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Leanne Manas on the secrets of being a successful journalist and the importance of being heard

Written by Staff Writer

September 21, 2020

In this week’s Top Women podcast, Topco Head of Marketing, Karla Fletcher, sits down with Leanne to discuss a host of topics, from the importance of having a safe space to what keeps her grounded in South Africa.

Originally shy and introverted, Leanne Manas found a voice and a dream. As one of South Africa’s most prominent journalists and news anchors, she certainly found her way. What sets Leanne apart from many others who do what she does is her steadfast belief in what she’s there to do. Leanne wholeheartedly maintains that she’s not there to teach anyone a lesson or change their mind – she’s there to listen and give people a voice. “I’m not a court of law and never will be,” she says. From Leanne’s perspective, her role is to inform people and let them decide for themselves.

In this week’s Top Women podcast, Topco Head of Marketing, Karla Fletcher, sits down with Leanne to discuss a host of topics, from the importance of having a safe space to what keeps her grounded in South Africa. Leanne shares some of the vital lessons she’s learned throughout her career and dives into what it really means to make a change.

Key takeaways to listen out for in this podcast:

  • It doesn’t matter how big or small something is – if your heart is in it, you’re capable of succeeding.
  • You can’t seek validation externally – it has to come from within.
  • Having a safe space to go to at the end of the day is vital.
  • This time has forced many people to find new ways of doing things and new inspirations to keep us going.
  • Going into a situation with a rigid agenda of changing someone’s mind is not the way to get things done.
  • We underestimate what we can get out of simply listening to others.
  • It’s often not the journey that’s the most challenging – it’s the decision to begin.
  • We may always want plan A to work out, but we can’t be naïve by not having a plan B when things get tough.
  • We can’t save people, but we can give them a voice.
  • Although we can’t make a difference in everyone’s life, we can make a change in someone’s like and that can be enough.

Leanne Manas is a South African TV presenter at the SABC especially known as the anchor of the flagship show, Morning Live. Manas has a BA (Hons) in English and Communications and a diploma in Speech and Drama teaching from Trinity College London. Her interest in finance journalism led her to completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics Journalism from Rhodes University.

Manas’s broadcasting career started in 2001, with the anchoring role at the Essential Business Channel Summit TV. This lasted until 2003. While working in Essential Business Channel Summit TV, she started hosting the SABC 3 programmes, Business Update and Business Focus. In 2004 Manas became the presenter on South Africa’s longest-running breakfast programme, SABC 2’s Morning Live.

Manas has worked for radio stations such as Radio Algoa, Jacaranda FM, SAfm and East Coast Radio.

She was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador by UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency in January 2019.

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