Born in District six, Chris Gutuza was an activist and journalist, Gutuza trained as a teacher before he joined the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) formally known as Peninsula Technology in 1985 as a journalism student. Following his journalism studies, he joined the newspaper, The South.
His passion for the Afrikaans language led him to join Die Suid Afrikaan, an Afrikaans magazine as a feature writer. Concerned about the upliftment of society and also being an activist, he spent many years between the eighties and nineties working with poor communities helping set up community newspapers. This was an attempt to give or help everybody to have a voice. He helped set up a newspaper in Namakwaland, Die NamakwaNuus. The latter was followed by SaamStaan; another community news paper in Oudtshoorn, SaamStaan was however banned in 1987 during the state of emergency.
Gutuza later branched to film and television, with the aim and vision to tell real and true African stories through a different medium. To do this, Gutuza opened his own production company, Stonehouse, where he had hoped to train young people in openly telling real stories of real South Africans.
As an educator, Gutuza believed that education, information and the access to recourses were paramount. “Chris was highly principled, honest, humble and compassionate.” said Davids. As an activist journalist, Davids also believes that Gutuza would be turning in his grave as a result of the textbook saga, Nkandla, the high levels of corruption and wasteful and fruitless expenditure by government officials totaling millions of rands.
According to wife Ayesha Ismail, he was unashamedly pro-poor and everything he did was in aid of the poor. In addition, Davids says Gutuza used to say: What’s the use of having political freedom if we don’t have economic freedom? How can we say we are free when people still go to bed hungry, children don’t go to school and the rich are getting richer? “Chris never referred to himself as a journalist but rather as a media activist, says Ismail. However, his love for his family was also very evident, as such he always ensured to instill a sense of self and mental emancipation to his beloved daughters. “He loved his girls, he made sure to teach them two things; the National anthem as well as Bob Marley’s Redemption song, not only to know the words, but to understand the true meaning.” Adds Ishmail. Gutuza is remembered for many things by his family, amongst them, his love of music, dancing and braai. He was a real family man