Presenter, Al Jazeera
Imran Garda has gone places. He began his career as a journalist in 2002 at the age of 20 at Supersport, where he worked as a presenter and reporter, covering mainly cricket and soccer.
Four years later, when international television news network Al Jazeera decided to launch an English channel, Garda was one of the first South Africans summoned to join them in Doha as a sports journalist with the flexibility to do news.
However, after a few months of piloting his bosses saw something else in him and promoted him to news anchor before the official launch of Al Jazeera English.
During his stint in Doha, Garda anchored news bulletins, presented the popular current affairs programme Inside Story and stood in on The Riz Khan Show.
He also travelled extensively to cover events such as the anniversary of India’s partition in 2007 and the Gaza war in 2008 and 2009.
Garda also co-produced, wrote and presented several documentaries for the channel, before hosting The Stream, which is one of the first television shows to use of live viewer interaction through social media.
The show was nominated for an Emmy and won the Royal Television Society award during Garda’s time.
From Doha it was on to San Francisco, where the 31-year-old is currently based with his wife and three daughters. These days Garda is the senior presenter and senior producer at AJ+, a new digital start-up funded by Al Jazeera that specialises in digital content for mobile devices. He has also just ventured into the field of fiction writing and recently launched his debut novel The Thunder that Roars, the main character of which is – no prizes for guessing – a journalist. It has been quite a journey for someone relatively young and Garda has viewed it as an education of sorts.
“I like to consider myself an observer, a chronicler, someone who explores the craziness of this world, but also someone who questions what is taken for granted,” he says. “It is through that prism that I’ve done most of my work. I have learned a lot.” — Fatima Asmal