Rehana Rossouw

Personal information

Rehana Rossouw was born on the 21 March 1964 in Cape Town. She has a son called Jihad. She matriculated in 1980 at the age of 16 and had always wanted to become a journalist. However, that dream was cut short after being accepted into Rhodes University but was declined residence due to apartheid law. Rossouw then went on to study law at the University of Cape Town but dropped out after two years. However, it was at UCT, that she started her journalism career. She joined a community newspaper called Grassroots through a youth organisation and it was at the age of 17 that she first got published. It was also with the paper that she was involved in the political struggle. Her involvement in workshops and having the mentorship of famous journalists she looked up to, was what allowed her to gain most of her expertise. It was through her political education by her mentors who were more than willing to share their experiences, that has helped Rossouw become one of South Africa's greatest journalists. It was only in 1985 that she enrolled into what was formerly known as Peninsula Technikon to study journalism.

Career information

Rehana Rossouw has been a journalist for the last 30 years and is currently the executive editor of The Weekender newspaper. Rossouw began her journalistic career when her first article was published at the age of 17. Rossouw was extensively involved in alternative left-wing community media in the Cape Flats during the 1980s and started her first full-time professional job as a journalist in 1986. From this auspicious start as the deputy editor of South newspaper which alongside The Weekly Mail and Vrye Weekbald challenged the old South African government, Rossouw has gone on to hold the following positions: managing editor and an assistant editor of Business Day newspaper, deputy editor of the Mail & Guardian newspaper and Rossouw is also a weekly columnist on social issues for The Weekender. Rehana has also written essays on journalism for South African publications such as Changing the Fourth Estate: Essays on South African Journalism,edited by A. Hadland, and Black, White and Grey: Ethics in South African Journalism, edited by F. Kruger.

Recognitions and awards

Rossouw has been recognised for her astounding love and knowledge of books and as such is very active in the South African and International literary world where she often judges in events such as the 2008 Sunday Times Literary Awards. More recently Rossouw was a judge in this years EU Literary Awards and she participated in panel discussions at the Cape Town Book Fair alongside characters such as cartoonist Zapiro. Rossouw began her journalistic career without any formal training and so her biggest achievement may be that she has been able to climb the media ladder through hard work, perseverance, her strong political involvement and experience. Rossouw has not received any formal awards and yet she says the only award she need is the admiration she receives from her mother and father.

Other professional activities

Rehana Rossouw besides being the Executive Editor of The Weekender as been an activist since the apartheid era, She is currently doing her honours in journalism at The University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg while she still lectures students in journalism. She lectures in feature-writing and news to feature writing which is a highly regarded course so students looking to enrol must have permission from the convener herself. Other training programmes she has been involved in have been with the Institute for Advancement, Berkley and various institutes around Africa. Rossouw has also written for various annual publications such as The Rhodes Journalism Review where she wrote an article called ‘Understanding ‘accountability’’.

External Links


Primary Sources

Rehana Rossouw (personal contact through telephonic interview)
Dr. Badat (brother-in-law)
Shereen Badat (sister)
Interview with Rehana Rossouw by Tymon Smith

Secondary Sources

More pages