Prolific journalist Hanyona dies

Hanyona died on Wednesday last week in Lusaka. His death has been described as a loss to the media fraternity both at home and abroad. Hanyona, who died of suspected meningitis, gained worldwide popularity for his unwavering activism and reporting on environmental issues. The Media Institute of Southern Africa’s Zambia chapter (MISA-Zambia) described Hanyona as a humble man and conciliator. “MISA Zambia would like to express its heartfelt condolences to the family of our late colleague and comrade, Singy Hanyona, who died on 5 April 2006. The news of his untimely demise has come as a great shock to us. Singy was a gentleman and peace maker. His service on the MISA National Governing Council a few years ago helped determine the organisation’s future and contributed to its current success. He will be greatly missed,” said MISA-Zambia chairperson Kelly Kaunda “This is unbelievable! I am so depressed. I ‘poached’ Singy to join the Panos Institute because of his passion for environmental protection and his established position as an unassailable environmental journalist. He won one of the awards we had organised around environmental reporting. This is very bad news to me,” said Fackson Banda, an associate professor in the School of Journalism at Rhodes University in South Africa. Banda, who is also SAB-Miller Chair of Media and Democracy at Rhodes, employed Hanyona while he still was serving as Executive Director at Panos Southern Africa. “May his soul rest in peace, and may we remember him in some form or other,” said Banda. “I will personally miss Singy for his untiring and unlimited desire to expose as many journalists as possible to issues relating to the environment so that all journalists can contributing to making the environment in Zambia and outside worth living in. I will once more miss Singy for always wanting to ask for information on issues he fell short,” said veteran freelance journalist Jeff Kapembwa. Hanyona held various positions in environmental journalism and represented the fraternity at numerous world conferences. “Singy contributed greatly to environmental reporting in most media in Zambia. He held various positions in media organisations in the country and represented the journalism fraternity at a lot of conferences and other events throughout the world,” said Mildred Chuumbwe, regional HIV/AIDS programme assistant at Panos Southern Africa. Hanyona, who until his death held the position of globalisation and public policy programme officer at Panos, was due to be buried in Lusaka on Friday. He was 35 years old.

April 2006
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