Revolutionary Papers

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Presented by

Sisanda Nkoala
21 April 2022

The Early South African Black Press texts are a category of newspapers and magazines published between 1836 – 1960 aimed at Black, Coloured and Indian South Africans. Because this category of publications was designated retrospectively by scholars who have sought to understand these texts, the designation of which publications fall in this group can seem […]

Abantu-Batho and Umteteli wa Bantu

1912 – 1931

The Early Indigenous South African Black Press: A model for decoloniality and multilingualism in journalism education

This study examines how the Early South African Black Press can be used to apply notions of decoloniality and multilinguals to the teaching of journalism and society in the South African context.  The study will be exploratory, and will use the three metaphors of coloniality, namely power, knowledge and being, to expose the ways in which journalism, a discipline which was once a disruptor, now needs to be disrupted due to the ways in which it has been co-opted into a neoliberal agenda that sees news as a commodity to be sold, rather than a public good.  The content, context and authors of material from the Early Indigenous South African Black Press, turn the notions explored in the journalism and society module on their heads and expose ways in which the discipline espouses coloniality, and they also provide an example of what is possible if one takes a decolonial approach. It also provides a model of how local media can employ multilingualism in ways that are successful.   The chapter will show how, by drawing on texts from the resistant black press, which was instrumental in keeping African people’s voice alive during the many decades of oppression, journalism can be taught differently in order to re-center the voices of the marginalised, and speak to people in their own languages. The key texts to be considered are from the newspaper Abantu-Batho (The People) which was published in English, isiXhosa, isiZulu, seTswana and seSotho between 1912 and 1931.  It was Founded in Johannesburg with a grant from the queen regent Nabotsibeni of Swaziland on the advice of Pixley ka Izaka Seme, a solicitor to the Swazi monarchy at the time.

Sisanda Nkoala

Sisanda Nkoala is a senior lecturer in the Media Department at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. She is a former award-winning journalist with expertise in media and communication, education, crime and justice, gender, multilingualism and multiculturalism.