Azad Essa


Talking to Azad Essa is confusing. After congratulating him on winning Best Political Blog at the South African Blog Awards, he says he actually doesn't really like blogs at all. In fact, he thinks of his Thought Leader blog as his very own column which, in the competitive media industry, is a valuable platform. Essa, who has a master's from the Global Studies Programme, interned at the BBC, lectures in labour and globalisation at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and lectures critical context at Vega, became interested in the media through his father, an armchair journalist and avid letters-page correspondent. "At first it was about the thrill of getting my name in print,� says the 27-year-old Durbanite, "but now it's moved on. Maybe I have something important to say.� The public seems to think so Essa's accidental academic blog is highly rated on Thought Leader. Still, he's surprised his blog has been so well received, but says the reason they are popular may be because they offer a unique perspective. Essa tries his best to stay away from allegiances, party politics and rhetoric, which is not such a simple thing to do when talking politics. After all, isn't that what it's all about? Confusing. But there is clarity when he talks about the goal of his blog. Essa plans to take the skills and knowledge he has gathered in his online role and use them to effect change and make a contribution to society. "The revolution, if there is such a thing, is on the ground.� � Eamon Allan

Lunch spot: Caminettos Pizza, Durban