Mike Loewe

Personal information Mike Loewe was born in East London in 1959; he was the only boy out of 2 older sisters. He attended Vincent primary school, and then went on to Cambridge High School, Westville High School and finally Queens College Matriculating in 1977. He has two daughters who both attend D.S.G.

Career information
Initially his plan after matriculating was to be a surfer, but his eyes were opened to what society really was, he realised that the majority of people were oppressed and most of the minority that the system catered for did not bother to question what was going. He joined the SA DEF (South African Defence force at the time), were he stored and loaded remains of people who had died. Safe to say that the letters he found in the belongings of these people changed his life, he realised that he had grown up in a ‘lie’, “The balloon I had grown under burst”. The letters instilled in him anger and confusion about the society he had grown up in. In pursuit of the truth Mike Loewe decided that he wanted to apply for university. His father had attended Rhodes University but dropped out, but this did not discourage him so in 1981 he decided to give it a try and applied at Rhodes University in BA. HIS father convinced him he was supposed to go into being an accounting or law but that was not in his hind. Mike was determined to be journalist, so his first year at Rhodes he too took up journalism, English, sociology. During his first year at Rhodes he had tutor by the name of Dave Brister, who was detained and sentenced to 6yrs imprisonment for supplying the A.N.C with information. In 1981 he became the editor of Radio which was a student newspaper now called Activate. After completing his two years at Rhodes University he fell in love with a girl and decided to move to U.C.T with her were he completed his BA and became editor of Varsity a student newspaper. In 1981 he was elected S.R.C and joined the Y.C.D. U.D.F was successful in the Eastern Cape. Mike freelanced a lot and still does today. In 1984 He got his first Job at the Evening Post in the midst of all the political tension in South Africa During the state of emergency in 1985 he opened up East Cape News agency with France Kruger were he was detained for 3months and during his detention his parents were always informed that he was okay and doing well meanwhile during his detention he suffered server asthma for 10 days. Mike was also banned from being a journalist, and from being part of U.D.F, he was sent to jail, assaulted and sent to solitary confinement in Roy Hill Prison. Mike does not see himself as a political journalist but, as a civil rights activist. After spending six years in Johannesburg and working as a deputy editor for the City Press he decide to come back to Grahamstown with his family. When arriving in Grahamstown he wanted to buy the newspaper, Grocottes Mail but was financially unable to. In 2005 Makana Moon came to life, which consists of 3 Rhodes journalism students ,1 bookkeeper and himself.. He sees this as a commercial independent weekly magazine.

Recognitions and awards
One of Mike’s biggest achievements would be the fact that he was able to open his eyes to the system that so many people chose to ignore. He was able to question everything and decided that he was not going to go on living under the racism and brutality system that oppressed the majority, and not ask any questions. He values the fact that at an early stage he was able to correctly understand what was happening to South Africa. While he was involved in the struggle, he cherishes the fact while he was involved in the struggle he was able to meet a lot of great people like Helen Joseph and Mono Badela amongst a few. One of the highlight of his life was when the in 1984 the United Democratic Front was launched, which he would later become a member. The fact that he was banned and detained became one of the highlights of life because it meant that he was doing something for South Africa. He received an honorary journalism degree at Rhodes University, which he considers to be big achievements, since at the time he was not a great writer, evident in the fact that he only lasted 3 weeks at The Herald his first Job. On a lighter note, he considers the following to be one of his biggest achievements; he played for boarder for his school rugby and was also a surfed for them. In 1980, he was also Rhodes Champion surfer. Turning 50 he decided that he would join the bicycle traffic racing.

Other professional activities
In 1990 he got his first bike, and at the age of 50 he is still an avid cyclist. He recently entered the Ironman competition. He see’s cycling as a way to control his midlife crisis.
Mike Loewe and his family

Primary Sources
Interview with Mike Leowe
Secondary Sources
Editor of Grocotts mail

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