Candice Morgan

“The owner of a spaza shop in a small village is as famous in his village as a tabloid celebrity is in the world,” says Candice Morgan. Although she is a celebrity in a broader field, the 32-year-old TV personality would prefer to be remembered as an advocate for the cause of the deaf. Morgan, who was born deaf, joined Dtv, a magazine programme for the deaf, independently produced for SABC3 since 1996, as a part-time presenter. Television was then largely unexplored by the deaf and new sign language words had to be created especially for the medium. Morgan was a member of a pioneering team that raised the profile of deaf television both in South Africa and abroad. In 2001 she joined Dtv on a full-time basis and learnt the skills of scriptwriting, editing and directing. She’s since worked her way to the top and is now an executive producer and director of the company. In addition to mentoring and training deaf interns, Morgan has been a member of a dynamic team that has secured interpreters for news broadcasts and constantly fights for access to important events such as the State of the Nation address. Today, thanks to the dedication of people like her Dtv has become a model of sorts for the rest of the world. The company transfers skills to other African countries and helps them to create their own programmes for the deaf. BBC’s Channel 4 has also asked Dtv for advice in this regard. Last year Morgan won the South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Business and Government Award in the Media, TV, Radio and Press sector. She’s currently studying political science through the University of South Africa in an effort to further yet another ambition: “I will represent the deaf in Parliament in the future!” — Fatima Asmal