First look at Juby Mayet’s autobiography Freedom Writer – a unique insight into one of the few women writers at Drum
More about the book!
Freedom Writer: My Life and Times, the autobiography of legendary journalist Juby Mayet, will be out from Jacana Media in September 2020.
Juby Mayet, who passed away in 2019, was a force of life.
Her autobiography takes us from life as a youngster growing up in Fietas, Johannesburg, through marriage, life as a ‘girl reporter’ for first The Golden City Post, then Drum magazine, and on through apartheid and her resistance to it.
Written in her inimitable style, thumbing a nose always at convention or those in authority, it gives a unique insight into one of the only women writers at Drum – and one who could drink just as hard as Can Themba or Nat Nakasa.
‘It was said that my maternal grandfather, Iederoos Sallie, could stand on the corner of 15th and Krause Street in Fietas, and be heard all the way down to number 22 when he burst into song […]
‘I remember my mother telling me, when I was quite young but old enough to understand, that my father, Moegammat Sallie Sallie, had ridden off on a horse and cart with his half of the marriage spoils, with his mother, Amina, leaving my mother standing on the pavement with me in her arms, in front of Ouma Galima’s house. I was 18 months old, according to my mother.
‘At this point it would be prudent to explain that while my mother and father had the same surname, Sallie, they were not related to each other until they married, Sallie being a somewhat common Malay/Muslim surname with variations such as Salie, Sarlie or Saleh. So the fact that I turned out to be the somewhat weird kind of person that I am cannot be explained by the fact that Janap Sallie married Moegammat Sallie Sallie … Or can it?
‘My own explanation is actually that at birth, I refused to come into this world in the normal fashion and had to be dragged into it with the use of forceps during which operation I most probably suffered some brain damage – not a lot, but just enough to eventually cause me to be the way I am.’