Qaanitah Hunter is no longer the 17-year-old wannabe journalist who arrived in Johannesburg, carrying nothing more than a bag full of books, some clothes, and R500.
She is now an integral part of the Sunday Times political reporting team. Hunter, 24, is used to pushing boundaries.
She established herself in the cutthroat world of journalism without any formal qualifications. She also enthralled the online Muslim community with her fictional blog-turned-book Diary of a Guji Girl.
It is a story told through the eyes of a young Muslim girl, who leaves her hometown to study in a big city. Hunter and her Sunday Times colleagues won the 2016 Vodacom Journalist of the Year award for unearthing scintillating details about the Gupta family, and state capture.
“I have a deep-rooted passion for politics,” she says, “I wouldn’t give it up for anything else.”
Political exposés are the kind of stuff Hunter continues to thrive on, having broken countless major political stories with her team.
She is often summoned as a political analyst on radio stations like 702, and Power FM.
For Hunter, failing is not an option: “I’ve never allowed myself the luxury not to do my best.” Her attitude is certainly paying off.