BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
VETERAN Zimbabwean journalist Sandra Nyaira, who was also spokesperson of the United Nations office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, succumbed to COVID-19 at St Anne’s Clinic in Harare, today. She was 47.
Her younger sister, Tendai, confirmed the death.
“Sandra complained of chest pains last week and we took her to St Anne’s Clinic. She underwent some tests and doctors said she had a chest infection. She was tested for COVID-19 and the results came out positive,” she said.
“She was in the intensive care unit for two weeks and sadly, at around 4pm today, she passed on.”
Nyaira’s in-law Tendai Chishami said: “She fought very well from the time she said she was not feeling well. Sandra was a fighter and courageous who could not fear to talk to people.”
Zimbabwe Independent editor Faith Zaba said: “I am gutted. My sister, friend, I am heartbroken. We had come a very long way together from the days at Ziana [Zimbabwe Inter Africa News Agency]. We shared so much together.”
Fellow journalist Frank Chikowore said: “She was a sister and mentor. She was one person who usually advised us to always look at the bigger picture whenever we were covering stories. The media industry is poorer without her.”
A communications expert with more than 20 years’ journalism experience in Africa, Nyaira worked in Zimbabwe, the United Kingdom and United States.
A prolific writer and editor for print, broadcast and website communications, Nyaira was a correspondent for BBC, UK Guardian, British Journalism Review, London Times, UK Times, AFP news agency and the Voice of America, among other media houses.
Sandra rose to fame after she became the first woman in Zimbabwe to take a leadership role in the newsroom as the Daily News political editor at the age of 26.
Mourners are gathered in Knowe, Norton.
Burial arrangements are yet to be announced.