ISSUE #119

Covid 19: South African entry wins WHO Innovation Award


A modicum of balance must be brought to the sense of helplessness and nihilism becoming entrenched in society

Covid 19 victims are disproportionately black and brown


‘Race’ and class are big inequalities worldwide, which Covid 19 is exposing

Covid 19: Understanding the Politics of Disease and the Disease of Politics


The key is mobilisation even under the shadow of the pandemic

The plight of the Basotho under lockdown in South Africa


…better to die at home than in other people’s country where their families will not even get to see their bodies…

Virus: all that is solid melts into air


Pandemic in context of permanent crisis of neo-liberal capitalism

Network gives voice to communities resisting exploitation by mining companies


Tunatazama - We are watching

Historian Masilela dies in Thailand


He built a powerful intellectual family tree

Permeability


The Nigerian press, the public sphere and sustainable development: Engaging the post amnesty deal in the Niger Delta


Poet who made black “cool” in Britain wins 2020 Pen Pinter Prize

Linton Kwesi Johnson gave poetry back to the people


Poet who made black “cool” in Britain wins 2020 Pen Pinter Prize

The world is dancing to South Africa’s Jerusalema


Master KG’s hit a feel-good song for all!

Cyclone in Indian village stirs memories on tip of Africa


Reflections of a Habshi Yemeni Kokni Batavian African

Hometown Glory


Tapping into the artistic soul and depth of Emnambithi

ISSUE #119

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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