ISSUE #105

Abantu Book Festival: The future is female


Black women media pioneers take their place at the book festival

Man of Letters and a Champion of Books


Tribute to Flaxman Qoopane (July 23, 1955 - November 22, 2017)

Steyn Statue at UFS falls in 2018


African communication academics gather in Ghana


Foundation for continent wide media and academic platform

HHP death puts customary marriages under spotlight


Here comes the handing over of the bride

Saleem Badat: on black professors, deracialisation and transformation


Bold programmes to facilitate development of black academics are long overdue

Research on African Digital Cultures: are children’s voices missing?


The young generation must not be left behind

Journalism tops list of “most dangerous” professions in the world


Women might be more at risk of threats to their safety

Book Extract: Breaking a Rainbow, Building a Nation


A first-hand account of the #FeesMustFall movement

Book Extract: Turning And Turning


How many bullets will it take to kill us all


A poem for Steve Biko, Imam Haron and Farouk Asvat

Black man you are not on your own


We need to talk about depression – it’s not a white disease

Investigative journalism in a dystopian present


Collaboration rather than competition is the lifeblood of the craft

The miseducation of “Y”: Why the Gender Summit is critical


The time is now for an inclusive dialogue

Abantu Book Festival: Tales of the hunt from the lion’s perspective


The Journalist and ACTIVATE! will stream the action

Crime on the rise in Free State’s Matjhabeng Municipality


Years of negligence must be undone to solve the crime problem in the region

Trump, Democrats prepare for trench warfare after 2018 Mid-term election


President will now have a check on his dictatorial tendencies

African community media’s survival depends on going digital


Platforms are at the coalface of change

ISSUE #105

Welcome to the World Press Freedom Day edition of The Journalist


As the world marks the 30th anniversary of the World Press Freedom Day, The Journalist is going back in time in search of the African journalists who gifted the world the Windhoek Declaration back in 1991.

This year’s theme “Information as a Public Good” resonates with The Journalist’s work, whose online platform thejournalist.org.za has been committed to recording African media pioneers. We dug into our archives to find stories that highlight journalism forebears of the late 19th and 20th centuries without whose advocacy and agency, media freedom would have not been possible.

In this special edition we bring you a background story on how the Windhoek Declaration of 1991 came about. You also get to read narratives of the trailblazers in journalism.

Allan Kirkland Soga was many things – politician, lawyer, visionary but most importantly, an agitator of African protest journalism. His editorship at Izwi Labantu and activism amplified the movement towards liberating Africans.

Then we have two historians who met over a cup of strong coffee at an Ethiopian eatery in the Mother City to discuss Malawi’s Clements Kadalie’s writings – the first trade unionist whose organising work spread across Southern Africa.

South African literary giant Sol Plaatje, a linguist who translated William Shakespeare’s works into Setswana, was not only revered as a journalist extraordinaire but also an African intellectual, thinker, writer and politician.

Nigeria’s first president Nnamdi Azikiwe, like his peers used the might of the pen to fight colonialism for economic socio-political liberation of his people, before he ventured into political leadership.

Hilary Teague is being celebrated as the father of Liberia’s independence through the American Colonisation Society (ACS). The pioneer of Liberian media, he held the editorship at the Liberia Herald which he used to champion the liberation cause of his people.

Apollonia Mathia is described as the rock of Sudanese journalism who fought tirelessly before South Sudan’s liberation from the Khartoum regime. Defying the odds in the turbulent post-conflict region for a free media, she advocated for women’s voices to be heard.

Helen Nontando “Noni” Jabavu was the first black South African woman to publish autobiographies. She had a stint as a radio host for the BBC before taking up a position as editor of Britain’s The Strand Magazine.

Founder and financier of Abantu Batho newspaper, Swazi Queen Mother Labotsibeni Mdluli understood the power of the printed word and ensured that staff members reported on bread-and-butter issues affecting the Swati people.

Sophia Yilma Deressa, an Ethiopian media legend once incarcerated without trial, had her parents imprisoned and her husband executed under the Derg regime. But this did not deter her as she continued civic activism until independence.

Happy reading.


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