Shanaaz Prince, a dynamic and talented journalist from Buffalo Flats, East London, has taken on the prestigious role as the new editor of YOU magazine, a role that she has been working towards her entire career.
Prince is the first East Londoner to head up this legacy magazine, which she said she grew up reading.
“YOU has been in my blood for a long time, so being at the helm of such an iconic product and working with such a team of people is amazing.
“I think as a coloured girl, growing up in Buffalo Flats and now sitting in the editor’s chair — that speaks volumes for what’s possible for others who have a dream like I did,” Prince said.
The journalism bug first bit Prince after visiting the Rhodes University journalism department on a school trip. She identified her passion while working for the Eastern Cape Today and Daily Dispatch.
“I’ll always be grateful for this opportunity, because it’s here that I found my love for print journalism, built great relationships, and this experience became the foundation of where I am professionally today,” she said.
In March 2014, Prince began her Media24 journey, where she started off as a journalist, and later a news editor for Drum and Move! magazines. She then proved her skills so much that former YOU editor Charlene Rolls chose Prince to succeed her when she moved on to a new project.
“My priority is to keep putting out a world-class offering for our readers to enjoy — the gripping, the sad, the heartwarming and the most bizarre stories,” Prince said.
Prince’s mother, Glynis, has expressed tremendous support for her mother, sharing her daughter’s achievement on her WhatsApp statuses.
Buffalo Flats and East London residents have also expressed their pride and support for Prince.
Daily Dispatch editor Cheri-Ann James said she was proud of the former Dispatch reporter for making a name for herself.
“In our line of work, we meet a lot of people and some you know: they are going to make it big some day. Shanaaz was one of those.
“She was a cub reporter at the Dispatch but showed tremendous potential for not only furthering her career in the media industry but making a name for herself. I am especially proud to see a woman of colour excel. She is a beacon of hope for everyone who looks like her that anything is possible with hard work,” James said.
Simone Klassen, owner of local brand Ginger Love, expressed how proud she was of Prince and the strides she had made as a journalist in support of her community.
“It’s always beautiful to see local people excelling in different avenues. Shanaaz is such a driven, passionate, humble and kind young adult.
“Even more beautiful is her faith and God-spoken moments that she glady shares. Shanaaz has always stood up and advocated for communities and is a feisty fighter,” Klaasen said.
Daily Dispatch’s special projects manager Dominic Peel said that Prince was a pleasure to work with during her time as a reporter at the newspaper.
“She was always very nice and jovial. Having worked with her for so many years, I’m not surprised that she reached the pinnacle of success that she has reached.
“She is a young go-getter, who is full of energy. She is an example of people in our community who have achieved great heights,” Peel said.
When one has spent as many years in the industry as Prince has, one will learn many lessons along the way. Prince encourages aspiring journalists to always anticipate a plot twist, in life and in the workplace.
“I think a big thing that has kept me both sane and resilient in this industry, has been keeping an open mind and relinquishing control over how I think it’ll all work out. Ask the questions, no matter how silly they may seem, it shows your willingness to be vulnerable and even more so, your willingness to learn.
“Never stop putting up your hand. If there’s an opportunity to enrol for a course, do it. Learn to find a healthy work-life balance.
“It’s easy to get caught up in the chase of deadlines and the mounting pressure of the job, but your job is only as good as you are.
“Lastly, keep on keeping on. I left Rhodes University thinking I was going to step straight into a job. I did not. I spent nine months job hunting before I landed my first permanent position and look now,” Prince said.