being established in 2013, went to Mr Caleb Ojewale of Business Day in Nigeria. Ojawale was the first runner-up in 2019. The first runner-up prize in this year’s African Growth Story Award went to Mr John McDermott from The Economist, and Ms Peace Hyde from Forbes Africa won the second runner-up prize.

Open to journalists practising in Africa, the African Growth Story Award recognises stories covering significant trade and investment developments on the continent. Entries should cover the growth of the continent on topics including investments, infrastructure, and economic development.

The Best Newcomer Award went to Mr Timothy Rangongo of Finweek, who demonstrated enthusiasm and candour in his storytelling on various topics covering the economy and personal finance, according to the independent judging panel.

Based on the independent judging panel’s discretion, the Lifetime Achievement Award was not awarded.

This year the judging panel received a total of 100 entries which were produced in 2020 and span the African continent.

Sanlam Group CEO, Paul Hanratty, said: “As a responsible corporate citizen, we recognise a vibrant society needs robust journalism today and in the future. Sanlam’s contribution to financial journalism supports the press to fulfil society’s informational needs in an ever-changing globalised world.”

Mr Nixon Kariithi, Chair of the independent judging panel, led the adjudication which was done via Zoom for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was joined by Ms Paula Fray, Ms Ylva Rodny-Gumede, Mr Ulrich Joubert and Mr Charles Naude, all based in South Africa. The internationally based judges were Ms Angela Agoawike in Nigeria, Mr Tom Indimuli in Kenya, and Mr Richard Stovin-Bradford in England.

Commenting on Bisseker’s achievement as the overall winner, Kariithi said, “Every year the judges look out for an entry that stands out above the rest that could be seen to represent the best of South Africa’s business, economic and financial journalism.

“Many of this year’s entries were of high quality, making the task much harder for the judges. The Journalist of the Year candidate was a unanimous decision by the judges and one that was fully deserving of the noble recognition as the best of the best for the 2020 edition of the Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year Award.”

Kariithi further said Bisseker’s work was written in simple, accessible yet powerful prose, and provided a unique and fresh window to understanding a critically important aspect of the South African economy today.

List of Winners and Runners-up

The full list of winners and runners-up were:


  • Winner – Mr Stefaans Brümmer, amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism
  • First runner-up – Mr TJ Strydom, Financial Mail, Sunday Times Business Times
  • Second runner-up – Ms Lisa Steyn, Business Day


  • Winner – Ms Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail
  • First runner-up – Ms Lisa Steyn, Business Day
  • Second runner-up – Mr Jonathan Katzenellenbogen, Daily Friend (Freelance)

Financial Markets

  • Winner – Ms Lisa Steyn, Business Day
  • First runner-up – Mr Ryk van Niekerk, Moneyweb
  • Second runner-up – Ms Ruan Jooste, Business Maverick

Consumer Financial Education

  • Winner – Ms Maya Fischer-French, Maya on Money
  • First runner-up – Mr Bruce Cameron, Business Maverick (Freelance)
  • Second runner-up – Mr Ryk van Niekerk, Moneyweb

African Growth Story

  • Winner – Mr Caleb Ojewale, Business Day, Nigeria
  • First runner-up – Mr John McDermott, The Economist
  • Second runner-up – Ms Peace Hyde, Forbes Africa

Broadcast Audio

  • Winner – Mr Bruce Whitfield, The Money Show, Radio 702
  • First runner-up – Mr Ryk van Niekerk, Geldsake met Moneyweb, Radio Sonder Grense
  • Second runner-up – Ms Nompumelelo Siziba, Market Update with Moneyweb, SAfm

Broadcast TV/Video

  • Winner – Ms Joy Summers, Carte Blanche, Mnet
  • First runner-up – Ms Devi Govender, The Devi Show, eNCA
  • Second runner-up – Ms Heidi Giokos, eNCA

Best Newcomer

  • Mr Timothy Rangongo, Finweek

Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year

  • Ms Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail

Established in 1974, the Sanlam Awards for Excellence in Financial Journalism recognise exceptional financial journalism in Africa. The category winners each receive R25,000 prize money, the best newcomer prize amounts to R20,000, while the overall winner receives an additional R35,000.

Media Queries

Pearl Majola, Sanlam Group Communications
083 286 7476 |

Allim Milazi, Sanlam Group Communications
082 889 5874 |

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