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The last “few” words from the Editor-in-Chief

Chanel Retief

Three years ago a bright eyed passionate girl got her acceptance letter from Rhodes, affording her the opportunity to study Journalism and Media Studies. At that stage I was this obsessive teen who just wanted to write.

Writing this, as a woman and editor-in-chief (still for the last few seconds). My dream is still to write but I write with purpose now and some would find it difficult to believe that Activate has given me the opportunity to do so.

And now it is time to continue this purpose and find new opportunities.

I started at Activate as a lifestyle Editor. I had this dream to be the next Oprah and me being small minded then, thought that was what lifestyle journalism would turn me into. However, it was in that small room in Steve Biko, with a multitude of different people not just writers, that I realised that there was more to lifestyle then what the world perceived. Even though it was considered “soft journalism”, there was some hard core elements to this form of journalism that had me craving for more and wanting to challenge everything.

With that said, when #FeesMustFall started  in 2015, everything changed for me. I was forced to question certain political, economic and social injustices, something I had never been a position to question before. Every time I was asked what my stance was, I was always left dumbfounded as I felt I only served a role as a reporter and nothing more. It was when #RUReferenceList hit that I was challenged not only as a student, but as a woman. I had no choice but to put away the clichéd unobjective notion attached to journalism and become more critical. The same occurred during #FeesMustFall in 2016, at that time I was deputy editor.

The point of me saying all of this is that Activate opened a gateway for me where I could sit and look at issues not only by myself but with other people. I could listen to their opinion and form my own, absorbing and internalizing all these issues. At the time I did not realise that while I was taking everything in, I was becoming the resilient young woman that is always wanted to be

Events have flown by me (#StopXenophobia, Men are Trash etc.) and in all of this, I have appreciated how they have shaped me into being a person who speaks out against injustices.  I acknowledge that I am not super woman and I can’t change the world in one day. However, the journey that I am taking is leading me to the door that will ensure that I make changes in world where I can.

The new editor is someone who I believe has the same initiative as myself, but a different approach to the way I view the world. Jessica, is one of my oldest colleagues at Activate and is someone I consider an amazing friend. If anyone will ensure everyone continues to #THINKBLUE, it is her.

To every person that is part of the ThinkBlue experience-writing, reading, editing, graphics or even just liking a picture we posted on Instagram, I feel privileged to have worked with and shared this experience with you.  I have fallen in love with EVERYTHING I have done at Activate, and everyone that has been part of it.

To everyone who comes after me, enjoy the ride. Things are going to be tough but they will also amazingly beautiful, as long as you #ThinkBlue.

I suppose there is nothing more that I can say other than

Goodbye and of course Thank you.

Love Chanel


WhatsApp Image 2017-07-26 at 21.48.42



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