ISSUE #110

Student voices: Who I’m voting for


“I did not register but I regret it"

Graffiti is an eye-catching way to create lively spaces in cities


Creating meaningful and identifiable spaces

Trust in Presidency may be a game changer for ANC in 2019 elections


Ramaphosa may have rekindled loyalty to the party that brought freedom and democracy to SA

No political party holds a monopoly on anyone’s vote


DA voter: Young South African, you owe the ANC nothing

Academics have shaped Sudan’s political history, and may do it again


Academics take the lead

Election 2019: This time may be different


Factions within the ANC could destabilise whatever emerges from the election

Health and the battle for public opinion


Look beyond economics to understand democracy and human well-being

A tribute to veteran Drum journalist Juby Mayet


“The brave and courageous”

Too many libraries are forced to close their doors


Essential rural knowledge-banks are under threat

Remembering K Sello Duiker, great writer of South Africa’s post-apartheid generation


Spoiling the ballot: I’m not ready to vote


I have never been registered to vote and possibly never will be

World Press Freedom Day 2019


“Nearly half of the world’s population lacks access to free information”

Parents be warned: Gaming is no child’s play


The portrayal of violence in our media bears a grim harvest and deserves to be treated accordingly

Juby Mayet: (1937 – 2019)


ISSUE #110

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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