Kau Kauru Voices

About this page

Telling our stories in our own voices is essential to building a healthy democracy. It also ensures individual wellbeing. When we saddle our own story animals we are confidently in charge of our own destinies.

In 2014 when we launched The Journalist our founding partner was the University of the Free State. It has been a partnership that provides a platform for the vibrant voices of the student community as well as the academic staff in that province.

Now that our proof of concept phase is complete we are expanding our network of partnerships. And so, the Free State section of our website has been redesigned and renamed to reflect this growth.

In the /Xam language of the Bushman people of the Northern Cape Kau Kauru can be roughly translated as “making a noise with voices”. Or making our voices heard. Languages are considered to be extinct but the concepts and words we inherited live on.

What began in the Free State is now spreading across the nation. Regional issues that spark national debates and interest. A Kau Kauru storywheel. Each week the voices of our partners will be the spokes that keep this wheel rolling.

Our social network and page analytics suggest that it is the student community that drives The Journalist audience. That means we have been successful in what we set out to do – engaging the youth – and now it is time to grow.

Voices will continue to develop young journalists as with our previous Free State section. We complement formal journalism training with a platform for new writing, while senior journalists provide on the job training and mentorship.

In addition to the Free State, we now have partners in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, with other regions coming on board soon.

If you or your institution would like to participate in The Journalist project please let us know. The Publisher Zubeida Jaffer, Writer In Residence at the University of the Free State, and Editor Leila Dougan would like to hear from you.

Our voices: Long may they be heard

Our voices: Long may they be heard

Our former editor, Sylvia Vollenhoven, is a firm believer that telling our stories in our own voices is essential to building a healthy democracy. She advocates that storytelling enhances individual well-being and that it is connected to each person discovering their destiny. This section on our website is rooted in this approach. “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter”. ~ African Proverb The Journalist’s sub-section Kau Kauru, roughly translated to “making a...

Voluntourism: Westerners playing saviour is dangerous to all

Voluntourism: Westerners playing saviour is dangerous to all

Lebogang Mokoena Volunteering is a common resort for youth to gain international work and life experience. While many intend to volunteer based on several reasons such as taking gap years and enhancing their curriculum vitae, some go into voluntary services with genuine aims to “serve communities” and to simply give back. Yet, despite the intended good that volunteering should be giving participants and communities, the growing practice of youth from developed countries going to developing...

Steyn, Like Rhodes, Must Fall

Steyn, Like Rhodes, Must Fall

The call for the fall of the statue of Marthinus Steyn on the campus of the University of the Free State is not an effort by the students to take away parts of our history. It is, in fact, the direct opposite. The call is, when looked at earnestly, the students’ radical acceptance of the country’s history. It all began with a dance a student had in front of a statue while holding a bucket full of faeces; a moment where art engaged art, where the course of history institutions of higher...

About Us

The Journalist is a ground-breaking media project that provides history and context for key issues facing South African journalists. The Journalist is an independent, not for profit organisation working with the academic community and a range of credible online entities to make knowledge more accessible to the wider public. We don’t only tell you what happened. We help you understand why.

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We want our stories spread far and wide. Feel free to republish our articles, but please credit our writers and authors and credit The Journalist at the top or bottom of the article complete with a hyperlink back to the site.


The Journalist is a non-profit organisation and relies on public funding. Please consider donating to ensure more issues in the future. 
Account name: The Journalist / Bank : Standard Bank
Branch Code: 026209 / Account number: 270320830