The Board of Health-e News Service is delighted to announce the appointment of Sibongile Nkosi as Chief Executive Officer of Health-e effective from 1 March 2019.
Ms Nkosi is currently the Executive Director of the Healthy Living Alliance (HEALA), an advocacy group that works closely with Health-e on obesity prevention and food security issues. She takes over from Kerry Cullinan, who will continue at Health-e as an editorial consultant for a transitional period.
Prior to joining HEALA, Ms Nkosi pioneered Health-e’s OurHealth Citizen Journalism initiative, growing the project from a handful of citizen journalists to more than three dozen whose stories have been featured on some of the country’s most read news platforms.
In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Chevening Scholarship to complete a Masters degree at the University of Sussex‘s Institute of Development Studies, where she examined the role of public-private partnerships in healthcare delivery. Ms Nkosi has also worked as a media spokesperson for the Treatment Action Campaign and as a journalist for the Mail & Guardian.
Board chairperson Celicia Serenata said: “Sibongile is precisely the new leader to take Health-e forward, especially in a time when health reporting and advocacy for better healthcare is at such a pivotal point. She has the ideal combination to lead Health-e with experience in both health activism and journalism. She is a dynamic leader who has intimate knowledge about how Health-e works, having helped to create Health-e’s innovative citizen journalism project. We are grateful to Kerry for her extraordinary commitment and legacy and wish her the very best in her future endeavors.”
Ms Nkosi will head an executive management team that is predominantly black and female, which is an unfortunate rarity in the South African media landscape.
“I am honoured to take over the reins of Health-e and to make sure it continues to thrive as the premium platform for health news in our country. It is an important time for us all to find innovative ways to tell compelling stories and contribute authentically to transforming the lives of the people whose stories we are telling. I look forward to continue to build Health-e’s legacy by ensuring that more voices from young, black journalists are heard in the health sector,” said Ms Nkosi.
“I am so proud to be handing Health-e over to Sibongile. I have led Health-e for 15 years and believe it is time to step down to make way for a new generation of leadership. I have full confidence that Sbo has the talent, vision and drive to lead Health-e at a crucial time for the health sector, when the country is poised to introduce universal health service via the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme,” said Ms Cullinan.
Health-e was formed almost 20 years ago and is the oldest of South Africa’s independent, donor-funded news agencies. It is the first to be headed by a black woman.