Save me from evil voice! A sister says she’s sorry!, Daily Sun

Date: January 1, 1970
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The story is about a woman, Lulama Dindo who uses muthi to teach her sister, Nosiselo Skhinzi a lesson. The muthi was supposed to get Nosiselo beaten up but instead it was her husband who was attacked by strangers and spent several nights in hospital. Lulama then started seeing a six month old baby who could walk and had an adult voice every time she went to the toilet at her house.

This article may be used in training to:
1. To show how media often associates women with witchcraft.
2. To illustrate the point that women often appear in media in odd roles like witches, sex workers, among others.
3. To show how media portrays women as weak beings who have to rely on external powers like witchcraft for survival.
Trainer’s notes
This article perpetuates the stereotype that women are witches. This is a common trait in tabloids where you rarely find men practicing witchcraft. By extension women are often presented as unforgiving people who can do anything to teach their enemies a lesson. Witchcraft is one of the most discussed topics in the Daily Sun.
While women rarely make news on serious issues, they seem to be the main actors in what can be considered as petty/trivial matters.
The photo accompanying the story shows one of the sisters, Nosiselo, in tears – perpetuating the stereotype that women are emotionally weak. For such a story to make headlines in the Daily Sun shows the paper’s news values. This kind of story would normally be tucked in the inside pages of the paper. This could be a result of the paper’s target market, black township residents, who would most likely enjoy reading such stories.
This story quotes only women sources implying that men would not be involved in such trivial matters. Talk about witchcraft and family feuds is women’s area of expertise, it would seem. If this had been a story on business or sport, men would have been the main sources. This shows that media assign men and women different topics and roles in news articles.
Discussion Questions:
1. What is the article saying about relationships among women?
2. What do you think of the sourcing in this story?
3. What could have been added to the story to make it more interesting?
4. Is there a difference in the way that women and men are portrayed in media?
Training Exercises
1. Compare a sample of stories from several issues of the Daily Sun. Use this article as a lead-in to look at portrayals of women and men in that newspaper. Look at the types of articles women are featured in. How are women most often portrayed? What characteristics are women in these articles given? What does this say about the Daily Sun’s perceptions of African women?
2. In small groups, come up with other angles from which to approach this story that make it more newsworthy and less stereotypically sensational.

Links to other training resources

Whose news, whose views: A Gender and Media Handbook for Southern Africa Media

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One thought on “Save me from evil voice! A sister says she’s sorry!, Daily Sun”

grace says:

Ngicela ukubuza ukuthi lentombazane yini eyayisiza kulamazwi eyayiwezwa ekhuluma. Ngisho ebusuku angilali. Bayangizungeza.

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