Returning to Africa spiritually and economically, Publisher John H. Johnson and executives of Chicago-based Ebony magazine, the world's largest Black-owned magazine, officially launched Ebony South Africa in a virtually unprecedented round of interviews, luncheons, speeches and receptions. The Sowetan, South Africa's largest Black daily, caught the spirit of the launch with a headline that said:
Ebony is here with a bang
Another South African newspaper, The Sunday Times, said:
The Ebony dream comes
to South Africa
The Ebony dream came in the form of a monthly magazine called Ebony South Africa. The new magazine, which premiered last November, was officially launched during a round of media events attended by the publisher and major executives of Johnson Publishing Company, including Secretary-Treasurer Eunice Walker Johnson son and President and COO Linda Johnson Rice. Joining them at the official launching at a VIP luncheon in Johannesburg's Carlton Hotel were South African publishers and partners Welcome Msomi, managing director of Msomi Hunt Lascaris; musical entrepreneur Hugh Masekela, Publico Managing Director Reuben Shapiro, Publico Chairman Jack Shapiro and Attorney Keith Sandile Kunene. The publisher and other members of his party were received later by President Mandela. Delighted by the warm reception he received in the executive suites of Johannesburg and on the streets of Soweto, the publisher told guests at the Carlton luncheon that the event was a "homecoming" for him, and that it was an honor to return to Africa to launch a magazine that marks a continuation of the historic ties between South Africans and African-Americans.
"South Africans and African-Americans," he said, "have been working together, dreaming together and growing in freedom together for more than 100 years. This is a reaffirmation of the ties that bind us and a rededication to the values and dreams we share. And I want to quote here the same words President Mandela used in America: `We are here not as guests, not as people from another land, but as part of the historic coalition of organizations that has fought for the emancipation of Black people everywhere. …