Comrade Editor. On life, journalism and the birth of Namibia, by Gwen Lister
Comrade Editor. On life, journalism and the birth of Namibia. Gwen Lister was born in East London, South Africa. After a convent education, she attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Cape Town.
In 1976 she commenced work as a journalist at the Windhoek Advertiser in Namibia. She soon became deeply engrossed in political coverage in Namibia, adopting a critical stance towards the South African occupation of Namibia. In 1978 she and the former Editor of the Advertiser, Hannes Smith, started the Windhoek Observer. Lister at the time was also a correspondent for the Africa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In 1985, Lister started an independent newspaper, The Namibian. From the outset the newspaper was the only one of its kind in Namibia to expose ongoing atrocities and human rights violations of Namibians at the hands of South African security forces. She is the recipient of a number of international courage in journalism awards from, among others, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). She was also named a World Press Freedom Hero by the International Press Institute (IPI) in 2000. Gwen Lister has two children and lives in Namibia.
Memories in sepia
IT'S A STILL and oppressive evening. Clouds are building, as they do for days before it rains, but there's no relief yet from the heat of the Namibian summer. However, it cushions me in an appealing warmth. I squat down in front of a trunk filled with memorabilia. Wryly, I realise that I've begun to lose the suppleness of youth. Tracking back over decades to discover how and why my activism and journalism roots were nurtured, I sift through childhood keepsakes, and come upon an old black-and-white studio photograph. Discoloured with age, it shows a shy and diffident girl of about five, with neatly cut hair and bangs, chin tucked into chest, eyes wide open, but seemingly focused on an inner world. How did she become me, I wonder, marvelling at my sudden memory of the red-collared dress, home-sewn, with neatly embroidered white flowers. I can picture my mother off camera, saying 'Smile, Gwen.' 'Why?' I must have asked, as I was clearly reluctant. One of the many questions I asked as a child, a precursor perhaps to a life in journalism. At that time, we were living in East London, the town where I was born in December 1953. But we did not stay there for long. My father worked for Barclays Bank, and was transferred regularly, so I have scattered memories of a childhood spent in many different places in South Africa. Later, after I had left home, my parents also spent several years in what was then known as South West Africa. When my brother and I heard the dreaded word 'transfer', we knew we'd soon be off to somewhere else. We would put down tentative roots, shake off our reserve and make new friends, only to find ourselves back on the road to different surroundings, strange schools and unfamiliar houses that never quite became home. Both my parents were born and raised in the Eastern Cape. My father, an only child, had received an elite education at St Andrews College in Grahams-town. A good-looking man, with a neatly trimmed moustache, he had inherited my grandmother's charm, and was well-liked by just about everyone. Dark-haired and vivacious, my mother, Joan, was only twenty when she gave birth to me, and my father just four years older. [...]
This is an excerpt from Comrade Editor: On life, journalism and the birth of Namibia, by Gwen Lister.
Title: Comrade Editor
Subtitle: On life, journalism and the birth of Namibia
Publisher: NB Publisher
Kapstadt, South Afrika 2021
ISBN 9780624092568 / ISBN 978-0-62-409256-8
Softcover, 15 x 23 cm, 388 pages, numerous b/w photos
Lister, Gwen im Namibiana-Buchangebot
Comrade Editor: On life, journalism and the birth of Namibia is the story of Gwen Lister, the activist journalist.
On Solid Ground is a report on Gabrielle Lubowski’s life irrevocably changed when her husband ans SWAPO activist Anton Lubowski’s, was gunned down outside his home in Namibia in 1989.
'Ein Land, eine Zukunft. Namibia auf dem Weg in die Unabhängigkeit' will mit zahlreichen Beiträgen über Ideologie und Praxis des Kolonialsystems in Namibia sowie über politische und gesellschaftliche Utopien und Alternativen informieren.