She’s not blonde

June 15, 2007 at 9:52 am (missing, news&media)

Yet another child has gone missing. Except she’s not making international headlines. Mikayla Rossouw is just another little girl in South Africa who has fallen prey to the evil men who walks among us.
Her parents are agonising and her community is hurting. Search parties have been walking the streets hoping to find her. And yet it only cracks the local press.
What is it about the Maddy McCann saga that made it such a huge thing? Mrs M mentioned people have been flocking to her blog because she had posted about the little blonde girl. From far and wide everyone made their views known. Why her?
I’m not suggesting we should’ve forgotten about Maddy, as she’s come to be known. Nor am I saying we shouldn’t write about her. All I’m asking is why this girl? Why this case? Every day kids in SA disappear. If the story makes the papers all week it’s a miracle.
I know it’s probably not fair to say it’s because Maddy is blonde and blue-eyed but every now and then the thought pops into my head. It’s unfair and a gross generalisation so to speak and yet it’s still there.
I get angry when I think of all our children who are kidnapped, abused, killed with only a column on page 6 in our local press telling us about it. While Maddy dominates the front pages of world media Mikayla only appeared on the front of the Cape Argus.
Obviously me writing about this won’t change a thing but I’m hoping it will help me figure it out. Maybe someone out there can tell me why Maddy gets so much more airtime than the Mikaylas of the world. Why is it? I just don’t know.



  1. kash99 said,

    Every second week, we ask ourselves this same question..headlines just dont like coloured or black children..sadly we like the whities mos even if they are white trash..We can bitch about it all we like but the powers that be at our publications – even if they themselves are not white – dont like to cover stories involving black children…

  2. kash99 said,

    And…it makes me FOCKEN angry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh Gosh, i’m hyperventilating!!!

  3. tbhanks said,

    I’m with you on that. I get so fucked off I want to write to every single newspaper telling them what I think of them. But now I vent on this blog – one of the great things about it.
    It makes me seriously sad though. Remember that Sheldean Human case? Everywhere and in everything. But with Stacy Wiese it was only after she’d been found dead that it raised some mentions.
    I thought we had moved on from this by now. I’m starting to hyperventilate too…

  4. kash99 said,

    Reference to White trash was in fact sheldean the way..i was in ct when the stacy wiese thing happened..i was interviewing wouter basson aka dr death.. so i went to do the stacy was right round the courner from my mommy’s house..when i came back i forced my paper to use it here and of course my stories are used nationally..i found a new angle and well, they couldnt resist!!! i gave myself a pat on teh back!!

  5. tbhanks said,

    And so you should meisie. It’s just focken wrong that they ignore stories like that. And they usually make a big deal out of it if it’s a family member/friend/uncle/father, etc who killed the child. Coloured people are mos like that you know.

  6. Gnome said,

    I’m with you on this one Toby. In addition I think it’s cause Maddy is British – I don’t think missing children are a regular occurrance over there, that’s why it was/is such a big deal. It’s actually quite shocking how we’ve gotten used to this sort of thing in this country. I wish ALL children could get the kind of exposure Maddy got/still gets. PLUS the McCann’s have money…

  7. tbhanks said,

    True Gnome, the Brits are more shocked by this type of thing. Sad, isn’t it? Also, the McCann’s are quite media savvy it seems. Perhaps that helps too?

  8. Jacaqui_T said,

    Hi all,

    Thank you for the part you are playing in highlighting these issues.

    Our organisation (an NGO) here in South Africa, is making inroads in this very issue and are working on literally a 24/7 basis to highlight the plight of all missing children in our country.

    Now that we have all our systems up and running, registration as a volunteer with our organisation is now open to all across South Africa and beyond.

    We currently have three active cases that we are working on.

    Please encourage as many people as possible to join us at and help us to help you make a difference!!

    Kind regards,


    The Pink Ladies

  9. Jacaqui_T said,

  10. Jacqui_T said,

  11. tbhanks said,

    Thanks Jacqui

    I’ll certainly spread the word.

  12. hartsonsdog said,

    The McCanns are white & middle-class, so the British media love ’em, even though they irresponsibly left their kids alone so they could go out for dinner. Had they been working class, black, or a single parent, the media would’ve slaughtered them. he hypocrisy is sickening.

  13. Toby Hanks said,

    That’s very true, Hartsonsdog. And just yesterday we get news of another little girl missing in Rawsonville in the Western Cape, South Africa. Wonder how much coverage this story will get…

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