EYEWITNESS TO STRUGGLE

THE era in which Sinah Kunene, pictured, practised as a journalist was most exciting and challenging time. As Charles Dickens wrote: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

THE era in which Sinah Kunene, pictured, practised as a journalist was most exciting and challenging time. As Charles Dickens wrote: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..."

It was challenging because South Africa was under siege by a minority of racist oppressors. Kunene was determined to make a difference in the lives of ordinary people.

She wrote thought-provoking, developmental and investigative articles.

Kunene had grown grew up in the vibe of Soweto politics.

She excelled in the Standard 6 examinations, obtaining a first-class pass. The sweet reward was to be placed with other geniuses who were also outstanding performers.

It is little wonder that this school of excellence produced about seven journos - Khulu Sibiya, Sphiwe Nyanda, Gabu Tugwana, Sinah Kunene, Ruth Bhengu, Zodwa Mshibe and yours truly.

We plunged into the world of work to supplement family incomes and also to experience the adult world and its joys.

Kunene was a fundi of many disciplines. Her mentors were Mary Jacobs, SK Matseke, Marina Maponya, Ellen Khuzwayo, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Nthato Motlana and Aggrey Mbathani.

Kunene was directly influenced by the landscape of student politics. She accidentally stumbled on Percy Qoboza at The Post in 1978 when she applied for a job.

She was to be mentored by Aggrey Klaaste, Matilda Masipa, Sophie Tema, Stan Motjuwadi, and the many mothers she embraced on her life's journey.

She had access to all opinionmakers. As a township brat, she had contacts at hostels, shebeens, prisons, undertakers, church groups, hospitals and anywhere else where other reporters could not venture at will.

She was an eyewitness to the pass protest in 1960, the student uprising in 1976, the unbanning of political parties in 1990, the democratic elections and the release of Robben Island political prisoners, the mass exodus to white suburbia, hospitals and other amenities that had previously been denied to our people.

Kunene leaves us on the eve of one of our milestones - hosting the Fifa World Cup.

A beautiful soul inside out. She broke big stories. But her passion was profiling young and old women. She fiercely loved her family and friends. We will remember her for her infectious laugh, sense of humour and love of life.

She is now in the great company of the dream team of Qoboza, Klaaste, Motjuwadi, Nana Mkhonza, Nana Kutumela, RuthBengu, Mshibe, Nokwanda Sithole, Doc Bikitsha, Vusi Khumalo, Temba Molefe, Joshua Raboroko and Elliott Makhaya.

She leaves her daughter Sizakele, two grandchildren, sister Kate, brothers Molefe, Penny and Nita.

She will be buried tomorrow at Avalon Cemetery at 10am. The service will start at the Albertina Sisulu Hall in Orlando West at 8am.

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