Nyaira graduated from Harare Polytechnic. After that she did her graduate studies in journalism at City College in London. Later, Sandra Nyaira spent half a year as a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Governance.
Nyaira worked for the Zimbabwe Inter-Africa News Agency (Ziana) and The Daily News before she moved to the United States. At the time of her death, Sandra Nyaira was working as a public information officer at the United Nations station in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Nyaira was a correspondent for BBC, UK Guardian, British Journalism Review, London Times, UK Times, AFP news agency and the Voice of America, among other media houses.
Nyaira was the first woman in Zimbabwe to take a leadership role in the newsroom as the Daily News political editor at the age of 26.
As a reporter for Daily News, Nyaira was arrested and charged with “criminal defamation” in April 2001 because she wrote articles accusing Robert Mugabe and Emmerson Mnangagwa who at the time was the speaker of parliament, of corruption. She traced payments to them from a builder who was awarded a government contract to build a new airport in Harare.
In May 2001, Sandra Nyaira sued Jonathan Moyo who at the time was the information minister, and the government-owned Herald newspaper for libel and defamation because Moyo accused her of fabricating news when he did not like the story she wrote about an event she covered.
Sandra Nyaira died on 13 July 2021. Nyaira succumbed to COVID-19 at St. Anne’s Hospital in Harare aged 47. Her younger sister, Tendai, confirmed her death. She had spent two weeks in the intensive care unit. 
- Dominic Mhiripiri, Zimbabwean journalist Sandra Nyaira: Bravery, talent and success, Kubatana, Published: February 19, 2011, Retrieved: July 13, 2021
- JUST IN: Veteran journalist Nyaira dies, The Herald, Published: July 13, 2021, Retrieved: July 13, 2021
- WINSTONE ANTONIO, Veteran journalist succumbs to COVID-19, NewsDay, Published: July 13, 2021, Retrieved: july 13, 2021
- Sandra Nyaira, IWMF, Published: No Date Given, Retrieved: July 13, 2021