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A Chat With Jani Allan

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Photo by Anneli Martin

Jani Allan is remembered as South Africa’s first celebrity journalist. She joined the Sunday Times in 1980. Soon, she had the highest readership on the newspaper which had a circulation of some four million.

Jani was raised in Johannesburg’s privileged northern suburbs and read Fine Arts at the University of the Witwatersrand. As well as her writing career she was a concert pianist, exhibiting artist, fashion model, high school teacher and part-time closed circuit TV producer. She married Gordon Schachat, co-founder of African Bank and one of South Africa’s most pre-eminent art collectors.

In 1987 she was named the ‘most admired’ person in South Africa in a Gallup poll that was commissioned by her newspaper. The following year she moved from the champagne social circuit to the only arena that had real importance – the political one. As the pulse-taker of the politico, psyche-analyst of the powerful, her Face to Face profile column saw her interviewing the likes of Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Pik Botha, Magnus Malan and Beyers Naudé.

Most recently Allan has contributed to several South African titles such as the Daily Maverick, Big Issue, Fair Lady and Dekat.

Diversity Rules Magazine welcomes Jani Allan.  You can read her interview HERE.


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