1999 • Journalism and Media Arts Award

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To those South Africans now living in Canada, undeniably the most famous “ex-pat”, is Suhana who has come a long way from her roots in Durban.  Seen regularly as the host of the CBC evening news, Suhana is relied on by thousands of people to keep them informed of local and international news stories.

Suhana’s family was forced to leave South Africa when she was only six years old and they chose Canada as their newly adopted home.  Having been educated in Toronto, Suhana was awarded an Ontario Scholarship that allowed her to complete a BA in applied arts (journalism). 

This qualification launched her into the varied and competitive world of the media. 
Currently best known for her evening news presentation, Suhana not only presents the news to more than 100 000 viewers but she also researches the stories and interviews prominent newsmakers of the day.

With the news items covering such a broad spectrum, Suhana needs a wide range of knowledge and interest in order to write on issues from provincial budgets to health care to trends in the market place. 

Apart from this arduous workload, she also prepares full-length documentaries for the evening news, many of which are broadcast nationally. 
Her documentary work has won several international awards including a bronze medal for her examination of "Children of Divorce” at the prestigious Film and TV Festival of New York.  Her documentary “Unfinished Business”, the story of Canadian boxer Shawn O’Sullivan, was nominated for a Gemini Award. 

Two years ago Suhana received her “big break” in television when she was asked to sit in for Peter Mansbridge and anchor “The National” for two weeks.  At this time, she was profiled in several local and national publications and was included in a book on Toronto women and their achievements. 

Suhana is a strong believer in volunteer work, particularly community service.

She leans towards helping young people and is chair of the YMCA Breakfast of Champions, co-host of the Easter Seals events and a visiting lecturer at schools.  She also raises funds for children’s programs and raises awareness among youth of the need to keep society a just and healthy place in which to live. 

In her own community, Suhana works with the South Asian Heart and Stroke Foundation and hosts the annual South Africa Freedom Day celebrations.  She also moderates public forums on race relations and a range of other social justice issues. 

Despite her increasingly busy schedule – both professionally and personally – Suhana’s proudest and most special moments are spent with her family at home.  With a strong balance between family life, career and social issues Suhana appears to have it all but it’s not likely that she will stop here.