Born-and-bred local journo sheds light on Mpumalanga politics

Sizwe Sama Yende. Photo: Carli Koch

MBOMBELA – Sizwe Sama Yende cut his teeth at African Eye News and now works for City Press.

His memoir, Eerie Assignment will appear on bookshelves later this month.

Eerie Assignment focuses on Sama Yende’s experience as a journalist in Mpumalanga and attempts to convey what role big-name and small-time politicians played to get the collective “us” to where we are: from the province synonymous with political killings and corruption, to one of relative peace at present.

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What did all those news reports, sometimes published over the course of years, really mean? This is the question Sama Yende attempts to answer for the first time.

“It features stories I’ve published before and it goes behind the scenes for people to grasp the details I could not publish with the story,” he told Lowvelder.

He says it is a coincidence that the book is appearing now. He wanted it to happen sooner.

He started writing Eerie Assignment in 2014 when he got sick, and finished it within six months.

“Eventually it changed a lot. It was overtaken by events. It was frustrating. I can continue writing it right up until it goes to print,” he said.

Eerie Assignment paints a picture of what it was like to be a journalist in the 23 years of South Africa’s democracy.

“This is my perspective or analysis of events that has not been explained before,” he said.

Sama Yende will do a talk on Eerie Assignment as part of Lowvelder’s Pen in my hand initiative this month.

Come and join us for a warm meal and an interesting evening at A Bica, Belladonna Centre, on Thursday May 25 from 18:00. Entry will cost R50 at the door and includes a hearty meal. To book a place, please phone the restaurant directly on 073-329-9238. We look forward to seeing you there.

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Mireille de Villiers

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