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RIP Raymond Louw: A real lion and national treasure

5 June 2019, The Media Online, Glenda Nevill

A giant in the sector his ongoing commitment was astonishing. Whenever young members of MMA joined and met Ray they would wonder how old he was and when he would retire, we would reply that he was simply ageless, he had been about that old since I had known him and he would carry on. More recently, we saw less of him at our SOS Support Broadcasting Coalition meetings, but he would always send a formal apology and follow up on issues and take time to read minutes and engage. 

Over the last few years, we took such pride that he would attend and support our events as Media Monitoring Africa. In later years he would bring Jean, who always somehow had a sparkle in her eyes, she seemed to enjoy all the events and taking in all the things going on around and I can imagine them chatting long hours about everything. 

One of my most memorable recent exchanges with him was at MMA’s 25th birthday celebration. He came along with Jean. They sat and chatted, and as usual had a few glasses of wine. Raymond had to leave before the formal speech but came up and told me, “the work MMA does is just incredible and so important, you must keep going and keep fighting for press freedom and our democracy”.  Then he asked me to please send him my speech, and he was insistent that it wasn’t just because he was leaving but because he really wanted to know and to celebrate with us. 

 

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