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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Published, May 13 2016 by Sandy Naude, Cape Argus at 10:03am

Under Sekunjalo’s ownership, Independent Media has evolved rapidly, says Sandy Naudé.

A media career largely focused on advertising and marketing across a number of titles and groups found me in the position of general manager of the Cape region for the then-Independent Newspapers, with a dash of digital, when our group was sold to Sekunjalo.

Prior to the sale, Independent Newspapers was mired in cost-cutting and a lack of investment, particularly in digital, due to the challenges faced by our former foreign owners.

Fast-forward to the end of 2013 and new ownership.

Regional management (our silos), where incidentals ordered by out-of-town execs were cost-coded to their regions, disappeared to build the national structure.

Our new company moved into a new space – a South African space – where all readers and advertisers would have a voice and an opportunity to grow their dialogues.

Regional silos were transformed into national structures to maximise sales opportunities and the sharing of projects.

National conferences and town hall meetings brought commercial and editorial teams together with the same objective to transform our business by building our brands and commercial pitches.

A specialist government cluster was formed to handle the specific commercial requirements for the government. Editors collaborated with commercial teams and agreed on innovative styles for advertisers.

The mojo – or mobile journalism – studio was launched and new titles with a focus on vernacular were introduced.

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Published, May 11 2016, issued by EspAfrika

The Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert is set to entertain and empower the Mother City once again, with this year’s edition of the annual fundraising event taking place at the Artscape Theatre on Saturday, 4 June 2016 at 7.30pm.

Celebrating its 16th year of supporting local talent, Sekunjalo Edujazz is proud to announce Jimmy Nevis as the headline artist for this year’s fundraiser. Born and raised in Cape Town, Jimmy Nevis is a young alternative pop singer, songwriter and producer. Jimmy has received extensive commercial radio success in South Africa with airplay of a number of hit singles including fan-favourites “Heartboxing”, “Balloon” and “7764”.

Also performing on the night are two exciting home-grown jazz bands; The Belhar Music Collective, a sensational group of young people who began their musical journey in church and have already performed at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival and the Artscape Jazz Festival; and The Edujazz Big Band, comprising top music students from the University of Cape Town, Stellenbosch University and Rondebosch Boys High School, and fresh off their performance at the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival. This year’s mentors are Keith Tabisher (FET Curriculum planner for the Western Cape) and renowned jazz educator, Terrence Scarr.

This annual jazz concert not only supports local music development through fundraising, but also serves as a platform for young aspiring musicians from underprivileged communities to showcase their talent on the big stage. These young bands are given the chance to work with established headline artists and some of the greatest music educators that South Africa has to offer. Extensive workshops are conducted by their mentors to help musicians foster skills and experience in live performances.

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