- Category: TOW 2011
Journalist, columnist and aspiring filmmaker, AZAD ESSA, completed a multinational Global Studies MA in 2005 and spent several years in South African academia before launching his journalism career. He calls Durban home, but is currently working for the Al Jazeera Network in Doha, Qatar.
Essa came to prominence writing the Accidental Academic in the Mail & Guardian; a provocative and award winning Thought Leader blog that challenged the established assumptions of contemporary South African culture, politics and events. His first book Zuma’s Bastard: Encounters with a desktop terrorist was published in late 2010. With writing adapted from and inspired by theAccidental Academic, Zuma’s Bastard tackles race, religion and politics head-on, gives fresh insight into the Israel-Palestine conflict, unpacks the South African-Indian-African identity into its constituent complex parts and casts new light on old stereotypes. A combination of political incorrectness and controversial content, Zuma's Bastard comes with an age restriction.
Essa was the recipient of the Best Political Blog at the 2009 SA Blog Awards.
Around the themes of his debut, Essa comments: “Zuma’s Bastard is an attempt to reignite conversations about ordinary issues we often sweep under the carpet. Articles tackle a vast variety of “normal” issues – from racism to the Middle East conflict to the burqa issue in France to understanding Malema’s outlandish comments by fictitiously whisking him to a shrink to exploring local Indian business bigotry. It aims to cut through the rhetoric of “seasoned experts” and tries to put forth a new independent voice; the voice of the twenty-somethings with no political baggage…
Zuma’s Bastard, Two Dogs Books, 2010