United States President Barack Obama has singled out Daily Maverick journalist Khadija Patel for a special commendation, describing her as a “fearless journalist”. Obama was speaking in a special town hall for young African leaders held at the Soweto Campus of the University of Johannesburg.
“We want to empower citizens like Khadija Patel”, said Obama. “Khadija is a fearless journalist here in South Africa. She has reported on Sudan, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She has exposed the roots of conflict; she’s challenged leaders as a voice for peace and justice. We are very proud of the work that you do, thank you Khadija.”
Patel has worked for the Daily Maverick since 2011, covering local, African and international news, and has earned a reputation as a dedicated and uncompromising reporter and analyst. Recently, she was instrumental in questioning the government’s handling of the deaths of South African soldiers in the Central African Republic, contributing significantly to the national narrative on the issue and trying to ensure that officials are held accountable for their actions.
“Obama’s comments recognise the contribution of journalists who are trying to push against the existing narrative of Africa in the mainstream media. South Africa is filled with such journalists, who, each in their own way, are trying to reframe the popular concept of Africa and Africans,” said Patel.