Johannesburg – We not too long ago misplaced Solly Maphumulo. The late information editor of the Sunday Unbiased died final week on account of issues associated to her contraction of Covid-19.
My coronary heart bleeds for Solly’s household, her mother, sister, brothers, and her associates.
I do know it takes effort, love, religion, hope, prayers, tears, power and plenty of sacrifices for a mom to lift an African baby and to nurture her into what Solly lastly turned – an amazing newshound with an enormous coronary heart of gold.
Solly, like many youngsters from poor black households, represented the hope and aspiration of her mother and father, siblings and her group.
It’s the norm in lots of our African households, as soon as a baby has overcome all of the ills and misfortunes that canine these from marginalised and rural sections of society – the kid turns into a job mannequin and a celebrated determine, in their very own proper, inside their household, and wider group.
Solly was that baby. The one who managed to overcome historic hurdles, attain a tertiary qualification, and in addition turned out to be one of many best journalists this nation has ever produced.
And only in the near past, she stated she went to varsity solely when her uncle determined to pay for her charges as a result of she acquired good matric outcomes.
Practising as a journalist proved to her household that their funding in her training, regardless of of the countless punishing challenges the household needed to overcome, was the precise factor to do, as a result of it enabled her to make a frequently significant contribution to society in her devoted follow of journalism.
In her achievements, the hopes of a greater high quality of life inside her household had turn into a palpably lived actuality. Her dying has sadly put paid to all these hopes and aspirations, of not solely her household however her group again in rural kwaMaphumulo, in addition to the media fraternity as an entire.
She nonetheless had loads to provide: she had the talent, the contacts, the power, the integrity and a nostril for information.
It was baffling that somebody who was such a exceptional journalistic expertise, discovered herself unemployed in a rustic the place there’s a dearth of employment and development alternatives, as a result of sluggishness of transformation, particularly for credible African feminine investigative journalists.
It confirms, due to this fact, that there’s merely no actual dedication to transformation in lots of our newsrooms, particularly for individuals who don’t fairly match into the mainstream liberal narrative and agenda.
If you happen to labored with Solly within the newsroom, you quickly acquired to know that she might by no means settle for info at face worth. She interrogated each angle. And, as to be anticipated, she was a sceptic of word. Her scepticism usually bordered on plain stubbornness. Inevitably, we crossed swords once in a while.
However, this proved she was a seasoned journalist, who handled info as questionable till confirmed true by additional digging into the details, and sieving such details to get to the guts of the reality, within the public curiosity. It means, I need to reiterate, Solly couldn’t simply be duped into peddling faux information. She was firmly centered on the general public curiosity.
Solly additionally introduced ubuntu into the craft of journalism. She was neither aloof, nor was she blind and deaf to the struggles of the downtrodden class, who’re nonetheless principally black folks in our nation.
She needed to provide voice to the unvoiced. She was very delicate to the socio-economic issues of the underclass and people much less privileged. She by no means forgot the place she got here from: how her household and group had contributed to her rise within the journalism milieu.
Like many black professionals, who must deal with the realities of the “black tax”, Solly knew she had a duty in the direction of the well-being of her mother and father and siblings. She helped help her household.
A brief spell earlier than she was to obtain her first wage, in December final 12 months, she saved asking: “We mhleli, uqinisile ukuthi bazongikhokhela ngo December? Phela ngiya ekhaya, umama ulindile’ (My pricey boss, are you sure the admin folks have all my info on the system? My mother is ready for me again house, and she or he is blissful that I’m working once more, so I have to take her out for lunch, and assist out the household.) That was Solly.
She was, mockingly, given a person’s identify at delivery by her dad, she instructed me. However that was not a mistake as a result of I imagine the universe realised then that it was about to provide us a girl who had balls – a girl of braveness.
As editor, I used to be glad to have her again within the newsroom. Though she was reluctant to be information editor, I believed, with time, I’d mentor and doubtless affect her – to someday turn into an editor or a media supervisor.
Nevertheless it was to not be. Destiny would have none of it. I’m nonetheless questioning if it is a unhealthy dream from which I’ll quickly awake.
My dedication to Solomon – a younger, stunning soul – gone too quickly. She was the epitome of the well-known poem – – by Maya Angelou.