The launch of African Independent, by Independent Media, diversifies the media landscape by offering a space to tell stories for Africans, by Africans. Jovial Rantao heads up the editorial team, and he says it is his “big African baby”.
African Independent, launched on 28 August 2015 in Cape Town, plans to tell unique African stories. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)
“For far too long now our African stories have been told by Europeans, by Americans,” said the editor of the African Independent, Jovial Rantao. “Now through the African Independent, we can tell our own stories… for Africans, by Africans.”
He spoke at the launch of Independent Media’s latest offering, held in Cape Town on 28 August. On its website, it is described as the go-to platform for people interested in Africa.
“Our strong round-the-clock online presence ensures that our readers are kept abreast of events on the continent,” states its website. Readers can get “24/7 immediacy on our digital platform as well as insightful, thought-provoking content to reflect upon” in the print edition.
“Our print publication is available every Friday, and contains uniquely written African content with emphasis on news, investigations, health, innovation, Brics and sport. It is an African newspaper that covers the continent like no other.”
The paper will be produced and distributed in South Africa, as well as in other African states including Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The 48-page tabloid will have a print run of 60 000 copies per week.
The African voice
Dr Iqbal Survé, Independent Media executive chairman, echoed Rantao. “We need to tell the stories of Africa’s potential and growth. It is time Africa told its own story.
“Those involved must have thought I was never going to allow the launch of African Independent because of how I sent them back and forth,” he said.
Rantao observed that many African dreams failed because there was no support, so he thanked the team and Survé for their efforts. He described the newspaper as his “big, African baby”.
A solid start
Survé said the publication had already secured the bulk of its advertising revenue for the first year, ensuring the publication was self-sustainable. “Then in the second year, it will be profitable and in the third, super profitable.”
International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane attended the launch, where she congratulated the Independent Media group. “We should not be waiting for the likes of AFP for news about our own country, our own continent,” she said.
“This is a welcome innovation for the country and the continent. Africa’s time is now.”
The newspaper will be distributed in South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)
Congratulations and messages of support have been posted on social media.
“Congratulations guys!” wrote Phalane Motale on its Facebook page. “This is really historic and proof that South Africa is in Africa. Together we are going to make it work!”
Margaret Piecenyana said it was quite an achievement and David Buzzard wished them luck. “If things don’t work out for me here, maybe they’ll give me a job,” he joked.