- Mahina Bongso: An Award Winning Newscaster
By Anushka Gunawardena
As a supportive grandmother watched her granddaughter, Mahina Bongso, go for an interview at Channel 1 MTV, little did she know that one day she would become the ‘Best English News Reader’ at the Rupavahini State Awards.
At the age of 24, Mahina Bongso, now a reputed news anchor at MTV was recognised for her excellence in News Reporting at a ceremony held recently at the Maharagama Youth Center.
Mahina Bongso got her first taste in the demanding field of media when she won second place at the Inter-school All Island Announcing Competition.
An ardent sports enthusiast, she was one of the first few females who started reading Sports News for MTV.
Initially she worked part-time as a news reporter and news anchor as she simultaneously completed her degree in Marketing and Management from the Edith Cowan University from the Australian College of Business and Technology. Since of August this year she has been a full time news anchor and news producer at MTV/MBC Networks.
It is evident that her talent as a newscaster was developed at a young age as she headed the Holy Family Convent Radio Station and was a pioneer in creating the school’s Media Unit. Her growing passion for the constantly changing world of news was inspired by International Newscasters on CNN such as Monita Rajpal and Jonathan Mann.
A successful newscaster needs to possess a varied range of talents and Mahina does have them all, thanks to her numerous qualifications including being a teacher from the Wendy Whatmore Academy of Speech & Drama. Besides her love for news she is also a talented dramatist who has taken part in many public performances.
When speaking with Mahina it is more than clear how she was able to receive such a prestigious award. She is constantly seeking to improve herself by observing others in the field and is her own biggest critique.
Mahina is grateful to many people who assisted her in her journey. Amongst them she especially mentioned Chairman of Capital Maharaja, Mr. Rajamahendran, for providing an opening for her to launch her career by giving her the opportunity to read on MTV. She is also grateful to Brian Thomas, her first boss, who taught her the ropes of the trade along with Warren Jansen and Chevaan Daniel whose constant support is much appreciated. In addition she mentioned her co-anchor Ravi Gamage who has also been a source of encouragement throughout her career.
For Mahina this isn’t an accomplishment of her own, this is an accomplishment for the entire Channel 1 News Team. The role of a newscaster is supported by many from the producers, cameramen, makeup artist to the drivers and she is thankful to each and every individual who facilitated her career. She is especially grateful to her parents and her younger sister who have been her pillars of strength.
When speaking of her future plans Mahina says she hopes to do a Masters in Media and Communication.
Eventhough her grandmother did not see her read news on air she would have no doubt been proud of her talented grand daughter who has reached great heights and will continue to be of much service to the field of media.