In her twenty-something as a working journalist Nechama has dodged the secret police in Burma (after interviewing Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi), explored tunnels underneath Johannesburg, gotten dusty at rock festivals, and reported on the myth of ‘white genocide’ in South Africa.
Nechama works as a freelance reporter, based in Johannesburg, and has contributed to local and international titles including the Sunday Times, Mail & Guardian, City Press, the Hindustan Times, Wanted (the Business Day magazine), Marie Claire, ELLE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health, VISI, TASTE, Smith Journal and the UK Guardian.
Nechama is the head of training and research at TRI Facts, part of independent fact-checking agency Africa Check, where she also writes about crime, security, politics and policy, and whether or not Johannesburg is the world’s largest urban forest. She is an occasional lecturer and mentor at the University of the Witwatersrand’s School of Journalism and Media Studies, and is currently working towards a PhD looking at media and data.
Nechama is the author of two books on Johannesburg – the critically acclaimed The Joburg Book (which she edited and co-authored), a contemporary history of the city that was long-listed for the Alan Paton Award and has sold over 10 000 copies; and Inside Joburg, a guide to the city’s most interesting spaces. Nechama’s history of the city of Cape Town, The Cape Town Book, published by Struik Travel and Heritage, was released in 2015. Nechama is the co-author of the memoirs I Ran For My Life, with best-selling musician Kabelo Mabalane, and Rule of Law, with MP and former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach. Nechama has published short fiction in the inaugural Short Sharp Stories Award anthology Bloody Satisfied, and worked on the updated edition of Maverick, a non-fiction history of extraordinary South African women written by award-winning novelist Lauren Beukes.
Nechama’s latest book is her first novel – a supernatural thriller called Knucklebone, set in Johannesburg.
Nechama lives in Johannesburg with her two sons, a magnificent cat, an over-enthusiastic dog, three guitars and (in no particular order) too many books, shoes and dresses. Nechama is a part-time alt-folk musician and is (unrelated) a committed martial artist, holding a second dan in karate.