The news stands, most of them supplied by Red Pepper, look empty without it.
The red Chilli that spices meals has for over a decade now been spicing our minds every morning.
Red Pepper means more than just a newspaper.
Its a business that employs over a hundred directly and thousands indirectly such as vendors, transporters, old newspaper buyers etc. It also offers affordable advertising for brands, especially SMEs.
Beyond that, Red Pepper has been the “school” for hundreds of media practitioners and entreprenuers across the country. Because it didn’t have strict demands for academic qualifications for employees, many media enthusiasts were given a chance to learn the trade. There is no newsroom in major papers that’s not pupulated by Namanve alumni. Most websites are owned and run by former Red pepper staff. Actually, all Friday papers have a tabloid feel under the influence of the Red Pepper.
By riding on tabloid journalism ( its about people so many will be hurt), many feet have been stepped on. Since 2001, the number of haters only increased every passing day. This could explain why there is silence from the usual activists.
I am sure if it was say Daily Monitor closed, human rights and religious leaders would be up in arms. Strangely, over a week of incarceration of the top brass at Namanve in the unhomely Nalufenya and the paper not being on the streets, the usual loud mouths are loudly silent.
For all their transgression, Red Pepper is a great asset to this country. As we leave churches today, we pray it can get back to the empty shelves this week.
By Dr. Innocent Nahabwe, CEO Galaxy FM, Club Amnesia