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Drum is the name of a South African magazine, and also the name of a film about the journal by (Zola Maseko (2004)

Drum - the magazine


A South African family magazine mainly aimed at Black readers containing market news, entertainment and feature articles.

Founding and early history

Founded as African Drum by Bob Crisp and Jim Bailey and published its first edition 1951. Initially paternalistic, providing tribal representations of Africans. it soon changed and turned to focus on the urban black townships, notably Sophiatown. In its heyday, in the 1950s and 1960s, it described the world of the urban Black; the culture, the colour, dreams, ambitions, hopes and struggles - including photographs and reviews of shows, musical events, films, and other events, an invaluable resource on the township theatre which arose in this period.

Drum was also the training ground and mouthpiece for a large number of new black writers, including .

Aims and function

Current status

In 2005 it was described as "the first black lifestyle magazine in Africa", but it is noted chiefly for its early 1950s and 1960s reportage of township life under apartheid.

Impact on SA theatre, film, media and/or performance



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Drum - the film (2004)

A film based on the life of South African investigative journalist Henry Nxumalo, who worked for the popular Drum magazine, and deals with the issues of apartheid and the forced removal of residents from Sophiatown. Written by Jason Filardi and directed by Zola Maseko.

Not to be confused with the 1976 Hollywood film by Steve Carver.



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