The SAB Sports Media Awards

Thursday night was an unbelievable night in my life. I had been invited to attend the SAB Sports Media Awards and would be on a possible shortlist for the SAB Sports Media Blogger of the Year. Of course before the awards evening got underway there would be a chance for me to mingle and meet members of the sporting media that I have listened to, watched and read. The likes of Gary Lemke (From Highbury Safika Media, writer of Business Report Monthly Sport), Natalie Germanos (The voice of Radio 2000 cricket), Kevin McCallum (The Chief Sports writer for The Star), David O’Sullivan (702 anchor), Hugh Bladen (Legendary Commentator) and many more that have brought sporting events to life with their incredible reporting.

Enough beer for a lifetime
Enough beer for a lifetime

As I arrived I must have looked incredibly out of place as the only guest and nominee to arrive with a camera! But after the initial awkward phase of being a bit nervous to speak to these icons, I bumped into Rams Mabote. The next 45 minutes flew by quicker than a Luis Suaurez dive as we divulged in some great banter between a Pirates fan and one of Kaizer Chiefs. This included our views on who is the best in South African football and how good Gordon Igesund is for Bafana Bafana. Anyway, I digress, the Media Awards was what it is all about and the proceedings got underway with Bongani Bingwa of Carte Blanche fame undertaking the role of the MC for the night.

Bongani from Carte Blanche
Bongani from Carte Blanche

He did a fantastic job as we progressed to the actual awards ceremony. First up there was a heart-touching moment as we saluted those that had passed away in the year that had gone by. First up were the media personalities of:

  • Alf Kumalo (SAB Sports Hall of Fame & Photographer)
  • Don Setshedi (SAB Sports Hall of Fame & Commentator)
  • Jon Hrusa (Photographer)
  • Junior Motsei (Journalist)
  • Lester Mills (Sports Editor)
  • Wanga Mpengesi (Producer)

And then the sports stars who were no longer with us:

  • Bafo Biyela (Football)
  • Caleb Ngxabane (Football Referee)
  • Corrie Sanders (Boxing)
  • Jeffrey Ntuka (Football)
  • Mike Bernado (Martial Arts)
  • Skumbuzo Mthembu (Football Administrator)
  • Styles Phumo (Former Bafana Coach)
  • Thabang Lebese (Football)
  • Thomas Modigage (Assistant Coach of Bafana Bafana)

And with goosebumps on our necks as we remembered the heroes who had previously donned these awards or the sports field that the work of those attending had covered, the awards got underway and twitter was trending with the #SABMediaAwards hashtag. First up was the print category and the winners were:

Gary Lemke, Kevin McCallum, Clinton van der Berg, Kgomotso Sethusha and Jon Cardinelli
Gary Lemke, Kevin McCallum, Clinton van der Berg, Kgomotso Sethusha and Jon Cardinelli
  • SAB Sports Columnist of the Year: Luke Alfred (Freelance)
  • SAB Sports Feature Writer of the Year: Gary Lemke (Highbury Safika Media)
  • SAB Sports News Reporter of the Year: David Isaacson (Avusa)
  • SAB Sports Media Award 2012 for Print (Merit Winner): Jon Cardinelli (Highbury Safika Media)
  • Winner of the SAB Sports Media Award 2012 for Print: Gary Lemke (Highbury Safika Media)

Next up would be the Photography category and I wont lie, my nerves were as jambled as a teenage girl deciding between Team Edward or the other team they choose in those Twilight books. The winners for Photography were:

  • SAB Sports Media Action Shot of the Year 2012: Anesh Debiky (Gallo Images)
  • Winner of the SAB Sports Media Award 2012 for Photography: Herman Verwey (City Press)

Now next up was the New Media category. The category has become a growing platform for Sporting Media and many of the media in attendance now embrace the use of Social Media and blogs. This is the category I was possibly up for an award in. Bongani started with the social media correspondent of the year, I definitely wasn’t up for this. Next up was the The SAB Sports Blogger of the year and the two finalists were Tyron Barnard from All Things Jabu and Kevin McCullum for his work. At this point I was delighted, I had made the finalist position and I was quite proud. But when Bongani announced that I had won, it was a moment as believable as my beloved Arsenal winning the league this season. I wont lie, this was the most unexpected and overwhelming achievement of my life! I kind of blanked out in a buzz after this as the awards progressed, but here are the winners for New Media:

  • SAB Sports Social Media Correspondent of the Year: Styli Charalambous (The Daily Maverick)
  • SAB Sports Blogger of the Year: Tyron Barnard (
  • Winner of the SAB Sports Media Award 2012 for New Media: Kevin McCallum (

Radio was next, I was still in another world, really overwhelmed by the response including the Tweets and congratulatory messages. The winners for Radio were:

David O'Sullivan and Marc Lewis
David O’Sullivan and Marc Lewis
  • SAB Sports Commentator of the Year 2012 – Radio: Natalie Germanos (Radio 2000)
  • SAB Sports Presenter of the Year 2012 – Radio: David O’Sullivan (Talk Radio 702)
  • SAB Sports News Reporter of the Year 2012 – Radio: Marc Lewis (Eyewitness News – Sport)
  • Winner of the SAB Sports Media Awards 2012 for Radio: David O’Sullivan (Talk Radio 702)

And then of course the television awards:

  • SAB Sports News Reporter of the Year – Television: Ronald Masinda (eNCA)
  • SAB Sports Commentator of the Year – Television: Mpumelelo Mbangwa (SuperSport)
  • SAB Sports Presenter of the Year – Television: Mpumelelo Mbangwa (SuperSport)
  • SAB Sports Producer of the Year – Television: Desiree Flint (SuperSport)
  • Winner of the 2012 SAB Sports Media Award for Television: Mpumelelo Mbangwa (SuperSport)

There was also the award for the Castle Lager Superfan Moment of Unity award and it went to:

  • Chane’ Toerien (SuperSport)

And last but not least two incredible individuals were inducted into the SAB Sports Media Hall of Fame and both were incredibly richly deserved

with Hugh Bladen
with Hugh Bladen
  • Television Commentator: Hugh Bladen
  • Sports Writer: Rodney Hartman (posthumous)

I cant tell you enough about the incredible experience I have had since I started All Things Jabu in 2010 and this award is a great motivator to keep on going. Thank you to all those sports stars in South Africa that make sport the unifying thing that it is. Thank you to those sportsman who have taken the time to chat to me. But mostly thank you to you for reading my thoughts and sharing it across different social media platforms. I would be nothing if not for you support. In sport.

Tyron “Jabu” Barnard

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