Thursday, 15 January 2009

Africa's Newest Media House - Timbuktu

I recently discovered a brand new newspaper called Next. And my first thought was: why choose the same name as my wife's favorite UK shop for her shirts and baby clothes?

But having just read this interview given by the publisher - Dele Olojede (Africa's first Pullitzer Prize winner), I now get it.

"But The Telegraph is not timeless. The Observer, these are tired names. Use something fresh and original, so we chose Next, which will always be fresh and green because there is always something next and around the corner. That's what we are. We are forward-looking, we are not high- bound traditionalist."

On his media group's raison d'etre:
"It is an acknowledgement that Africa was not always like this: diseases, malaria, war, famine, dictators, Mugabe, Mobutu, Abacha. That this is not us. That this is an aberration in our history, and in our evolution, this period of stress all over the continent. And the name Timbuktu is supposed to evoke in our audience, a sense of what we were and what we can be because after all Timbuktu was a host city for a university one thousand years ago - Sankore University."

If you haven't read it, now you know why you'll have to.

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