Claims to Fame

Rated among Time’s “Must Reads from Around The World”

My colleague Simon Allison pointed me to this link-love from Time on a piece on Pakistani politics –

After the Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was disqualified from office by the Supreme Court Tuesday, the Daily Maverick asks if “the upper hand gained by the judiciary translates into a judicial coup.” Analysts have commented that whether a coup or not, it ”is telling of the chequered reality of Pakistani politics, where the greater good is being sacrificed in an insidious battle for power among Pakistan’s political elite.”
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Claims to Fame

Featured in The Media magazine

The Media magazine rated me a journalist to watch, or as they call it – “Watch this space”

An appropriate job for Khadija

1 June 2012
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 Khadija Patel is a highly talented and opinionated journalist working for The Daily Maverick (online news) and its iPad sister, iMaverick. She covers the Middle East and Africa with a bit of South African international relations in between.

Why did you choose a career in the media?

As a 13-year-old I was asked by my English teacher what I wanted to be when I grew up. I replied unhesitatingly, “a journalist”.  I was inspired by another English teacher who moonlighted as a sports journalist but this particular teacher was disapproving. “Do you think journalism is an appropriate job for a woman? A Muslim woman?” she asked. My bumbling 13-year-old brain was unable to piece together any objection anybody could have to a woman taking up a pen.

I ended up a journalist anyway.

While reading for my postgraduate degree I dearly wanted to join the United Nations Young Professional Programme in Paris. I thought I could change the world, but while I waited for the papers certifying I had the requisite knowledge, I began blogging. Through my blog I met a community of young South African writers who, like me, were blogging with no other intention except to make sense of their own views. I was spurred to write more and soon, I took up a post writing for a community news website. While on assignment a few months later, I was offered the reins (editorship) of Al Huda magazine. About two years later, happenstance threw me in the way of the editor of the Mail and Guardian’s Thought Leader platform. I began blogging for them and was soon contacted by Branko Brkic, the editor of The Daily Maverick, who offered me a column on his news website. I now work as a journalist writing for both The Daily Maverick and Africa’s first daily iPad newspaper, iMaverick.

What is your career highlight and worst moment to date?

After wanting for so long to be able to write in the mainstream, I’m here now. I don’t think I can call myself successful just yet. I am still developing as a writer and as a journalist. I wake up every morning hoping to do better than I did the previous day. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have been given to put words to the day, to make sense of the world for others.  I don’t think there’s a particular moment I can pin as my worst moment, but I think, right now, I’m facing my toughest test yet. I’m learning to write with the alacrity of more seasoned journalists, while at the same time carving out a niche for my own ideas, opinions and style.

What makes you tick?

I love news. I enjoy the thrill of being part of something significant but mostly I am nothing without my family and friends.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

I hate that I’m often so busy chasing the news – or more likely, my tail – that I lose track of time. Hours melt into days, into weeks, into months and I have little to show for it.

What are your future plans?

The future seems a long way away right now. I prefer to take every day as it comes. That said, I am nursing an idea for a book that I hope to begin writing in the next year. And then, sometime in that unknown world of the future, I hope to re-launch my publishing company, taking advantage of the experience I may have gleaned in digital journalism to establish worthy titles of my own. But for now, I just hope to be better at everything I do.

This story was first published in the May 2012 issue of The Media magazine.

Claims to Fame

Quoted by Al-Jazeera

After President Zuma regaled the masses with his grand plan for the nation in the 2012 version of the state of the nation address, I chatted to Al-Jazeera about how exactly the speech was received among the chattering/twittering classes.

Khadija Patel, a journalist at the online news website Daily Maverick told Al Jazeera that there was a lot of activity on the social media platform Twitter all week, building up to Thursday’s address.

“I think the speech this year disproved apathy in South African politics among the chattering classes. All week there has been a great deal of discussion on what exactly President Zuma should say.


“Expectations were not very high. Most people didn’t expect the President to say anything especially poignant or even useful and yet they tuned in their droves – some to complain about Zuma’s poor oratory skills, others to complain about his pronunciation – but at the end of the speech many feel Zuma acquitted himself well.

“The speech was by no means perfect, it lacked detail on crucial points and failed to acknowledge foreign policy altogether but it was enough to inspire a lukewarm reception from the public.”

Claims to Fame

Rated among the most prominent South African journalists on Twitter

I was placed 28th in the online magazine Memeburn’s list of 50+ prominent journalists on Twitter.

Name: Khadija Patel
Platform: iMaverick and Daily Maverick
Factoid: An excellent Twitter-curator, separating truth from rumour, on breaking news from the Middle East

You can read the rest of the list here.