|Alma mater||Rhodes University, South Africa|
|Known for||Identity, Racial, Belonging, Othering and Political Journalism|
|Awards||Winner of the Ahmed Kathrada Your Essay Writing Competition Against Racism, 2019|
Charissa Cassels is a Writer/ Editor for the Disrupting Africa Encyclopedia. Cassels researches and writes about African innovators and their innovations. This requires extensive research, interviews and fact-checking in order to ensure that articles are of the highest standard. Cassels finds it rewarding to unpack stories, races, identities and histories. As a Coloured South African woman, she believes it is imperative to grasp as much of the country’s history as possible. She is multilingual as she can speak English, Afrikaans and IsiXhosa. She believes that languages are a great tool in unpacking, debunking, reasoning and creating an understanding between creators and consumers of the media.
Cassels was the winner of the 2019 Ahmed Kathrada Youth Essay Writing Competition Against Racism, with her essay titled, Orange.Coloured.Erased. She writes about her experiences as a Coloured woman growing up in a post-Apartheid South Africa, as well as what her story means within South Africa’s political climate.
She is an Honours graduate in Journalism and Media Studies from Rhodes University, South Africa. She majored in Writing and Editing for two years and completed training in multimedia storytelling and long-form journalism. She tutored second year writing, editing, photography and design students. Cassels majored in Political and International Studies and this is where she started making connections between the economy, socio-economy, politics and the rest of the world; this is where she learnt that the personal is in fact political. Her work has been featured in Grocott’s Mail, AmoMedia and the Huffington Post UK. She has also completed the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing through Google Digital Garage, as she understands the importance of constantly needing to acquire skills and keeping up with the everchanging digital sphere that media curators are in. Cassels is a results-driven individual with a successful background in achieving her tasks through researching, writing, editing and publishing as included in her portfolio.
Her passion for storytelling can be traced back to her pre-professional days. Whether you look at her blog, Colour Me Coloured, or her Facebook page, Coloured Chronicles, it is evident that she finds great reward in writing and storytelling. Her passion for activism is rooted in not only her participation in #FeesMustFall and the #RUReferenceList protest but it is entrenched in her writing. All activists are not necessarily on the frontline but sometimes they are just starting to write their first line, this is hers.
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Achievements & Awards
Cassels’ poem, We Are Queens, was selected by the Afriwowri Literary Foundation to be published in their book, The Different Shades of the Feminine Mind, on 9 October 2017. Cassels was selected as one of the Top 20 African writers who had their pieces published in the book.
In 2018 her poem, Coloured In By Society, was published in the Best New African Poets 2018 Anthology.
In 2019, she was awarded a Master’s Scholarship at Rhodes University.
Cassels made it onto the Dean’s List for Acamedic Merit in 2019 at Rhodes University.
In 2019, Cassels received her Honours degree in Journalism and Media Studies and graduated with a distinction.
On 15 October 2019, Cassels was announced as the winner of the Ahmed Kathrada Youth Essay Writing Competition Against Racism, with her essay titled, Orange.Coloured.Erased., at the Ahmed Kathrada’s 10th Annual Lecture.
Her poem, Mimi ni Mwafrika, was published by Liquid Imagination on 28 February 2020.
- Launch: AFRIWOWRI's The Different Shades Of A Feminine Mind - The Book Banque. Retrieved 7 April, 2020.
- Selection BNAP 2018 Anthology -Best “New” African Poets 2018 Anthology. Retrieved 5 April, 2020.
- Foundation announces top three winners in Youth Essay Writing Competition - Daily Maverick. Retrieved 4 April, 2020.
- Mimi ni Mwafrika by Charissa Cassels - Liquid Imagination. Retrieved 6 April, 2020.