Convener – Professor Tawana Kupe

Professor Tawana Kupe is Associate Professor of Media Studies and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Wits University. He has recently been appointed the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Finance and Operations at Wits.

Professor Kupe holds Honours and Masters degrees in English and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Media Studies from the University of Oslo in Norway. He has taught Journalism and Media Studies at universities in Zimbabwe, Norway and South Africa.

A published author and contributor to books and articles on journalism and media, he has also been a columnist for a number of newspapers and magazines, including The Sunday Times, City Press, The Media, and Maverick, in addition to being a regular commentator for radio and television.
Since 2001, Professor Kupe been a judge of a number of journalism and media awards including the Vodacom Journalism of the Year Award (of which was a founding judge), the MTN Women in the Media awards, the SADC Media Awards and Webber Wentzel Legal Journal Journalist of the Year Award.

Bavesh Kana

Professor Bavesh Kana directs the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) node of the DST/NRF Centre of Excellence for Biomedical TB Research. He is an Associate Professor (Reader) in the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences and Research Associate at the Centre for AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). He obtained his PhD at Wits and has worked in several US institutions including the University of Pennsylvania, Texas A&M University, the Public Health Research Institute and Harvard Medical School. He is the recipient of the Friedel Sellschop Research Award, the South African MRC Career Development Award, and was part of the team that received the National Health Laboratory Service Innovation Award. Prof. Kana was also appointed as an Early Career Scientist of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2012-2016); he is one of 26 scientists worldwide to receive this accolade. In 2012, he was selected as one of the 200 top young South Africans by the Mail and Guardian newspaper. More recently, Prof. Kana was awarded the first-time inventor’s award and first-time innovator’s award by Wits Enterprise for the creation of novel diagnostic reagents that are currently being marketed in over 30 countries. He has been admitted to the Academy of Science of South Africa and was also selected for the CEO Titan Award, which recognized his outstanding contribution to medical science in South Africa, the SADC region and the African continent.

Siki Mgabadeli

The South African daily anchor of the ‘The SAFM Market Update with Moneyweb and the nightly business show ‘Moneyline on eNCA’ from Monday to Thursday. Siki also hosted eNCA’s “The Big Debate”. This acclaimed TV and radio personality has also been the ‘Sanlam Financial Journalist of the Year – TV’ twice, and was included in the ‘Mail & Guardian Book of South African Women. She also won the acclaimed ‘Telkom ICT Journalist (TV) of the Year’ Award’. She’s been listed on YouTube as ‘one of the Top 10 African journalists to watch, and her alma mater Rhodes University presented her with the Emerging Old Rhodian award for 2015 in recognition of her role as one of the leading public voices on finance in South African media.

Nicola Christofides

Nicola Christofides is an associate professor in the School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand where she heads up the Division of Health and Society. She has more than 15 years research experience in the area of gender-based violence, reproductive health and evaluating Social and Behaviour Change Communication programmes. Her research has focused on how services for survivors of sexual violence are delivered, as well as the role that gender-based violence plays in reproductive and sexual health outcomes. She coordinates the Masters in Public Health Programme. She has published in a range of different journals.

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