ISSUE #90

Mandela the “sell out”: our memories have been blunted by time


He walked on ice but never fell

The bare minimum: pay disparities run deep at SA Universities


Podcast: The Academic Citizen

The “right of conquest” and expropriation of land


Unpacking colonial thuggery and thievery in South Africa

How viral diseases can spread rapidly from rural villages to major cities


Ebola Virus was transferred via air travel

Book Review: Turn Your Fate Into Gold


Hunted by bomashonisa, hit by depression and eventually turning the tide

We celebrate three years of telling our own stories


August marks The Journalist’s third birthday

It’s the new Age of Discovery — but where are the pilots?


“Globalisation is being badly managed”

Making and re-making history


Review: A History of The Iziko South African National Gallery

Durban International Film Festival reviews


Teenage rebellion, redemption and cross-country journeys hit the screens

EXCLUSIVE: Mandela’s first granddaughter carving her own legacy


"I am truly blessed to have been born a Mandela"

Leave out all the rest: bidding farewell to Chester Bennington


I can't help but wonder if we saw this coming

Women media pioneers in the diaspora


Fighting gender inequality and patriarchal gate keeping

ISSUE #90

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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