Ubuntu journalism and nation-building magic

Colin Chasi, Ylva Rodny-Gumede

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores ideas around nation building, as constructed through the ethos as well as practice of ubuntu journalism. We make the argument that by invoking ubuntu as an underlying ethos for a reporting ethic and practice, the news media contribute to a magical idea of nationhood and nation building in South Africa. While not denying that ubuntu is instrumental to nation building, the study contributes new understandings of both the general artifice, and the nation-building productivity, of what we label ‘magical ubuntu’. The intent here is to describe the postcolonial magic in which ubuntu is implicated, with special regard for the magical functions that relate to the construction of nationhood in contemporary South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)728-744
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Arts
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2016


  • South Africa
  • journalism
  • magic
  • nation building
  • ubuntu

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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