Malaika wa Azania

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Malaika Wa Azania
Born Malaika Lesego Samora Mahlatsi
19 October 1990
in Soweto, South Africa.
Occupation Writer, Political commentator
Nationality South African
Alma mater Rhodes University
Period 2014-
Genre Political commentary
Subject South African Politics
Notable works Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation[1]

Malaika wa Azania, (born 19 October 1991) born Malaika Lesego Samora Mahlatsi, is a South African writer, political commentator, essayist, blogger, columnist and television presenter.[2][3] She is also a self-proclaimed feminist. In 2014, she published her first book "Memoirs of a Born Free." The book describes her family history, beginning with her grandmother's life, then her mother, and finally her own. The book is framed as a letter to the ANC to both thank and criticize the party on the development of South Africa since 1994. Primarily, wa Azania details her disillusionment with the concept of the "Rainbow Nation" and being a "Born Free." [1][4]


Malaika Wa Azania was born in zone 8 Meadowlands, Soweto. She was raised by a single mother, Dipuo Mahlatsi, a student activist who was part of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS) and member of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL).

Wa Azania cites her mother as a strong influence during her childhood. She was exposed to politics when visiting her mother who worked in Braamfontein at SANGOCO, where she would read the books and organizational literature in her mother’s office.[3]


Wa Azania attended Tshimologo Junior Primary in zone 9 Meadowlands. Thereafter, she attended Melpark Primary School in Melville, Johannesburg. She completed her high school education at Florida Park High School, before studying at Rhodes University where she obtained a Bachelor of Social Science degree majoring in Geography. She went on to obtain a Bachelor of Social Science (Honours) degree cum laude at the same university. Malaika is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Geography at Rhodes University.


Wa Azania has written for the Mail and Guardian, The Thinker, DestinyConnect.,[3] Sunday Independent and the African Independent. She is the former African Union African Youth Charter ambassador for the SADC region and a former youth representative in the SADC Food and Nutrition Security Committee. She also served as the Secretary General of the African Youth Coalition, established in 2013 by the Thabo Mbeki Foundation in South Africa.

Wa Azania was selected as one of the top young South Africans in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans in 2015. In 2016, she was awarded the Youth Making it Happen Award by the former Miss South Africa, Joan Ramagoshi.

She is director of her own company Pen and Azanian Revolution (Pty) Ltd.


Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation (2014)

The Pesants'Revolt: Analysing the Role of the Democratic State in the Struggle for Land and Environmental Justice in Xolobeni, Eastern Cape (2017, BSS Geography Honours dissertation)

Personal life[edit]

Malaika has a younger brother, Lumumba, named after Congolese leader, Patrice Lumumba.

Since 2014, Malaika has been in a relationship with Zimbabwean student and activist, Chiratidzo Edwards Nyamutsika.

In 2017, she lost her mother, whom she wrote about on her book "Memoirs of a Born Free", to gastrointestinal cancer. Following her mother's death, Malaika has retreated from public engagements, though she still writes her weekly column in the Sunday Sun newspaper.


  1. ^ a b Azania, Malaika Wa (2014). Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation. Jacana Media. 
  2. ^ "Malaika Wa Azania". Thought Leader. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "ZAZI Profile: Malaika wa Azania". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  4. ^ h "Politics, Current Affairs & History : Memoirs of a Born Free: Reflections on the Rainbow Nation" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 23 June 2017.