Julian Rademeyer, Africa Check Editor, is an award-winning South African investigative journalist with close to 20 years’ experience in newspapers, from City Press and the Sunday Times to the Mail & Guardian and News24. From January 2009 to January 2012 he was chief reporter, investigations, at Media24, taking the lead on key investigations for newspapers in the group. In 2012 he produced his first book, the best-selling Killing for Profit – Exposing the illegal rhino horn trade. He has reported from across Africa and elsewhere, from Namibia and Somalia to Syria and Lebanon.
Sintha Chiumia, who joined Africa Check as a researcher in August 2013, is a journalist from Malawi, now based in Johannesburg. From February to August 2013 she worked as a consultant for Africa Harvest. In 2009, 2010 and 2012, she coordinated and authored IREX’s Media Sustainability Index: Malawi Chapter. Until December 2010, she was Deputy Editor for a national newspaper in Malawi. She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Media Management from the Sol Plaatje Institute for Media Leadership, at Rhodes University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Malawi. She is a proud recipient of the 2008 OSISA Scholarship for SADC Women Media Leaders.
Kate Wilkinson joined Africa Check as a researcher in July 2013. She was previously a media officer at Equal Education, a non-profit organisation working for quality and equality in education. She received a first-class Honours degree in International Relations from the University of Cape Town in 2011. While completing her studies she volunteered at the Right 2 Know Campaign and worked part-time for Médecins Sans Frontières. The Mail and Guardian named her one of its Top 200 Young South Africans in 2013.
Anim van Wyk joined Africa Check as deputy editor in July 2014. Previously she edited an award-winning national supplement in the Afrikaans papers Beeld, Die Burger and Volksblad and also worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine writer and television producer.
She is currently studying towards a master’s degree in journalism at Stellenbosch.
Asna Bhana joined Africa Check in Sept 2014 as Fundraising and Business Development Manager. With a Masters Degree cum laude in Social Science from the University of Johannesburg, she spent many years as a social worker working for a Children’s NGO. She has since 2008 been working as an independent contractor in fundraising ; working towards building strong and sustainable non-profit organisations. Her work at Africa Check is on a part-time basis.
Peter Cunliffe-Jones, Africa Check Executive Director, has been a journalist for more than twenty years. Since joining the AFP news agency in London in 1990, he has lived and worked in the Balkans, reporting on the Bosnian war, in Lagos as Nigeria bureau chief and in Hong Kong as chief editor for Asia. He has written for the Economist, the Independent and the Guardian and provided commentary for Al Jazeera, the BBC and CNN. He joined the AFP Foundation in 2011 as deputy director after five years running the AFP online service. His book ‘My Nigeria – Five decades of independence’ was called “a triumph” by Chinua Achebe.
Eric Chinje, recently appointed as CEO of the African Media Initiative (AMI), started his career as a journalist in his native Cameroon. After leaving journalism he became head of external affairs and communications at both the World Bank (Africa Region) and the African Development Bank and led the World Bank Institute’s Global Media Program. Eric played a key part in the founding of the AMI. In addition to other roles he has also served as Vice-President of the African Advisory Committee of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington D.C.
Nicola Tallett brings to the board extensive experience of fundraising in the non-profit sector. She started her career at the group World Vision in 1993 and during the Rwanda genocide developed a programme resulting in unprecedented income for an emergency appeal. In 2000, she joined the group Children’s Aid Direct and from 2002 to 2010 worked with Action for Children, driving fundraising and marketing performance. Since 2010, she has been employed as Director of Fundraising and Marketing at the MS Society UK, the UK’s leading charity for people with multiple sclerosis. Nicola has been a trustee of the Reading Single Homeless Project since December 2002.
Robert Holloway, the chairman of the board, is the director of the AFP Foundation, the not-for-profit media development arm of the international news agency AFP. He began his journalism career covering the 1974 revolution in Portugal and reported for various publications from the Middle East from 1978 until 1984. Since joining AFP in 1988 he has been deputy chief editor, UN correspondent and head of the English service. While at the UN, he coordinated the team of AFP journalists and photographers in New York covering the 9/11 attack. Robert has taught at schools of journalism in France and at the United Nations and trained AFP’s own staff in the Middle East and Africa.
Roger Frimpong provides the board with more than 15 years of experience of running the financial and administrative side of charities. Educated in Ghana and the United Kingdom, Roger took his diploma in accounting in 1987, became a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants in 2004 and is today head of finance at Samaritans, a major UK charity, responsible for the day to day oversight of the finance department, providing strategic direction and reporting on statutory compliance on all matters financial. Before working in the charity sector he developed experience of accounting in the fields of merchant banking, the law and insurance and commodity brokerage.
Anton Harber is the Caxton Professor of Journalism at Wits University and chair of South Africa’s Freedom of Expression Institute. He was a founding editor of the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian) and an executive director of Kagiso Media. He wrote Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), winner of the Recht Malan Prize, and co-edited the first two editions of The A–Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/5), What is Left Unsaid: Reporting the South African HIV Epidemic (Jacana, 2010) and Troublemakers: The best of SA’s investigative journalism (Jacana, 2010).
Contributors & Trainers
Adewale Maja-Pearce was Africa editor of Index on Censorship, the London-based magazine of free expression, from 1986 to 1997. He currently lives in Lagos, Nigeria where he runs YEMAJA, an editorial services agency, and is a partner in The New Gong, a small, independent publishing company. He is a contributing writer to the International New York Times, and writes a weekly column for Hallmark newspaper in Nigeria. He is the author of a number of books, including Loyalties and Other Stories, In My Father’s Country: A Nigerian Journey, and Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa and Other Essays, among others.
Nechama Brodie is a South African journalist with nearly two decades of experience in media. She is a former magazine editor and radio talkshow host, and is the editor and co-author of the highly acclaimed history The Joburg Book, and Inside Joburg. During her career Nechama has dodged the secret police in Burma (after interviewing Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San SuuKyi); explored hidden tunnels underneath Johannesburg; and traded punches in the ring as a boxer and boxing writer. Nechama is currently working towards her master’s degree in journalism at Wits University. Her history of Cape Town will be published in 2015.
Taiwo Obe is a Nigerian journalist, passionate about good journalism. He founded The Journalism Clinic in 2012 to raise journalism standards in Nigeria, with hopes of extending this to other parts of the continent. Editor of Nigeria’s “Media Review” from 1991-1995, Obe founded and has since 2011 managed the EverythingJournalism Group on LinkedIn which seeks to promote best practices in journalism. He is the Nigeria Director of Innovation Media Consulting. When he’s not doing journalism, he consults on sustainable development. He is a Commonwealth Professional Fellow (2014) and an Alfred Friendly Press Partners Fellow (1988).
Ruth Becker, our first editor, is a contributor to and trainer for Africa Check in South Africa. One of the first journalists employed at the Weekly Mail newspaper, she has worked in print, broadcast and online journalism in South Africa for more than twenty years. Since 2002 her work has focused mainly on the field of health and the use of online and mobile technology and social media to bring health information to the widest community. She is a consultant to the Anova Health Institute, an HIV and AIDS non-governmental organisation. Ruth, who teaches and mentors journalism students, is currently undertaking a PhD at Wits Journalism.