We have no choice but to transform

Published, 12 May 2016, by Mazwi Xaba, The Star at 14:25pm

Isolezwe’s success has helped Independent Media transform through adding a new and powerful voice, says editor Mazwi Xaba.

There are few things that can leave you with a feeling of more pride than reading your own appointment letter for a better-paying and more prestigious job. But when I was officially appointed chief sub-editor I had mixed feelings.

Excited and proud of course I was, but it also soon dawned on me that I and the whole team would have to ensure that our brand-new newspaper really took off, or we’d find ourselves with a great but empty dream and no newspaper, and no jobs.

It’s now history that Isolezwe was a roaring success from the start in April 2002, from zero to over 100 000 copies within the first 10 years.

All thanks to exemplary leadership by founding editor Philani Mgwaba and hard work by the team with support from colleagues in Durban and other regions of Independent Media.

We had left behind our stable jobs at 100-plus-year-old newspapers, including the Sunday Tribune, in my case Ilanga, and the Daily News.

We were confident, but we needed inspiration.

Nat Nakasa’s sister came out of the blue and provided loads of it to me very close to the launch.
Gladys Maphumulo, a neighbour who lived just across the road from my uMlazi home but whose background I didn’t know, told me about her brother like she had just seen him.

She was so proud of his contribution to journalism and the struggle against apartheid.

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