Kau Kauru Voices

About this page

Telling our stories in our own voices is essential to building a healthy democracy. It also ensures individual wellbeing. When we saddle our own story animals we are confidently in charge of our own destinies.

In 2014 when we launched The Journalist our founding partner was the University of the Free State. It has been a partnership that provides a platform for the vibrant voices of the student community as well as the academic staff in that province.

Now that our proof of concept phase is complete we are expanding our network of partnerships. And so, the Free State section of our website has been redesigned and renamed to reflect this growth.

In the /Xam language of the Bushman people of the Northern Cape Kau Kauru can be roughly translated as “making a noise with voices”. Or making our voices heard. Languages are considered to be extinct but the concepts and words we inherited live on.

What began in the Free State is now spreading across the nation. Regional issues that spark national debates and interest. A Kau Kauru storywheel. Each week the voices of our partners will be the spokes that keep this wheel rolling.

Our social network and page analytics suggest that it is the student community that drives The Journalist audience. That means we have been successful in what we set out to do – engaging the youth – and now it is time to grow.

Voices will continue to develop young journalists as with our previous Free State section. We complement formal journalism training with a platform for new writing, while senior journalists provide on the job training and mentorship.

In addition to the Free State, we now have partners in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu Natal, with other regions coming on board soon.

If you or your institution would like to participate in The Journalist project please let us know. The Publisher Zubeida Jaffer, Writer In Residence at the University of the Free State, and Editor Leila Dougan would like to hear from you.

In conversation with the pioneers of The Revulva talk show

In conversation with the pioneers of The Revulva talk show

In promoting platforms for alternative voices in the media sphere, The Journalist sat down with the producers of a show called The Revulva. The Pan-African Feminist talk show which boasts approximately 40 000 views is currently working towards its second season. Soligah Solomons, a student intern at The Journalist interviews Sesethu Myoyo and Sarin Drew. Soligah Solomons (SS): Please provide a brief background on the talk show? Sesethu Myoyo (SM) and Sarin Drew (SD): The Revulva is a...

My time at the Journalist

My time at the Journalist

An insightful journey of discovery

In this short but powerful reflection, former student Linda Fekisi describes her stint with this online publication as a series of defining moments.My time at The Journalist (TJ) was like a series of defining moments. It was an insightful journey of discovery both as a journalist, a mentor and as an academic.When I joined TJ, I had an idea of my role as a journalist.

Womxn’s Month: To celebrate or not to celebrate?

Womxn’s Month: To celebrate or not to celebrate?

Marking the month with prayer and action

This UCT student reflects on the meaning of Women’s month for her in the context of the country’s history and current challenges. The writer explains that the term womxn in this article is inclusive of the LGBTI community and is conscious of the complexities regarding the coloniality of gender in postcolonial spaces. Additionally, the term is also inclusive of transgender individuals that challenge the dichotomies…

On Hodan Naleyah’s brave legacy, and what it means be Somali

On Hodan Naleyah’s brave legacy, and what it means be Somali

Ifrah Udgoon A writer pays homage to a Somali woman who defied violence and the implosion of Somalia to achieve success in the USA. This article first appeared in the Mail and Guardian. Dear Hodan, The way you left this world was unthinkable. Some days, I still wonder if it is really true. I remember being in Mogadishu that night unable to sleep, wondering if it was really true; that you were really gone. It was so difficult for my mind to reconcile that with the fact that just two weeks...

PODCAST: Women in Society

PODCAST: Women in Society

On episode 24, Thabang explores this: “Can society win and thrive if it keeps on restricting Women?”

There is always something interesting to listen to on Dear Millennial Podcast. This free form platform is proud to serve the world with some of the most inspiring and engaging content out there. Tune in for some curated and high quality content.

Cyclone in Indian village stirs memories on tip of Africa

Cyclone in Indian village stirs memories on tip of Africa

Reflections of a Habshi Yemeni Kokni Batavian African

Borli was not the only place that felt the destructive wrath of the mighty Nisarga. The Cyclone set off from the heart of the Arabian Sea before unleashing its ferocity along the west coast of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Nisarga meted out harsh treatment to some of Borli’s neighbouring villages such as Morba, Saigoan, Shrivardhan and Sarwa, from where many Cape Town families originate.

Hometown Glory

Hometown Glory

Tapping into the artistic soul and depth of Emnambithi

Growing up in Emnambithi, history passed on through narration (oral history) told us that Shaka kaSenzangakhona named the area Emnambithi due to its tasty water. I currently reside in Bloemfontein and often buy purified water for consumption purposes and one thing I look forward to when I go home, is its tasty water. Although the town has had major problems with the supply of water – residents going without water for weeks on end – the town’s water tastes delightful.

PODCAST: Healing after heartbreak

PODCAST: Healing after heartbreak

In the latest episode of Dear Millennial, Thabang Moselane talks toxic relationships, prioritising self-love and how to get your dream job. There is always something interesting to listen to on Dear Millennial Podcast. This free form platform is proud to serve the world with some of the most inspiring and engaging content out there. Tune in for some curated and high quality content.

Pneumococcal meningitis: stealing a young life

Pneumococcal meningitis: stealing a young life

Thabo Twala Almost 15 years after the possibly preventable death of his son due to the life-threatening infectious disease pneumococcal meningitis, Bongani Luti still has no answers about why nurses at Dewetsdorp clinic did not attend to his son. The Free State Department of Health’s office for nursing standards compliance has flouted guidelines laid out in the National Complaints Management Protocol for the Public Health Sector of South Africa. This is according to Bongani Luti, an activist...

#BreakTheStigma of Mental Health challenges

#BreakTheStigma of Mental Health challenges

Thabang Moselane The month of October has been declared Mental Health Awareness Month with the objective of educating the public about mental health and reducing stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to. In this episode of Dear Millennial, Thabang Moselane chats Mental Health. He also explores 'Resignation Etiquette' and on #UnWind, comedian Jerrod Carmichael tries his best to explain why you are not ready to be a boyfriend if you can't answer the...

The fight for land is a fight for cattle

The fight for land is a fight for cattle

Melathisi Mthembu In E.W.M. Mesatywa’s book titled Izaci namaqhalo esiXhosa (Xhosa idioms and proverbs) published in 1971, he records a list of proverbs. Of all the amaqhalo (proverbs) recorded, 31% relate to cattle. The book is the most comprehensive regarding Xhosa idioms and proverbs and it’s clear that a strong relationship between cattle and amaXhosa dominates, leading me to dig deep into the relationship between cattle and amaXhosa. The amaXhosa have deep endearment and reliance on...

No spanking, no smacking, spare the rod

No spanking, no smacking, spare the rod

Will the new Con court ruling stop violence in its tracks?

In many households the unspoken rule is “you spare the rod, you spoil the child”. Parents pride themselves on adopting a discipline strategy that involves spanking their children. Today this attitude has been adopted by some black youth, believing that this has moulded them into the adults they now are. While it is true that this form of discipline deterred us from behaving badly in the short term, the truth is that this negative reinforcement misinforms…

The top five interviews with Toni Morrison

The top five interviews with Toni Morrison

Hit play and soak in icon’s knowledge and wisdom

Toni Morrison, the African-American novelist, essayist, editor, teacher, and professor emeritus at Princeton University, died at the age of 88. The author of Beloved, The Bluest Eye and Jazz won both a Nobel and Pulitzer prize for her fiction and was the giant of African American literature. Morrison was the first African American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize, for “novels characterised by visionary force and poetic import,…

The power of telling my own story

The power of telling my own story

A step towards normalizing homosexuality through a stage play

As a young homosexual man of colour, there is always a great story to tell. That’s what inspired my production for the festival. Titled Mme, my play is inspired by the life I have shared with my mother. It particularly follows one event of my life, my sexual identity and how my mother treated me during the time she learned about it. Though the production follows a relationship of a single mother and her son, in reality my parents are still together.

Deadly Drinking

Deadly Drinking

Alcohol abstinence a path to road safety

Last week, the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) released their June 2019 statistics which revealed that driving and driving remains a major concern across the city. IOL reported that a total of 890 people were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in June alone. Needless to say the best amount of liquor to consume is no liquor at all and South Africans need to rethink their relationship with alcohol.Alcohol can have health benefits, with moderate consumers enjoying…

Plight of fathers precluded from their paternal obligation

Plight of fathers precluded from their paternal obligation

Some yearn to be present to witness the efforts of their children striving upward.

We live in times where a lot is said about how men desert their children, but we don’t hear about how some men cannot be fathers because they are precluded by the mothers of their children, and to some extent, by the law. My discussion focuses exclusively on that category of men who are willing to get involved in parenting but find themselves precluded from their paternal obligation.

Ramaphoria, no more than a fever dream

Ramaphoria, no more than a fever dream

Bullet trains, skyscrapers and empty coffers

For South Africans however, the phrase appears indicative of the political situation. Years of scandalous activity have attracted media attention. The fifth parliament, with the embattled president Jacob Zuma at the helm, caused havoc and South Africa is still reeling from the effects of maladministration, deeply embedded corruption and outright theft. Daily, new details surface about fraud and dirty deals that robbed ordinary taxpayers…

Youth take to the streets but stay away from the polls

Youth take to the streets but stay away from the polls

Political system excludes young people

But millions of young South Africans, who are eligible to vote, refused to register for their hard-won right. According to a GroundUp report, the number of 18 and 19-year-olds who registered to vote was down by almost half from the 2014 general election. Five years ago, 646 313 voters in this age category registered to vote. This year the number had dropped to 341 236 people. Why is this? Can it simply be put down to apathy?

Experiences of a young black homosexual in Mzansi

Experiences of a young black homosexual in Mzansi

Grappling with life in a post-apartheid South Africa

I grew up listening to my relatives tell stories of what life was like for them and our country during apartheid. My aunt, in particular, was an advocate of how transformation is good. As a born free, who has never experienced life governed by marginality, I accepted this as narration of history. I still can’t say that I have any idea of what life was like then beyond this and what history books had to say. My perspective is shaped mainly by experiences I’ve lived.

Creating Economic Freedom, with compensation

Creating Economic Freedom, with compensation

“Should our careers not work out, let’s start a business”

It is 43 years since the 1976 Soweto Uprising and 25 years into democracy, yet the youth of South Africa continue to struggle for financial freedom. Affordable, quality education is hard to come by, and even after graduating, employment is tough to find. Desperate graduates have been “begging” for work at traffic lights, others use social media to spread the word about their qualification after having tried more traditional avenues without success.

Student voices: Who I’m voting for

Student voices: Who I’m voting for

“I did not register but I regret it”

“I have registered to vote about four years ago, not certain if it’s still valid. I intend to vote for the EFF. I feel like Julius Malema should be given a chance to prove himself by fulfilling the promises he has made. Let there be change. Everything has changed now, for the worst. Example, if you rape a person you’re given a sentence of a year or two. With Malema, harsher sentences would be given. And if you murder someone, you should also be killed”.

No political party holds a monopoly on anyone’s vote

No political party holds a monopoly on anyone’s vote

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

There are one too many clichés around young people and how we supposedly are the future of our country. Sure, this might hold substance in some cases, but I believe that this can never live up to its true meaning when we are being robbed of opportunities by those who claim to represent our interests.About 25 years into our new dispensation, it is patently clear that government has failed to…

Spoiling the ballot: I’m not ready to vote

Spoiling the ballot: I’m not ready to vote

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

As the national government elections approach, journalism students from the universities of Free State, University of Venda and University of Pretoria have taken time out to reflect on factors which will influence their decisions to vote or not to. Precious Mamotingoe Lesupi, UFS journalism student, reflects on why she will be sprinting away from the ballot box.Growing up, election season was always a major issue around the house.

Let us get this right – Women Are Not Rocks!

Let us get this right – Women Are Not Rocks!

If you strike a woman she will bleed and die

In an era where women being beaten and killed by their significant others is a norm, we need to do something that will lead to the real emancipation of women. March 8 is recognised globally as International Women’s Day, while this calls for a definite celebration of what women have achieved in the world today, it also calls for a deep introspection as the world, and as a country, on what we are doing wrong. Will we ever see progress

About Us

The Journalist is a ground-breaking media project that provides history and context for key issues facing South African journalists. The Journalist is an independent, not for profit organisation working with the academic community and a range of credible online entities to make knowledge more accessible to the wider public. We don’t only tell you what happened. We help you understand why.

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