Leanne Manas has been supporting UNHCR’s LuQuLuQu campaign since the beginning of its inception in South Africa in 2016 and she was announced as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in January 2019.
Leanne is a renowned leader on the South African media circuit as the anchor of the South African Broadcasting Services’ (SABC) flagship news show, Morning Live. The show is broadcasted live every weekday morning to millions of viewers across Africa and abroad. In addition to being an award-winning TV presenter, Leanne is also a radio host, MC and style icon.
In her role as a High Profile Supporter for the LuQuLuQu campaign, Leanne visited the largest refugee camps in Kenya and Malawi. “Since my involvement with the The Luquluqu Tribe, I have had the honour and privilege to meet resilient and courageous people who have escaped war and persecution in search of safety. Listening to their stories, I am more compelled than ever to advocate for their cause.”
In both refugee camp visits, she gained a strong UNHCR’s work on the ground providing assistance and protection to people forced to flee. She also spotlighted the refugee cause through her media role by conducting five live broadcasts from the refugee camps to millions of Morning Live viewers globally. Refugee guests on the show included young coders from the Microsoft App Factory in Malawi’s Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Jesuit Worldwide Learning (JWL) degree candidates from the Arrupe Learning Centre, as well as talented musicians and dancers from the camps’ vibrant arts and culture scene.
In October 2019, Leanne hosted the annual Nansen Refugee Award ceremony in October 2019, which was held in Geneva. Subsequently, she did a live interview with the Nansen Refugee Award 2019 winner (Azizbek Ashurov) which was broadcasted on her Morning Live flagship news show in South Africa
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic in 2020, Leanne actively participated in the LuQuLuQu fundraising and public engagement campaigns to help raise awareness and funds towards protecting vulnerable refugee communities from the spread of COVID-19.
For World Refugee Day 2020, Leanne interviewed UNHCR Bureau Director for Southern Africa, Valentin Tapsoba, on her Morning Live flagship news show.
In November 2020, Leanne interviewed UNHCR Regional Deputy Bureau Director for Southern Africa, Angele Dikongue-Atangana alongside Sihle Collen Nxumalo, a former stateless person living in South Africa, about the #iBelong campaign to end Statelessness.
In 2021, Leanne supported the amplification of 36 Million Solutions: Africa Private Sector Forum on Forced Displacement, and was intended to serve as a key co-moderator at the Forum. However due to the Omicron outbreak, she was unable to travel out of South Africa to Rwanda for the Forum.