After being a popular face on South African television for many years, the idea of making her mark on a global stage seemed plausible.
So when Hannah Viviers was offered a position as a news anchor by the China Global Television Network(CGTN) in Nairobi, Kenya in 2019, the leap was a no-brainer.
“Coming to Nairobi felt like stepping onto the global news stage,” recalls Viviers. “It was an opportunity for me to tell African stories to an international audience. I am also privileged to go on the ground and report from different countries,” she adds.
But no matter how far Viviers travels across the world, she maintains that Africa is the real honeypot.
“Africa is the future! Africa has a unique flair that we don’t appreciate as Africans. The continent is opening up to the rest of the world and international companies are increasingly exploring and exploiting the uniqueness of the continent.”
Having worked for renowned African media organisations such as the South African Broadcasting Corporation and business news powerhouse, CNBC Africa, you can take her word for it.
Viviers has interviewed some of Africa’s cream of the crop such as London-based Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa, the Executive Chairman of Econet; Ghanaian entrepreneur and founder of the African Leadership Academy, Fred Swaniker; Herman Mashaba, South African entrepreneur and President of Action SA as well as Michael Joseph, the Chairman of Kenya Airways and former Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom.
It is not the first time that Viviers has globetrotted. She was born in Zambia in the early 80s, lived in the Netherlands and calls South Africa home.
“My family moved to South Africa when I was 10-years-old. I have fond memories of my native country. Zambia has the best mangoes on the planet! I also remember swimming in large splash pools in the river.”
Although Viviers is proud of her Zambian heritage, she has lived in South Africa for most of her life.
“I don't think I would have come this far in my career had it not been for the incredible education I received, most of it in South Africa. South Africa has resources and opportunities that are on par with developed nations across the world. It is this exposure that has given me wings to soar.”
Some media critics have voiced concerns about the juniorisation of newsrooms which has contributed to the disintegration of professionalism and quality news reporting. Viviers says she does her bit to bridge the gap.
“I coach young journalists who reach out to me for guidance. This matters to me because generally speaking, I feel young journalists aren’t getting the rigorous training we got in my day and it shows in the quality of work being produced.”
Viviers is also the founder of Dream Big TV Show, an inspirational programme featuring stories about overcoming adversity on YouTube. She is also a speaker, a brand coach and the author of Mangoes in April and Detoxxed: A Gorgeous Guide to Healing, Love and Restoration.
Catch Hannah Viviers on CGTN’s Africa Live on DSTV Channel 409 at 7pm East African Time.
Lights, camera, action: Hannah Viviers in studio.