Malaika Mahlatsi: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Malaika Mahlatsi

Malaika Mahlatsi: 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Malaika Mahlatsi

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Things You Didn’t Know About Malaika Mahlatsi: We’ll be detailing things you didn’t know about Malaika Mahlatsi in this article. For those that are interested, the purpose of this article is to give you the full list in order to know about Malaika Mahlatsi. Malaika Mahlatsi was born in Zone 8 Meadowlands, Soweto, on the 19th of October, 1991.

She is a South African writer, political commentator, essayist, blogger, columnist, and television presenter.

In her late teens, the Mahlatsi family relocated to Dobsonville, Soweto. Malaika has a younger brother, Lumumba, named after Congolese leader, Patrice Lumumba. They live in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her family still resides in Soweto.

She lost her mother, whom she wrote about in her book “Memoirs of a Born Free”, to gastrointestinal cancer. So, therefore, read further below to still know about Malaika Mahlatsi.

She attended Tshimologo Junior Primary in Zone 9 Meadowlands until grade five. Thereafter, she attended Melpark Primary School in Melville, Johannesburg. She completed her high school education at Florida Park High School, before studying at Rhodes University where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science degree majoring in Geography.

She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) degree cum laude at the same university in 2017. Malaika is completed a Master of Social Science degree in Geography at Rhodes University and as of 2020 is completing a Master of Public Affairs at the Tshwane University of Technology under the supervision of renowned Public Administration scholar, Professor Mashupye Herbert Maserumule.

One other thing you should also know about Malaika Mahlatsi is that she’s also a self-proclaimed feminist. She published her first book “Memoirs of a Born Free.” The book describes her family history, beginning with her grandmother’s life, then her mother, and finally her own.

The book is framed as a letter to the ANC to both thank and criticize the party on the development of South Africa since 1994. Primarily, wa Azania details her disillusionment with the concept of the “Rainbow Nation” and being a “Born Free.”

Malaika Mahlatsi
Malaika Mahlatsi

Key Facts You Need to Know About Malaika Mahlatsi

Let’s now take at the life of Malaika Mahlatsi, her education, and her achievements so far.

About Her Life

  • Malaika Wa Azania was born in Zone 8 Meadowlands, Soweto, on the 19th October 1991.
  • She was raised by a single mother, Dipuo Mahlatsi, a student activist who was part of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and member of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL). Wa Azania cites her mother as a strong influence during her childhood. She was exposed to politics when visiting her mother who worked in Braamfontein at SANGOCO, where she would read the books and organizational literature in her mother’s office.
  • Malaika has a younger brother, Lumumba, named after Congolese leader, Patrice Lumumba. They live in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her family still resides in Soweto.
  • In 2010, after completing her matric, she relocated to Cape Town where she worked at the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) as an intern.
  • She returned to Johannesburg the following year where she worked at the Jozi Book Fair division of Khanya College.
  • Between 2012 and 2017, Malaika lived in Grahamstown where she pursued an undergraduate and postgraduate degree at Rhodes University.
  • She continued with her activism, serving in the SADC Food and Nutrition Security Committee, the African Youth Coalition and the South African Students Congress, where she served as the Branch Secretary of Rhodes University from 2012.
  • In 2017 Malaika worked in the Ministry of Communications before her political principal was reshuffled to the Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • In June 2017, she lost her mother, whom she wrote about in her book “Memoirs of a Born Free”, to gastrointestinal cancer. Following her mother’s death, Malaika retreated from public engagements, though she still wrote her weekly column in the Sunday Sun newspaper
  • She resigned from the Ministry of Communications in 2018, citing personal reasons, before moving to local government in 2019, where she was suspended from work for unprofessional conduct at the City of Ekurhuleni.
  • She is also a television presenter of youth talk show, Bua Fela, on Moja Love, DSTV Channel 157 .
  • She writes a weekly column in the Sowetan newspaper and a bi-monthly column in The Herald newspaper.
Malaika Mahlatsi

Her Achievements So Far

  • Malaika Mahlatsi has written for the Mail and Guardian, The Thinker, DestinyConnect, Sunday Independent and the African Independent.
  • She’s also the director of her own company Pen and Azanian Revolution (Pty) Ltd.
  • She is the former African Union African Youth Charter ambassador for the SADC region and a former youth representative in the SADC Food and Nutrition Security Committee.
  • She also served as the Secretary General of the African Youth Coalition, established in 2013 by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in South Africa.
  • In 2014, she wrote Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation.
  • She was selected as one of the top young South Africans in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in 2015.
  • In 2016, she was awarded the Youth Making it Happen Award by the former Miss South Africa, Joan Ramagoshi.
  • Other notable publication of hers is The Pesants’Revolt: Analysing the Role of the Democratic State in the Struggle for Land and Environmental Justice in Xolobeni, Eastern Cape (BSS Geography Honours dissertation), which was published in 2017.

Bonus Tip – Let’s take a look at the South Africa’s economy and what it offers to the people of South Africa, especially the future of youths (Malaika Mahlatsi) inclusive.

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The Economy of South Africa a Point of Focus

The economy of South Africa is the second largest in Africa, after Nigeria. As a regional manufacturing hub, it is the most industrialized and diversified economy on the continent. South Africa is an upper-middle-income economy – one of only eight such countries in Africa.

Since 1996, at the end of over twelve years of international sanctions, South Africa’s GDP almost tripled to peak at $400 billion in 2011 but has since declined to roughly $385 billion in 2019. In the same period, foreign exchange reserves increased from $3 billion to nearly $50 billion creating a diversified economy with a growing and sizable middle class, within two decades of ending apartheid.

South African state-owned enterprises play a significant role in the country’s economy with the government owning a share in around 700 SOEs involved in a wide array of important industries. In 2016 the top five challenges to doing business in the country were inefficient government bureaucracy, restrictive labor regulations, a shortage of skilled workers, political instability, and corruption, whilst the country’s strong banking sector was rated as a strongly positive feature of the economy. South Africa is among the G20 and is the only African member of the group.

South Africa, unlike other emerging markets, has struggled through the late 2000s recession, and the recovery has been largely led by private and public consumption growth, while export volumes and private investment have yet to fully recover. 

The long-term potential growth rate of South Africa under the current policy environment has been estimated at 3.5%. Per capita GDP growth has proved mediocre, though improving, growing by 1.6% a year from 1994 to 2009, and by 2.2% over the 2000–09 decade, compared to a world growth of 3.1% over the same period.

The high levels of unemployment, at over 25%, and inequality are considered by the government and most South Africans to be the most salient economic problems facing the country. These issues, and others linked to them such as crime, have in turn hurt investment and growth, consequently having a negative feedback effect on employment. Crime is considered a major or very severe constraint on investment by 30% of enterprises in South Africa, putting crime among the four most frequently mentioned constraints.

The government refrained from resorting to economic populism. Inflation was brought down, public finances were stabilised, and some foreign capital was attracted..

At the start of 2000, then President Thabo Mbeki vowed to promote economic growth and foreign investment by relaxing restrictive labour laws, stepping up the pace of privatisation, raising governmental spending and cutting interest rates sharply from 1998 levels. His policies faced strong opposition from organised labour.

From 2004 onward, economic growth picked up significantly; both employment and capital formation increased.

In April 2009, amid fears that South Africa would soon join much of the rest of the world in the late-2000s recession, Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni and Minister of Finance Trevor Manuel differed on the matter: whereas Manuel foresaw a quarter of economic growth, Mboweni predicted further decline: “technically,” he said, “that’s a recession.” the Nobel-Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warned South Africa that inflation targeting should be a secondary concern amid the global financial crisis of 2007–2009.

In April 2017, political tensions in the country arose over the sacking of nine cabinet members including Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan by the president Jacob Zuma. The finance minister was seen as central to efforts to restore confidence in South Africa. As a result of the tensions, S&P Global cut South Africa’s credit rating to junk status. Fitch Ratings followed suit and cut the country’s credit status to the sub-investment grade of BBB-. As a matter of fact, the South African rand lost more than 11% in the week following the canet reshuffling.


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