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Interport Lecturer- South Africa

Zubeida Jaffer

Zubeida Jaffer is an award-winning South African journalist, author and activist. She is presently based at the University of the Free State as Writer-in-Residence in the Department of Communication Sciences. She started her career at the Cape Times in 1980 and also spent a short stint at the Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg in the same year. Her work has earned her numerous local and international awards. These include the Muslim Views Achiever Award as well as the Honor Medal for Distinguished Service to Journalism from the University of Missouri in the USA.

Her memoir, Our Generation, eloquently tells the story of her emotional journey through the years of South Africa’s turbulence into a new democracy. It has been translated into Arabic. Her second book, Love in the Time of Treason has been described as a “tour de force” and is published internationally under the title, On Trial with Mandela. Beauty of the Heart, The life and times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, is her third book, published in mid-2016. This book tells the story of South Africa’s first female graduate.

Her anti-apartheid activism landed her in detention twice during the 1980’S. In the 1990’s, the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission declared her a torture survivor.

Ms Jaffer is a graduate of both the University of Cape Town and Rhodes University in the Eastern Cape. She also holds a masters degree from Columbia University in New York. She is the publisher of The Journalist (, a multimedia website designed to tell the stories of forgotten pioneers of journalism in her country and on the continent.  The site is both a knowledge bank and a mentorship programme for young journalists. She is working with a team to relaunch the site as The African Journalist in 2020 telling the stories of journalist pioneers across the continent. She also runs her own website at She lives in the community of Wynberg, Cape Town where her family has resided for close to 60 years.