The power of words and civil courage

Rebecca Tickle

On the impact of selfless fact-reporting journalism in Africa

I so much admire those journalists who challenge on a daily basis the criminalisation of press- and opinion-related offences in Africa.

On a constant run for the defence of core moral and professional values, they relentlessly dedicate their passion as well as their time to the exposure of truth, with the permanent effort to avoid controversionalisation of facts.
Their ultimate and unquestionable use of a - fortunately universal - professional charter as well as the power of words is remarquable while they zigzag in a permanently freedom- and life-threatning context.
The political circumstances where Truth has become an insult to Power, where the enemy of progress focuses primarily on how to keep the citizen in an autocratic climate of obscurantism as well as invested with a permanent feeling of absolute superfluousness.

Administering the right dosing and wording of food for thought has reached such a high level of professional and personal competence. Where intellectual elegance and humility tends to become normative, the fortunate reader gets the tools for grasping the essentials and the satisfaction of his fundamental right to think. We are talking of the true art of impacting critical thought beyond emotional feeding often fuelled by populist sensationalism and opportunism.

What a fine contribution to the empowerment of the ordinary citizen and his need for analysis driven food for thought. A contribution that instills renewed consciousness and sense of pride in a general - and why not national - context of a so often lingering lack of constructive and critical common sense.

This is real true grassroot individual development in a setting where hope and self confidence have been tortured and lost in centuries of physical and mental slavery.

What huge value for those few ones who unflinchingly share the fruit of their fearless and acrobatic management of undeniable facts through the power of words.

My respect for the younger generation of those specially qualified reporters who have chosen to learn from their wise and courageous elders, dead or alive. A renewed elite that was born in ages of darkness and corruptmindedness, but which decided to dedicate its tireless energy to the search of light and intellectual progress.

And my deepest respect of course goes to those elders who use and share their so valuable knowledge and experience to keep up the struggle against the obliteration of history. Those journalists and fact reporters have learnt their job in the harshest way within a system which is more than ever clinging to its survival.

Along with constant and abusive illegitimacy, the control and concentration of power strictly depends on the maintenance of an ignorant and emotionally failed People that knows not where it comes from nor where it is heading to.

Long life to fact reporting journalism in Africa. And again, my highest consideration for those grassroot selfless actors for their outstanding civil courage.

Pius Njawe, may your soul rest in perfect peace.