Ziyanda Yono is a passionate and enthusiastic journalist and activists born in Middledrift, Eastern Cape, a small rural community 10km away from the historic University of Fort Hare. She studied both primary and high school education in King Williams Town which is located 2km from Ginsberg, a township where Steve Bantu Biko was born and stayed.
She spent most of her teenage years in this town which has a rich history and culture of literature including newspapers and poetry from the likes of Enoch Sontonga and Zakes Mda and this somehow helped shape her spark and love for journalism.
She pursued a National Diploma in Information Technology from ICESA, Durban in 2006. However, for her this qualification did not serve her as she wanted to be a writer, activist and filmmaker. She took an initiative in involving herself in local LGBTQ organizations and where she was one of the youngest activists and committee member and after many years of working in the administrative and insurance industry finally had the guts to leave work and go back to school where she enrolled in the faculty of Journalism at Walter Sisulu University in the Eastern Cape and graduated in 2017.
Through her writing and film making she had many achievements including being among the top 5 students who won a writing competition about transformation in South African sport for an all expenses trips by the former SARU president to go and watch the Springboks play against New Zealand at Ellis Park in 2014. She also won a student of the year award from Walter Sisulu University for being firm in her approach with university management and student representative committees against the marginalisation of LGBTQ students in higher learning institutions. The most prestigious moment was when her film “What have we done wrong?” which investigated all the issues faced by LGBTQ in society, religion, work place and institutions of learning won a student Grammy for best directed film in 2016.
Ziyanda was the institutional Chairperson of the WSU LGBTQ society and also a Deputy Chair of the Media Society in the university. She has worked for Reuters as a TV Producer/ Editorial intern and Eyewitness News as a multimedia journalist.
The experience from theses news agencies has to her being employed by GaySA radio an online LGBTQ radio station which has helped merge her fire for activism and the love for journalism under one umbrella. Ziyanda is a Content Producer at GaySA Radio and co-hosts the daily Rainbow Talk between 12 and 3 pm.