ISSUE #114

Western media, Chinese media: where is African media?


Let’s hand the pen to ourselves

Launch of I am African Comedy Tour


Top Comedians to gather at NMUT to kick-start The Journalist’s initiative

Bringing our art back will be the beginning of a new dawn


European countries must return looted African art

The top five interviews with Toni Morrison


Hit play and soak in icon’s knowledge and wisdom

Book review: Period Pain


Kopano Matlwa gets South Africans to ask the important questions

Fresh vigilance is needed to protect media freedom across Africa


Obesity: Personally Responsible or Driven to Eat?


Unemployment, a ticking time bomb


Ramaphosa must make good on his promises to the youth

The power of telling my own story


A step towards normalizing homosexuality through a stage play

Gender expression in the workplace


You may be labelled a “bitch” when challenging accepted norms

Nokutela Mdima-Dube: The original Mother of the Nation


The pioneering black woman the world forgot

Book Extract: Parcel of Death


The biography of Onkgopotse Abram Tiro

The National Health Insurance Bill and the stock exchange


Authorities should listen to the health evidence

Whispering Truth To Power


Poem: Red Africa


“Azania! Hear the cries of your children”

The Erasure of Dulcie September


Her unsolved murder still begs questions

ISSUE #114

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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