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 TRI Facts, the research and training division 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 major new history of the city of Cape Town, The Cape Town Book, published by Struik Travel and Heritage, was released in 2015. Nechama is also the co-author of the memoir I Ran For My Life, with best-selling musician Kabelo Mabalane; and contributing editor and writer on the updated edition of award-winning novelist Lauren Beukes’ first book, a non-fiction history of extraordinary South African women, titled Maverick.
Nechama’s new book, Rule of Law, a memoir co-authored with MP and former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, will be released in August 2017. And her first novel, a magical thriller set in Johannesburg, is due to be published in early 2018.
When Nechama isn’t writing words she’s singing them. She performs original alt-folk music at venues in Johannesburg and Cape Town and is working towards releasing her first EP.
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 committed martial artist and holds a second dan in karate.