African Investigative Journalism Conference

For the past two years I have been in charge of the programme of the African Investigative Journalism Conference, an annual event organized by the Journalism Programme of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits University) in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is Africa’s premier investigative journalism conference. The conference gives African and international investigative journalists an opportunity to learn new skills, hear about the top investigative stories and share experience. This year I will be involved in organizing the Global Investigative Journalism Conference.

Click here to check out the video we did about the conference

Webdoc One Carefree Night at the Women’s Film Festival

My webdocumentary One Carefree Night was selected for the Women’s Film Festival in the USA. It will be held from Thursday, March 16th—Sunday, March 19th, 2017 in Philadelphia.

South African grannies in TIME Magazine

My story on grandmothers in South Africa taking care of AIDS orphans was published in Time Magazine. Click here for the online version

Live on TV about Mandela

Live update on Mandela in hospital for Dutch tv. On Nieuwsuur. Click here for the video

Johannesburg in vogelvlucht voor NTR

Voor de NTR/School TV maakte ik samen met Bart Meijer en Bram Janssen een educatief programma over mijn stad; Johannesburg. Kijk hier

Live bij Ter Zake

Click hier voor het live kruisgesprek in het Belgische actualiteitenprogramme Ter Zake, over de herverkiezing van Jacob Zuma als ANC-leider

Afrikanerblood in Le Figaro

Our project Afrikaner Blood was published this weekend in the French newspaper Le Figaro. The awardwinning project has so far been published in seven different countries: Vrij Nederland (The Netherlands), The Telegraph Magazine (UK), L'Espresso (Italy), dsWeekblad (Belgium), Oslo (Norway) and the Mail & Guardian (South Africa). Click here to see the multimedia film Afrikanerblood - here for the story in Dutch and here for the story in English.

Feature on rhino poaching on EenVandaag

Rhino poaching is on the increase in South Africa. For the Dutch current affairs programme EenVandaag (OneToday) I made the following story. Click here to see the video

Lecture Market Photo Workshop

I am doing a guest lecture at the Market Photo Workshop, a school of photography in Johannesburg, Friday the 11th. Speaking about my multimedia Afrikaner Blood and multimedia in general.

Wrap up shoot new doc

Just wrapped up shooting a new short documentary on the two first black African men participating in the Mr Gay World competition and their personal journey before and during this event.

Winner World Press Photo Multimedia Award 2012

Afrikaner Blood won the Multimedia Contest of World Press Photo! Very motivating news. Check out their website: World Press Photo

Launch of multimedia production studio

We launched a multimedia production studio. Go to Frog in a tent to read more. Ilvy Njiokiktjien and I will keep on producing multimedia under this new name.

Next stop; Namibia

Off to Namibia next week for my project Pink Africa which looks at gay rights in Africa. Joining a pride parade in Windhoek on Saturday.

Project funded by NCDO

International Award for Afrikaner Blood

First Place at Pictures of the Year International - Issue Reporting Multimedia

Click here to read more
POYI 1st Place

Afrikaner Blood published in Norway

Out on the streets in Norway; ten pages of text and photos of Afrikaner Blood in the magazine Oslo!

Afrikanerblood nominated for Canon Prize

Great news. We have been nominated for the Canon Prize, part of the Zilveren Camera-competition for Afrikanerblood. Click here to go to the nomination site

Live on Dutch radio; 100 year ANC

The South African liberation movement and political party ANC celebrates its 100th anniversary. Listen to Dutch public broadcaster NOS (Met het oog op morgen) by clicking here

And to radio 1 VPRO Buitenland here

Finally a report from a South African house where I watched the speech of president Jacob Zuma with critical South Africans here

Happy new year!

Wishing you a great new year!
I am plotting about new stories, projects and travels at this first day of the new year. I am getting excited about producing and shooting a second multimedia and continuing my project about gay rights in Africa.

In the mean time the project Afrikanerbloed will be published in more international magazines. Will let you know when and where.

Arrived in Abidjan

In Ivory Coast to see how it is to be gay in Abidjan. It is more free than a lot of other countries in West Africa, but how free?

In The Telegraph in the UK

Very happy to be published in The Telegraph Magazine in the UK with the project on the racist camp for young Africans. Check the online version here

Our first multimedia on Vrij Nederland

This week the multimedia production I made together with photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien was published online together with a feature story in the magazine.
We believe in the future of multimedia productions in which we combine video, audio and still. Have a look if you agree by viewing our first project. Click here

Back from Zimbabwe

Just returned from a work trip to Zimbabwe. Good to have been back. Political violence still going on and president Mugabe clinching onto power. Several of my stories will be on Dutch radio and in magazines and newspapers in the following weeks.

Interviewed by DNR

Erik de Jong of website De Nieuwe Reporter interviewed me about my work. Click here for the interview

On twitter....ellesinjozi

Gave in to more social networking when mandela-story on twitter

follow me on ellesinjozi

Back in Johannesburg

After boat, plane, minitaxi, tuk tuk, tuk tuk, plane, plane, car, finally back in South Africa. First live radio interview done on BNR Newsradio; covering the pressconference at the hospital this afternoon.

Bereikbaar op 0027722151821

Onderweg terug van Nairobi naar Zuid-Afrika ivm Mandela. Vanavond laat terug en bereikbaar op 0027722151821

Arrived in Mombasa

In Mombasa, Kenya to do some reporting for radio and print. Also going up north to Lamu.Local cell: +254702852820

Getting ready for Kenya

Planning my next trip to Kenya. Bussy with story ideas and practical issues. Looking forward to travelling to East Africa in only 6 days....

Trips planned

Travelling to the Northern Cape to stay with the bushmen/san. No hot water, need to bring my own food and doubting about electricity. Long drive ahead soon...also planning a trip to a country up north!

Nightmare to become legal

Thousands of Zimbabweans queue all night in a desperate bid to beat repatriation deadline. They need a passport from the country from which they have fled. Following last month's announcement that South Africa is tightening its policy on Zimbabwean immigrants with compulsory registration before the end of the year, there has been a rush by Zimbabweans to make sure that they are in this country legally.

I got up at 5 am and went downtown to speak to the people waking up on cardboard boxes. I could have gone during the day but it simply makes the story better. You got to love not working from nine to five...although I suffer from the before nine jobs.

Wine on Bridges with Africa (English audio)

In the last show of Bridges with Africa on Radio Netherlands Worldwide my report on how the South African wine industry is targeting the black upcoming middle class was broadcasted. I also look at transformation in the industry itself, which is hardly happening; I visit the Soweto Winefestival and the only black owned wine farm in de Western Cape.

Listen by clicking here (in last quarter of the show) or download the mp3 by clicking here (show of October 15)

Joining police for story on crystal meth

In Cape Town crystal methamphetamine use has exploded very quickly. Locally it is known as tik. Tik is usually smoked, using a glass pipe or a straw in a bulb. In some areas 70% of the people are addicted; leading to lots of crime. I went to those areas today to speak to addicts and the police who I joined raiding a house where they were making the glass pipes. Soon to be published by GPD and on Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

What I am working on...

Wrote a piece today for agency GPD on Desmond Tutu who retired. Also working on a story on the upcoming matric exams. South Africa is spending more and more money on education but more and more students fail. What is going wrong? Visiting a township school in Soweto tomorrow where only 30% of the sudents passed; a life of poverty, unemployment, crime and teenage pregancies is the future of those who fail.

Soccer kit ordered for Kagiso Porto

Thanks to a donation of Reclassering Utrecht I was able to order a soccer kit today (socks, shirts, shorts, goalkeeper outfit, and more) for the township club Kagiso Porto I did a story on together with photographer Ilvy Njiokiktjien. Click here for the story. Since the donation was generous there is more soccer shopping to follow.

Live on Radio Netherlands; Commonwealth Games versus WC South Africa (in English)

Tomorrow I will be talking on Radio Netherlands Worldwide about the negative reports about South Africa before the World Cup. Lots believed South Africa couldn't do it. Is there a parallel with the Commonwealth Games in India? The show is called South Asia Wired. Click here to listen.

Report on Radio Netherlands (in English)

For the show Bridges with Africa I made a piece on the struggles within South Africa's ruling party ANC. Click here to download the podcast of September 23.

Correspondents get together at Radio Netherlands

This month, I travelled to Hilversum, in the Netherlands for correspondent-days of Radio Netherlands Worldwide. Two days with discussions, workshops and getting to know my great colleagues who are based all over the world.

Live again on VRT radio

Back from my holiday so tomorrow live again on VRT radio (Belgium). Listen live via your radio or online (click on radiospeler) to hear everything on the massive public strikes in South Africa. Tune in at 08:45.

New correspondent of agency GPD

You will read me more...hopefully...since I am the new correspondent Southern Africa for the GPD. I will be the correspondent for 17 Dutch newspapers with a combined readership of 1.7 million. Main focus is features and backgroundstories.

WC a success

South Africa wouldn’t be able to host a successful World Cup, Africa-pessimists thought before the tournament. But with just two days to go till the final, the country has showed the world differently.

Read or listen to newsline, Radio Netherlands Worldwide,, today July 9, at 14.00 & 15.00.

Last report is in English.

Positive Soccer

Today, July 6, on Radio Netherlands: Even when you have hiv you can play soccer. That is what six teams from Africa tried to proof while playing a soccer tournament in South Africa. The event was organised by Doctors without Borders which says they need more donor money to buy antiretroviral drugs so they can give the soccer players and other infected Africans a longer life. Features broadcasted in English and Dutch.

Sex in South Africa

Today, July 5, read De Pers,, for my story on youngsters and sex in South Africa.

Dutch inmates

Interviewed the only two Dutch prisoners in South Africa for newspaper De Pers. Talked to them about their crime, the overcrowded prison and how they miss their kids.To be published soon....

Carspinning in the townships

A light feature today in newspaper De Pers on carspinning in the townships of South Africa, with great images by photographer Bram Lammers.

Go to - edition of Tuesday June 29, dinsdag 29 juni.

Read De Pers & listen to BNN

Tomorrow (March 11) in daily De Pers my feature on prostitution in Cape Town and the call of the prostitutes for decriminalisation. I joined them for an evening in the windy streets of Cape Town doing their illegal job.

Also, listen to BNN Radio 1, around 21:30 Dutch time, to hear me live from South Africa on a whole different topic.... (for once nothing to do with the World Cup ;-)

You can listen online via & can catch up on shows that you missed

100 days...

100 days before the kick off of the WC. Going to Soccer City (stadium for openingmatch and final) tomorrow for Radio Netherlands Worldwide for the official opening

Soccer Magic

...went to the muti market in Johannesburg today for different media to talk about muti that can help soccer players. Bought some myself to try; going to boil it just now...should make me stronger...hope it won't make me dizzy since I still need to go live on air tonight at BNN Radio 1....

Get a free subscription & read my column

From this month on, September, you can read my column on how South Africa is preparing for the World Cup Soccer in 2010 in magazine IS. You can subscribe to this magazine for free, even if you live abroad. Click here to subscribe to IS

Listen to VRT

Listen to VRT Radio this Sunday in the morning for a report by me from the Johannesburg Zoo. It is part of the series a Sunday Smile in which VRT looks at what people do on a Sunday in different world cities. Click here to go to the website were you can listen live.

Interview with Dutch website

The Dutch website Vers in de Pers interviewed me on working as a correspondent in southern Africa. Click here to read the interview.

2010 column in magazine IS

From next month I have a column in the magazine IS on how South Africans are gearing up for the World Cup soccer in 2010. I will visit all nine host cities, starting with my home city, Johannesburg.

Item broadcasted on VRT & update on RTL Nieuws

My first item was broadcasted on the Belgium public radio station VRT. In future, I will report more often for them from Souther Africa.

In the mean time I am working hard on some other stories. Just finished shooting a story for RTL Nieuws, a Dutch commercial tv-station. And working on pre-election stories for several Dutch media.

So now covering print, radio and tv; as multimedia as you can get!

New job for Dutch radio station

During my current visit to the Netherlands I received good news. I was selected as the new Southern Africa correspondent for Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. For more information go to I am looking forward to working for this station.

The section radio on my website is new and will be updated soon.

Live tv-performance on RTL

The last couple of weeks in Southern Africa have been intense. The news didn't seem to stop. After visiting Angola for the elections it was almost straight of to Zimbabwe for the deal between the government party ZANU PF en the two opposition parties MDC. The day after I landed back home in South Africa president Thabo Mbeki resigned and I found myself in front of a camera on a rooftop in Johannesburg for a live Q&A for Dutch tv-station RTL Nieuws. Click here to go to the video.

Things are much slower this week. There is less news on this side of the world and everybody is focusing on the financial and economical crisis. It gives me the change to work on a backlog of stories. I was in the Democratic Republic of Congo before the news in South Africa, before the news in Zimbabwe and before the news in Angola. No urgent news from there, but stories that have to be told. So have to be written....which happens now.

Award from Dick Scherpenzeel Foundation

Thanks to a travel fund I recently won, I will be able to go on some amazing trips and write interesting features this year. The Dutch Dick Scherpenzeel Stichting ( asked journalists to write a project proposal to research, write and publish so called Forgotten Stories ( Every year, this foundation publishes a list of stories that are worthwhile telling, but didn't make headlines in the Netherlands. I wrote a proposal to tell three of these stories and won the travel fund!

Being a tourist is work

For a new project I need to sightsee in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. I am helping to update a Dutch travel guide called Dominicus ( Just got back from Swaziland and Durban is calling. Luckily I already know big parts of South Africa. Traveling through this great country can cost you months because of its size and great diversity. Along the road I will write for other media as well. Will keep you posted.

New gallery on South Africa

I have created a gallery on South Africa on my photo page. Just published the first images from the Western Cape, Eastern Cape & Gauteng. Much more will follow soon. This gallery will have different images: from wildlife to travel to documentary photography.

So keep coming back!

@work the upcoming weeks

The upcoming weeks will again be hectic but fun. This week venturing out to Cape Town to interview a Provincial Minister, at the end of the month going to Swaziland and in September to the Citizen Indaba (on civic journalism) and the Highway Africa Conference (on new media and Africa) in Grahamstown. Will be nice to be back in the little town I studied at as an exchange student during my bachelor in journalism.

I love this profession! Meeting new and interesting people and places and writing interesting stories.

My flag on the map

I like the flag on the map, pointing out where I am. I only forget to move it. Going out of the country usually means a hectic time. I only realise I haven't moved the flag on my site once I upload the stories I have written during my trip (so once I am back).

Well, just a short update, so far have been doing a lot of stories in South Africa, but also travelled to Zimbabwe (work), Botswana (work) and Mozambique (mostly to relaxed). Of to Swaziland somewhere later this month.

That's why I love being a journalist in South Africa instead of staying between the borders of my own small country!

Voices of Africa launched

AfricaNews (, the website I work for, starts working with cellphone reporters. The mobile reporters cover current events in their area, using the cellphones to produce video footage, written reports and photographs. With this innovative project, African citizens ­– from the sprawling metropolises to the most isolated villages – can let their voices be heard across the continent and around the world.

Africa is witnessing impressive growth in the development and use of cellphone communication networks and the Internet. This development is changing the face of media and the way people are informed. Open communication and uncensored exchange of opinions are helping to build transparent societies. This serves good governance and helps to build stronger democracies.

Citizen journalism is the act of individuals playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and publishing news. By inviting citizen journalists to report almost instantly with their cellphones on the website, AfricaNews wants to provide a sound often unheard. In this way AfricaNews offers a different perspective to the continent in comparison to traditional media.

As of today AfricaNews will present the content from reporters in South-Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Mozambique who will be reporting on This pilot is an initiative of the Africa Interactive Media Foundation. The foundation's objective is to support talented African citizens working in, or aspiring to work in, the media industry.

Analysis of ITU (International Telecommunication Union, 2007) shows that, in Africa, digital opportunity is undoubtedly mobile. Cellphones now outnumber fixed lines by five to one, a ratio that is even higher in sub-Saharan Africa, where nine out of ten subscribers use a cellphone. As a region, Africa's cellphone market has been the fastest-growing market in the world, averaging 50% growth per year since 2000.

Thanks to tremendous progress achieved by the General Packet Radio System (GPRS), the wireless communication protocol, it is now possible in Africa to send articles and images (still and moving) to someone else without using a computer and without having a traditional Internet connection. The mobile reporters only need access to a cell phone tower, a GPRS enabled phone and some credit.

New site for AfrikaNieuws

So far, it has been great to be back in South Africa and work here as a journalist. I settled down, found an office to work from (a building with other foreign correspondents) and already have a lot of story ideas and leads.

While I have been in South Africa, colleagues back home of AfricaNews/AfrikaNieuws have been working really hard to launch our new websites. The new Dutch site has gone live today!

The new English site will go online in August. Please check out (also if you don’t read Dutch, just to get an idea for the new look and feel).

Vistors can also participate on the page by upload your own articles, weblogs and photos. So please go to the site and become intercative!

Congratulations for the whole AfricaInteractive-team. It looks great!

2 months down the road...

Two months in South Africa! It already has been a great time. Although very hectic. I didn’t realise that starting a ‘new life’ in a different country take so many time (finding a house, car, your way around etc). But things are falling into place. In the mean time I have did quite a bit of work.

I have been to Zimbabwe for the new Dutch daily newspaper De Pers (circulation from today 1 million!) after MDC-opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai was beaten up. It was a very interesting trip. Sad though to see how the ‘normal’ Zimbabwean is struggling to survive.

Also, the readership and contributions to the newsletter AfricaNews (I am the editor-in-chief) is going up, which is great! Back home in Haarlem, my colleagues are working hard to launch a new and improved website soon. I will keep you posted.

I have met quite a bit of colleague foreign correspondent in South Africa already. I kind of expected it to be competitive but it isn’t at all. It is a friendly bunch of people, willing to help en work together. Because we publish in different countries, it is possible to cover the same issues.

I need to go and try to register my car…will get back to you soon!


Moving to another country is hectic! I have been abroad in the past, but no longer than 9 months. Leaving my home country for at least three years is a whole different cup of tea. The main issue is getting a visa. To receive one lots of paper work is required. That’s why is still not clear when I will be flying off to the southern hemisphere. I keep my fingers crossed and hope to leave the half of February.

It is exciting to return to South Africa. Indeed, return. I already studied there in 2001, at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, and I worked in Cape Town for six months at The Big Issue Magazine in 2004-2005. I have been in Pretoria and Johannesburg just for a week. According to my first impression and stories of friends, Pretoria/Johannesburg differs quite a lot from Cape Town.

Cape Town is the place to be to relax and unwind. To enjoy a sundowner (cocktail) at the beaches of Camps Bay, drink a great bottle of wine in Stellenbosch and enjoy the shops and clubs in Longstreet (at least for the fortunate South Africans who can pay for all of this). People from Johannesburg call Capetonians lazy. They say people in Cape Town only work from 10.00 am to 15.00 pm and have a long lunch in between. Johannesburg is the business hub of South Africa were people work, work, work. And in Pretoria a lot of big NGO’s have their offices.

I am sure I will experience all of this very soon! I will be living in Pretoria, with Jozie a 30-minute-drive away (besides during rush hour). I will keep you posted.

Launch of my website!

In this weblog I won’t keep you posted on personal issues but on my work as a journalist. In about two months time I will be moving back to South Africa, Pretoria to continue my freelance writing. You can follow my exciting journey on my weblog!

Speak to you soon and Happy Holidays!

Only the last ten updates from Elles!

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