Alumna of the week: Trailblazer Krivani Pillay

By Keren Banza

The corridors of the Africa Media Matrix Building (AMM) have nurtured many students who have gone to shape the world of journalism; one such alumni is Krivani Pillay.

Krivani Pillay has an exceptional education track record. She graduated from Rhodes University with a BJourn (2001) and an MA in Journalism and Media Studies (2015). Pillay also has a diploma in European Journalism and Literature from Hogeskool van Utrecht in The Netherlands and a Diploma in Advanced Broadcasting from the Thomson Foundation at Cardiff University in Wales. She completed the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa Executive Training Programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (2017). Since then, she has created a name for herself based on her exceptional work ethic and unwavering moral compass.

Trailblazing is the only word to describe Pillay’s career thus far. She is known for her high-profile journalism at the SABC (Lotus and SAFM), Primedia (Eyewitness News), and eNCA. Pillay worked as Executive Producer for Current Affairs at SABC News during Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s tenure as Group COO when she and seven of her colleagues (the SABC 8) challenged the autocratic editorial policies imposed on news broadcasts at the station. The SABC 8 paved the way for Parliament’s first ever inquiry into the SABC, which led to the suspension of Motsoeneng and the dissolution of the SABC board. In November 2018, Pillay was seconded to the role of Elections Editor, co-ordinating content for Radio, Television and Digital platforms. Her courage and commitment to upholding the ethics of journalism are honourable.

Pillay’s work and efforts have not gone unnoticed. She received the Nat Nakasa Award for courageous journalism (2016). She was awarded the Chairman’s Guardian of Governance Award (2017). Rhodes University awarded her the Emerging Rhodian Award (2017). She was the runner-up for the Media Monitoring Africa lsu Elihle Awards (2018). Pillay has also received the Vodacom Journalist of the year award in 2005, 2011 and 2019. These are only but a few of her achievements.

Pillay continues to leave her mark on the world; since 2019 she has been working for the United Nations Resident coordinator in South Africa as the Partnerships and Development Finance Officer. From beginnings in the AMM corridors to now the UN office, we honoured the alumni Krivani Pillay for her remarkable accomplishments and contribution to journalism with the JMS50 Alumni Award.