Proposal for the compilation and publication of a magazine called TEN
A 96-page publication – in magazine-format – celebrating 10 years of democracy in South Africa
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MIRIAM Mqomboti summed up the moment perfectly – and poignantly – as she was being helped away from a polling booth in the sprawling Cape Flats suburb of Gugulethu: “I am happy this day has come,” she said proudly. “I never thought it could happen here.”
It was 26 April 1994, and 93-year-old Mqomboti, who had lived through some of the most important events in South African and world history – the formation of the Union of South Africa, the Rand Rebellion, the Great Depression, two world wars, Sharpeville, the Treason Trial, the Soweto Uprising and the fall of apartheid, to name just some – had cast her vote for the first time in a South African general election.
It was a momentous occasion for Mqomboti –and for millions of South Africans like her – for it signalled the death of the old South Africa and the birth of the new.
Over the next few months the world would watch – intrigued – as Nelson Mandela took over the reins as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.
And, let it be said, many observers were openly wondering, too, about things such as just when the country’s long-time protagonists would be tearing at one another’s throats.
Thankfully, the worst fears of the legions of Afro-pessimists were not realized.
Of course there were problems, some of which would remain unresolved to this day. But, over the past decade, South Africa’s new democracy has been able to point to some remarkable achievements – achievements that all South African can be proud of.
Now, in celebration of our country’s first decade of democracy, CAPE AFRICA MEDIA is planning to launch a 96-page magazine that will revisit the run-up to those heady days of change, highlight South Africa’s achievements, examine the challenges that lie ahead, and, most of all, simply bask in the afterglow of achievement….
A decade of achievement
Remember those dire predictions – pre-1994 – of race and tribal warfare ripping our country apart? Well, it didn’t happen – and one of the reasons for the relatively smooth hand-over of power has been, as Desmond Tutu (among others) has suggested, “the remarkable capacity of black South Africans to forgive”.
One of the vehicles for forgiveness was a uniquely South African creation – the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Although the hearings proved intensely painful to many of the victims – and although proceedings were criticized by members and supporters of the previous regime as being too one-sided – the overall view was that this was a necessary exercise, which set an example for other countries with tortured pasts, to follow.
Cape Africa Media’s TEN magazine will highlight the achievements of the TRC. But more than that, it will also look at the achievements of a host of communities eager to build for the future. In this respect, our stories will honour the contributions of people, some well known, and many others less so. Examples will range from the efforts of State President Thabo Mbeki to spark a process of regeneration throughout Africa to the tenacious efforts of women in a host of rural villages to start co-ops for unemployed women.
TEN will also highlight stories that revolve around the determination of children to be educated – and of adults (who previously never had the opportunities) to learn to read and write. Other stories will centre on the various campaigns to bring tapped water to scores of rural villages, the drive towards black business empowerment, our new generation of sports heroes and academics who have become role models for the whole of the country.
Nothing, of course, is ever static, and as South Africa looks ahead to its second decade of democracy, a number of new challenges (and some old ones that simply won’t go away) will have to be confronted with ever increasing vigour.
Unemployment remains a massive challenge – as does the AIDS pandemic. TEN will look at the latest attempts to come to terms with the challenges job creation and the development of skills.
Everyone agrees that the spread of AIDS simply must be halted.
Stories revolving around these issues will be written with sympathy and understanding, while highlighting the immense contributions of people from all sectors of society.
Proposed contents of TEN
The proposed format of TEN is refreshingly straightforward: it will look back at the remarkable series of events that gave rise to the birth of the new South Africa. It will then examine how the new democratic government set about levelling the playing fields. A feature of the magazine will be a range of stories guaranteed to thrill and inspire any South African who has the interest of the country at heart.
Here are some examples of stories that we’ve earmarked for publication:
Those Heady Days…
- Mandela’s release from prison; false starts, hard talking, agreements made and broken, underhand maneouvres; countdown to a new country; non-racial elections.
- The fascinating story of Miriam Mqomboti.
- Party at the Union Buildings.
- RDP – and a go-getter called Jay.
- Election queues.
- Doing the election slog.
- The changing face of “old order” political parties.
- Personalities: Joe Slovo’s (red socks and all), Mandela, Sisulu, Mbeki, Boesak, the right wing, the PAC, the IFP, Joburg’s Northern Suburbs.
- Adding a bit of colour to suburban schools, while in the townships education remains mostly unchanged.
- “My, how the neighbourhood’s changed”.
Mandela in office – and out…
- Confirmation of a world statesman.
- Madiba – in his own words./li>
- And in the words of others./li>
- His triumphs – and his legacy./li>
- In retirement – “twinkle, twinkle little star … and another school built./li>
The Mbeki Era…
- The launching of a greater mission – regenerating Africa
- Nepad and the African Union
- The Quiet Diplomat.
- “10 Years – 20 Questions.
Making Simple Things Count – Bringing Water to the People…
- A human interest piece demonstrating how tapped water – something many of us take for granted – can profoundly change the lives of a community.
- A place called home – a house for everyone.
- Creating partnerships in the wine estates of the Boland.
Return to the Land…
- Land restitution.
- Examples of land restitution, in both rural and urban areas.
A changing workplace
- Creating new opportunities.
- The challenge of black empowerment.
- The human tragedy of this pandemic.
- Debates around this illness.
- Heroes – those who in various ways are striving to make a difference in the fight against the pandemic.
- The heartwarming and extremely satisfying story of South Africa’s first black female Rhodes scholar.
- Gcobani Bobo – the new face of Springbok rugby.
- Cheryl Carolus – a new breed of South African.
- Bullets, poison, letter-bombs and dumping out of aircraft – but lots of forgiveness, too.
Out of Sporting Isolation…
- New Heroes.
- Future Heroes.
- And reinvented old guard stalwarts.
Making South African Music – for ourselves and for the world…
- Isn’t our music great? Insights from Hugh Masekela, Arthur, Brasse vannie Kaap and Rashied Lombard, among others.
Afrikaans – Respectable again…
- Three prominent South Africans say why it’s lekker to speak Afrikaans in the new South Africa.
Welcome Home – an Exile’s Return…
- Interviews with three different types of exiles – a political exile, a national service dodger and, well, someone who just didn’t feel comfortable living in apartheid South Africa.
The Long Road Ahead…
Challenges in the next decade.
All stories in TEN will centre on people. After more than 50 years experience in various media fields, the editors of Cape Africa Media are convinced that the major issues of the day are far better understood and appreciated (and, sometimes, even enjoyed) if they are given a human face. Thus, an article on South African jazz music is likely to find a much bigger audience if it is written through the eyes of, say, Hugh Masekela, Gloria Bosman or Jimmy Dludlu.
Cape Africa Media will target major South African businesses and parastatals, as well as national government (and its various provincial counterparts) to assist in the production of this important venture. We believe that South Africa has much to be proud of in its first decade of democracy.
We’d like to work together with like-minded individuals in business and politics to create a vehicle that will allow us to trumpet our triumphs.
We envisage 20 of the 96 pages to be taken up by advertising. The inside front, inside back and back cover have also been set aside for advertisements, but at a higher rate than the contents pages.
Since TEN is essentially a celebration of a decade of democracy, we envisage the production of a high quality publication. This will, in effect, translate into the production of a magazine containing a series of well written, superbly illustrated articles, printed on glossy 115gm paper, with a 135gm glossy cover.
Circulation and Distribution
Cape Africa Media will work energetically to persuade the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry to have copies of TEN available for distribution at all South African consulates and trade missions. Among other groups, corporations and institutions that will be urged to distribute copies of the magazine are banks, insurance companies, airlines, black empowerment companies, car hire firms, schools, universities and technikons.
A limited amount will be offered to retail outlets.
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