Fatima Asmal is a freelance journalist who writes primarily for the Mail & Guardian.
She was one of the first South African Muslim women to venture into the field of journalism, enrolling in what was then known as Natal Technikon in 1995, and successfully acquiring a National Diploma in Journalism. After working a short stint as a student news reporter at The Mercury, Fatima ventured into the field of magazine journalism, successfully launching and self-publishing two faith-based publications.
She also produced and presented several programmes on three community radio stations before founding a non-profit organisation, the Institute for Learning and Motivation – South Africa (ILM-SA) in 2006.
Responsible for marketing the organisation, Fatima has since taken it to a level where:
- its urban programmes – motivational conferences, seminars and workshops - attract hundreds of people a year,
- it supports about two hundred socio-economically disadvantaged individuals in various ways,
- and it has been featured numerous times in the mainstream print as well as broadcast media.
In 2010, Fatima began actively pursuing her interest in mainstream journalism and has since:
- covered different aspects of the FIFA World Cup for fifa.com as well as football365.com (2010), traveling 15 cities in the space of 16 days,
- contributed numerous articles about cricket to cricket365.com,
- been selected (by the Ministry of Information of Saudi Arabia) as the first female South African journalist to cover the Hajj in 2011, during which time she contributed coverage to SAFM, Aljazeera.com, Al Qalam and the Voice of the Cape,
- directed Muslim Identity, a documentary commissioned by the SABC for its Issues of Faith series; this documentary was subsequently selected for screening at the AlJazeera International Documentary Film Festival in Doha (2012),
- contributed numerous news and feature articles to a range of mainstream publications including The Witness, The Star and The Mercury,
- and firmly established herself as a contributor to the Mail & Guardian writing about various issues ranging from politics to socio-economic development to health to athletics and swimming.
Above all, Fatima is a single mother to a little boy and a daughter to two wonderfully supportive parents.