Hazel Friedman is a TV Producer, investigative journalist, arts writer and author. She has a MA in Art History from University of the Witwatersrand, and is also a renowned arts critic, having written extensively on visual culture.
In 2007 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award for her harrowing documentary on rape inside prisons. She won the Best Producer award at the SABC Awards in 2006. In 2008 she received a highly commended award at the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards for Rights of Passage - an investigation into abusive initiation practices. In 2009 she was awarded the Best Legal Journalist of the Year prize for her investigations into sexual crimes against children and SA's sexual offences legislation. In 2010 she was a finalist in the international AIB Journalism awards and the Lorenzo Natali Prix. She refuses to shy away from confrontation and controversy, so committed is she to the privilege and responsibility of transforming private lives into public narratives. And she acknowledges that lives continue long after the story's credits have faded. Her areas of interest include documentaries that focus on the heroism of people on society’s periphery. She confesses to an insatiable curiosity towards the paranormal and popular culture and embraces body-draining challenges that transcend the ordinary and the routine. Her three C's for success are: Courage, creativity and commitment.
Friedman was born on 23rd July 1961 in Johannesburg. She grew up in Johannesburg and also spent a year in Cambridge Massachusettes as well as New York during 1983. She attended King David Linksfield Primary after which she attended Sandringham High School, Waverley Girls High School and Eden College.
Friedman confesses to be passionate about history, politics, music, critical theory, classical and contemporary arts and literature.Apart from working as a senior producer at Special Assignment, Friedman's other qualifications include: author, investigative journalist, art critic, copywriter and Art History lecturer. She is well qualified to work in print, electronic, radio and television mediums.
From 1985 to 1987, Friedman was an Art History tutor at Wits University, Braamfontein where she was studying for a Masters Degree in Art History. She also taught Art History as a lecturer at Funda College in Soweto. Friedman has also been a freelance writer writing for publications such as The Mail and Guardian, Independant Newspapers, Art South Africa, Artnews, Jerusalem Report.
As an author, Friedman has published the following books:
2006- Hijack - A fact-based thriller that was described by critics as " the best thriller South Africa has produced."
2004- Farm Lives - an investigation, together with well-renowned photographer, Jurgen Schadeberg, into the conditions of farmworkers.
2000- Norman Catherine - a monograph on South African Artist, Norman Catherine, with foreward by David Bowie.
From September 2007 to the present date she has been a full-time senior producer for Special Assignment, an award-winning investigative documentary programme that runs on the South African Broadcasting Corporation. It is during this tenure that Friedman won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year award ( November 2007) for her harrowing documentary, For the Boys, an expose on SA prison violence.
Recognitions and awards
Friedman is famous for her inspirational work/s which is fact based on real social issues that affect society. It is for her great works that she has received many awards and has been recognised as a freedom writer as she has a strong commitment to give people in society a voice. In 2007 she won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award, this was for her harrowing documentary on rape inside prisons. She also won the category for the best television news feature. In the year 2006 she won the Best Producer award at the SABC Awards of that year.In 2008 she received a highly commended award at the CNN African Journalist of the Year Awards for Rights of Passage - an investigation into abusive initiation practices. In 2009 she was awarded the Best Legal Journalist of the Year prize for her investigations into sexual crimes against children and SA's sexual offences legislation. In 2010 she was a finalist in the international AIB Journalism awards and the Lorenzo Natali Prix.With listing a few of her achievements; in her experience as a freelance journalist for the past ten years, Friedman has written on people or stories that are life changing and yet thrilling. To name a few these include; Cocaine City in April 2001, Dark Places, Death by Design in the same year and in 2000 she wrote a biography on a South African artist. This article (Cocaine City) she wrote with Bianca Williams, and it is based on the shocking statistics on cocaine being shipped in the country from other parts of the world such as South America. In the year 2000, she wrote a biography and critical analysis of one of South Africa’s most renowned artists, Norman Catherine.
Other professional activities
Friedman is an internationally recognised as an investigative journalist, producer, author, art critic, and a art history lecture. She continues to be a senior producer and investigative journalist of Special Assignment at SABC 3. Currently she is researching gang culture and is also thinking of producing a follow-up to For the Boys called For the Men.
While the world-class city is almost running on empty, Capetonians are struggling to stave off Da...y Zero, the day the city’s water supply will have run dry. Four million Capetonians will have to queue for their 25 litres of water each per day.
While the city has been scrambling for solutions to its water supply, Capetonians have managed to reduce their water consumption to 50 litres per day. A three-year drought and the expansion of the city’s population by 80% in the last few years, with an increase in water resources of only 15%, are some of the main reasons for the water shortage. It has been announced that Cape Town's supply of water will cease in July 2018 if there is not significant rainfall.
The city was warned as far back as 2007 that it would have to find alternative water sources by 2017. The National Department of Water and Sanitation, the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Government, appear to be more preoccupied with blaming each other rather than with working together to end Cape Town’s water shortage crisis.
Is the Day-Zero warning campaign a scare tactic devised by the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape after decades of wasteful consumption on the part of the city and; has this crisis made the city more water-wise?
DO OR DRY is produced by Hazel Friedman
Watch Special Assignment, broadcast on Sundays at 21h30 on SABC 3.
For more information contact Special Assignment: 011 714 5510