Personal information: Hopewell Radebe was born on the 15 July 1969. He is a South African journalist who specialises in South Africa's international relations with the world and the country's defence industry (1). Born and raised in Sakhile Standerton, Radebe is the only son of Thoko Radebe and the late Themba Radebe. He now lives in Alberton with his wife Sylvia Sefalna Radebe and two teenage daughters, Thobeka who is 16 and Nokuthula who is 15. He also has a two year old son named Asante. Radebe received his matric at Vryheid Zulu High and followed this up with a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Unisa where he majored in Political and International Relations. Radebe attended the Argus School of Journalism and got his Bachelor of Arts Honours in journalism and Media management at the University of Witwatersrand. His career and personal influences include Nelson Mandela and Mr Joe Thloloe, the current South African press ombudsman.
He chose journalism as a career because he feels that it is the first draft of history. He feels privileged to write things that historians would visit years later to understand what had happened and how journalists documented and interpreted the events. His career as a journalist began while he was a member of the Catholic Students Association and Sasco, where he wrote newsletters for both organisations. As a result of this, he secured a place for himself at the Argus school of Journalism at The Star Newspaper in 1994. He completed six months cadet training and was thereafter employed as a court reporter at The Star. A year later he joined the political team as municipal reporter focusing on Johannesburg?s first non-racial municipal council. He describes his career as a roller coaster ride that he has thoroughly enjoyed over the year. Some of the challenges he faced include being sent to cover the hostels in Thokoza and Katlehong during the time of township wars between Inkatha Freedom Party and ANC members. This meant that he had to face the risk of getting shot while interviewing people. He worked at The Star newspaper for seven years and he then joined The Citizen, as their political editor and assistant editor for three years. He then moved to the Business Day in 2004 and is currently their news and diplomatic editor. Throughout his career he has been able to almost all the SADC states, the Middle East, the UK, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Malaysia and Argentina.
Recognition and Awards:
He has not received any awards as a result of his journalism prowess. He remarks that this is because he hardly ever sends in any entries. His wife, he comments, believes that this is because he is afraid to lose.
Radebe is a Sanef Council Member (4). SANEF endorses the prestigious Nat Nakasa Award which is awarded annually to a journalist for "Courageous Journalism" (5). It was named after Durban-born, Nathaniel Ndazana Nakasa, who was the first black journalist to work at the Rand Daily Mail.
Other professional activities:
Radebe was the Gauteng Regional convener for SANEF in 2002-2003 (4). He became the secretary general from 2004-2006. Since then he has remained on the board of councillors up until present, now focusing on gender committee (3). He is also the Johannesburg Press Club Chairperson in 2006. He assisted in the writing of the Transcript Press Roundtable with Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Dr. Jendayi E. Frazer in 2008. Contributed to the writing of 'All Sides of the Story: A Journalists Handbook' in 2003. He also contributed a chapter in an academic book "Digging up our foremothers, stories of women in Africa" which was edited by Unisa Professor Christina Landman. He has also edited 'The Black Wednesday' on behalf of the Institute for Advancement of Journalism. He has participated as a news analysis, regularly reviewing newspapers for eTV for four years 2002 ? 2006. Radebe has been a guest news analyst for BBC, CNN and recently for Aljazera. In addition to this he has contributed to BBC internet site.