Category: Pioneers

The Radical journalist and historian who charted the death throes of colonialism in Africa

Basil Davidson, who died aged 95 in 2010, was a radical journalist in the great anti-imperial tradition, and became a distinguished historian of pre-colonial Africa. An energetic and charismatic figure, he joined that legendary band of British soldiers who fought with the partisans in Yugoslavia and in Italy. Years later, he was the first reporter to travel with the guerrillas fighting the Portuguese in Angola and Guinea-Bissau, and brought their struggle to the world’s attention.

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Lumumba’s remains to return home

The Congo’s first Prime Minister after independence, Patrice Lumumba, was removed in a coup masterminded by the West. In his place, Mobutu Sese Seko) was installed, inaugurating a brutal and kleptocratic reign, which lasted until 1997. Patrice Lumumba, was murdered, cut up and dissolved in acid. His teeth, kept as a trophy in Belgium, will be returned to Africa.

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Preserving Lovedale Press, a historical compass

The almost 200-year-old Eastern Cape publisher is facing closure, but a fundraising initiative that highlights its literary archive and importance as a cultural institution could save the press. This story was first published by New Frame. The legendary poet BW Vilakazi had the future in mind when he wrote: “To all the generations coming after/ Now gaze upon the valleys here at Lovedale.”

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Tracking Saul ‘Mayimayi’ Msane’s roots

A hometown hero who was once labelled enemy of the people

I was 19 in first year undergraduate school at the University of the Free State (UFS) in 2008, a year after Jacob Zuma rose to power at the Polokwane conference, amidst much controversy. Mosiuoa Lekota was one of those who went off to form and launch a break away opposition party Congress of the People (COPE). All roads led to UFS’s South Campus to hear Zuma’s condemnation of the breakaway party at an ANC-led meeting.

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Nokutela Mdima-Dube: The original Mother of the Nation

The pioneering black woman the world forgot

Nokutela Dube (1873 – January 1917)) was ahead of her time, she was the first South African woman to found a school. She was born to Christian converts at a missionary station at Inanda, near Durban. Her school, Ohlange Institute was founded in 1900 in Natal Province, the first school ever to be established by black teachers. It is still in existence today. A true legacy.

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Mo Abudu: Woman of many firsts

The sky is no limit

Born in London to Nigerian parents, eldest of three daughters, Mo Abudu’s dream has always been to change the negative narrative about the continent of Africa. Her parents would relocate to Lagos, Nigeria when she was seven, which gave her the opportunity to spend time with her grandparents who lived on a cocoa farm in Ondo State. While visiting she would learn about Nigerian culture, building a foundation for her later career decision.

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Now You Done Gone & Killed Me

ZB Molefe: In Memoriam. January 1944 —May 2019

Although at ZB’s it wasn’t so much the drama as the spirit taking responding to the proceedings conduction. Conducted by the ebullient MC, veteran journalist Phil “Bra Chippa” Molefe, the service resembled a blues, jazz, ragtag, funk and African gospel gumbo. Anecdotes, hot quips from family and friends, and musical traditions ranging from the blues to amaHobe entangled and climaxed into a multi-tribunal river of sounds of blackness.

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ZB Molefe: a scribe with pedigree, curiosity and resourcefulness

Zuluboy Arthur Molefe: January 5 1944 – May 31 2019

Zuluboy Arthur Molefe was one of a kind. Few scribes matched his pedigree, energy, curiosity and resourcefulness. He and others of this fast fading breed and generation, to borrow a bit of poetry, sparkle, even half seen, on the stretched forefinger of time.Death being death, it has been unkind to us lately, first claiming aunty Juby Mayet, the activist and campaign journalist of her time…

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Raymond Louw: Editor, Journalist and Activist

13 October 1926 – 5 June 2019

A generation of staunch anti-apartheid activists are passing, and with them an ethos and a life time of activism. One of those was Raymond Louw, veteran journalist and freedom of expression campaigner, who died on 5 May, just 22 hours after his beloved wife Jean.Raymond Louw, was the former editor of the Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Times, founding member as well as long-standing Council Member of the South African National Editor’s Forum (Sanef),

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