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Women in Charge: Broadcasting maven Tanya Nefdt ventures into new territory

Tanya Nedft is a media prodigy. The broadcast journalist, news anchor, and television producer has been on our screens for over sixteen years, bringing us impactful stories about real people from all walks of life.

She is loved not only in South Africa but across the globe for her powerful communication skills, and is renwowned in the industry for her vibrant energy and infectious passion.

Throughout her career, she has interviewed some of the biggest personalities in the world, including Oprah Winfrey, Richard Branson and a bevy of Hollywood movie heavyweights. In 2021, she won the Vodacom Journalist Of The Year award in the Lifestyle Category.

After working as a CNN fellow, producer at eNCA, and eTV reporter, Tanya is now embarking on a new career venture. She will be taking on the role of Head of Online News for the Eclipse Group of Companies. This is a big career shift for Tanya, who will be entering the world of digital news for the first time.

Whatever her role in media, Tanya has always kept her core values of women empowerment and giving a voice to the voiceless at the heart of her storytelling.

She credits a tribe of strong and inspirational women for shaping her into the person she is today - including her mother, sister, and Eclipse Communications and Group Founding Partner, Jacki McEwen-Powell, whom she met over twenty years ago.

For Women’s Month, GLAMOUR caught up with Tanya about her role as a female powerhouse in the media space.

Congratulations on your new appointment at Eclipse Group. What does this new role mean for you?

Thank you so much. I'm so thrilled to be taking on this new role. After nearly 16 years in broadcasting, and learning so much, this new opportunity presents even further growth for me, personally and professionally.

What will your new role entail?

I’m very excited to have been appointed as the new Online News Business Unit Director for the Eclipse Communications Group. Along with an amazing team, we will create an informative, uplifting, good-news multimedia platform that’ll hopefully also serve as a wire service to other news outlets.

You have had a purposeful and tenacious career over the past 16 years. What do you enjoy most about being in the media and journalism space?

As a reporter, we have the ability to share people’s impactful stories. Not only is it incredibly rewarding to be trusted to do just that, but your voice and stories also have the ability to create change, and inspire others to do good.

You have achieved many career milestones. What are some goals you still wish to accomplish at Eclipse and beyond?

This is the start of a very exciting new journey for me. The online space and the way that we communicate has changed forever, and the reality is, through my own experience, that it’s become the first source of one’s daily news intake. So I'm looking to explore this space with the Eclipse Group and hopefully spread our local voices and stories globally.

You have interviewed some of the most powerful women in the world as well as given a platform do those who don’t have one. Why do you think it’s important for women’s voices to be heard?

I have grown up surrounded by strong women, my grandmother, my mother and older sister. And they have always illustrated that as women, we are a force to be reckoned with. Throughout my career there’s always been a powerful woman who has impacted my journey or given me incredible opportunities to grow into who I am today. This influence of female power has taught me to be bold and never hold back. I hope that through my story, other women will find their voice too.

You managed to build a successful career whilst raising a child. Do you have any advice for other women who are struggling to balance their work and home life?

It’s been such a rewarding path raising my son. In fact, being a single mom pushed me even harder to want to be successful. I want to do everything I can to provide a good life for my son and also set a good example to him that anything is possible with hard work and humility. I always say, while juggling everything came with its challenges, it was far from a struggle. So my advice would be, as women, we are so much stronger than we think. We just get things done. So never give up.

What is the plight of women in South Africa today? How would like to see this change going forward?

The growing issue in our society right now, and one that saddens and disturbs me at the same time, is the ongoing abuse of women and children. I wish that government will put this at top of mind and impose stricter, harsher laws to prevent the attack on vulnerable women and children.

Do you have any message of empowerment for women this Women’s Month?

Continue to be unapologetically YOU. Stand up, stand out and don’t let anything ever dim your bright light.

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