Mpumelelo Mkhabela

Editor: The Daily Dispatch

Next to Mpumelelo Mkhabela's desk is a photograph of schoolboys with brooms in their hands. Returning to school after a few rainy days in January to a classroom with no roof, they spent their first day cleaning instead of learning. Stories like these are the reason Mkhabela comes to work every day � in the hope that if they are told, situations will change. At 33, and the newly appointed editor of The Daily Dispatch, Mkhabela is in an advantageous position to expose and champion the struggles, causes, celebrations and developments of everyday life in the Eastern Cape � a province rich in such stories. A razor-sharp journalist who earned respect through his exposes, in- depth articles and shrewd political analysis at City Press and the Sunday Times and as deputy editor of The Sunday Independent, Mkhabela took over the editorial reins of the highly respected Dispatch at a time when, owing to the recession, newspapers faced declining circulation figures. Yet expansion � in print, online and on weekends � is at the top of his agenda. Upholding excellence in investigative and civil journalism is part of his strategy to deliver groundbreaking news from the Eastern Cape to readers around the country. Hard work, good people skills, knowledge of the trade, commitment to the profession, courage and a thick skin are some of the qualities Mkhabela believes make a good editor great. He also lists reading widely � which is something he does when he's not working. One thing he does forget to list, however, is heart � which comes across in his love for his job and his passion for telling stories that uphold and defend the rights of ordinary people, making him an editor who is contributing to making our country a better place. � Lu Larche