The magazine became an important platform for a new generation of writers and photographers who changed the way Black people were represented in society. Instead of the more popularised depiction of black South Africans as maids and labourers Drum Magazine sought to change that by featuring the “other side” of being black in South Africa. This year marks the magazine’s 60thanniversary.
A press release to celebrate the magazine’s birthday states “The magazine, initially established as ‘The African Drum’ by journalist and broadcaster Robert Crisp, was not at first financially successful. It was taken over by Jim Bailey who, with the assistance of a team of writers and photographers, re-designed and rebranded the magazine, thereby making it more dynamic. Drum was so successful that Bailey used its urban, racy style to produce a number of East and West African editions of the magazine.”
Commenting on the magazine’s 60th milestone, Max du Preez, a respected South African journalist had this to say about Drum “I was born in the same year as DRUM. My earliest recollection of the magazine was reading it over the shoulder of an employee of my father’s as an 11-year old. It revealed a world I, as a Free State boerseun, did not know existed. DRUM always said to me: Africa is vibrant, exciting, sharp, colourful, soulful. Happy birthday DRUM. May you be as brilliant when my grandson starts reading you as a teenager,”