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Author Focus

Zubeida Jaffer
Biographical info

Zubeida Jaffer was born in Cape Town on January 26, 1958. She matriculated in 1974 at the South Peninsula High School in Diep River. She obtained a BA Degree (1977) at the University of Cape Town, a degree in journalism (1979) at Rhodes University and an MSC Degree (1996) in journalism at Colombia University in New York.

Zubeida Jaffer is an award-winning South African journalist. She was a key figure in the struggle movement in the Western Cape in the apartheid years. She is one of the most senior black women on the South African media scene and one of the judges of the country’s most prestigious awards for newspapers, the Mondi awards.

In 2003 her life story, Our Generation, was published. In 2008 her first novel, Love in the Time of Treason, was published.

Did you know?  

  • She is the founding editor of Independent Newspapers’ parliamentary office. She is also a political analyst for the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation.
  • She was the first South African woman to receive the USA’s Foreign Journalist Award in 1994. She also received an award from the New York Foreign Press Association for outstanding academic and professional work.

Author bookshelf

Love in the Time of Treason, Kwela Books (2008)
Our Generation, Kwela Books (2003)


Percy Qoboza Foreign Journalist Award (1994)

List of titles

2003 Our Generation – memoir, Kwela Boeke
2008 Love in the Time of Treason, Kwela Boeke


“Lucidly written and well-researched, Love in the Time of Treason: The Life Story of Ayesha Dawood, is an important contribution to the vast pool of South African life-writing. It is an inspiring story of a brave and dedicated woman who should not be forgotten by history.” – Karina Magdalena Szczurek, www.itch.co.za (2009)

“This is one of the stories one always knew existed, but never expected it to surface with such force of tenderness and beauty; such power of self-discovery; such courageous pain.” – Antjie Krog on Our Generation

“Those who put on line: their lives. She is one of them and her story as a woman of Cape Muslim background, a journalist and an activist in the South African struggle, a mother bearing and rearing a child while enduring harassment, torture and prison…” – Nadine Gordimer on Our Generation


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