“By helping people have access to information, we can potentially promote positive change.”
Name: Nolwazi Mjwara
Birthplace: Johannesburg, South Africa
Occupation: Graduate student in Paris, France
Languages: Zulu, English, Afrikaans, French
Currently reading: “Weep Not Child,” by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
Favorite media outlets: The New Yorker, Media24, The New York Times, Le Monde, Al Jazeera
What is your most memorable international experience?
My most memorable international experience was a trip to China when I was in high school. My high school was granted sponsorship to attend the Choral Olympics in Xiamen, within Fujian province. The entire trip was filled with singing-on-twelve-hour-bus-journeys, laughter and camaraderie. It was my first international experience.
Another salient memory would have to be a New Year’s vacation to Inhambane, Mozambique. I met many people working in media and journalism there.
On one of the evenings we sat around a fire on Tofo beach and shared anecdotes of the narratives we had worked on. We used storytelling to share our own experiences of storytelling. It was very meta and special.
How did you become interested in international affairs?
My love for reading and books is unequivocal. This fueled my curiosity and expanded my knowledge of international affairs.
On a personal level, understanding the role that the international community played in pressuring the apartheid government in South Africa also elevated this interest.
What international issue is of greatest interest to you today? Why?
I’m interested in access to information, particularly how we can help narrow the “digital divide” between countries from the global North and South.
By helping people have access to information, we can potentially promote positive change. Providing technology alone will not solve all of a country’s development challenges. But it can help, if applied in constructive, non-reductionist ways.
It will be interesting to see how the digital divide evolves and how countries that do not have easy access to information handle the challenge.