John Young is a writer and researcher with a wide range of published work in fields as diverse as business and investment, renewable energy, history and sport. His most recent work on a windfarm in the Eastern Cape encompassed the rich history of the land and its people, the tale of an activist entrepreneur and the successful completion of a complex project. The book won the 2016 John Kannemeyer Award for Biography, awarded by the SA Independent Publishers’ Association.
With a degree in Journalism, a first-class History Honours qualification and a teaching diploma, John is well suited to the roles of trainer and mentor. He regularly does in-depth research, either for his own books or articles or on assignment and is proficient in editing and proof-reading.
He is editor-in-chief for Global Africa Network which publishes a suite of nine provincial business journals on an annual basis, and South African Business.
Since 2019, John has been on the board of help2read, a literacy charity which has helped more than 17 000 children to read since 2006.
John went to school in Port Elizabeth. In 2006 he wrote and project-managed a history of his old school on the occasion of Grey High School’s 150th anniversary, The Spirit of the Tower. After obtaining a BJourn and a teaching diploma at Rhodes University, John started teaching at Milnerton High School in Cape Town. The publication of his University of Cape Town honours thesis, Observatory, A Town in the Suburbs, inspired him to take up writing full-time. Books on the history of Langa Cricket Club and publishing house Juta followed. As a freelance writer John supplied copy to many South African newspapers and magazines in India, Britain and Australia.
Topics ranged from elections in the South American country of Guyana (Mail & Guardian) and the politics of rugby in South Africa (Inside Sport, Australia) to travel stories about Italy and the West Indies (Sunday Times, South Africa). John also wrote extensively for SA Cricket Action magazine and contributed cricket articles to the Observer and Sunday Times (UK) and the Hindustan Times, India.
Since 2008 John has focussed strongly on writing about business and investment in South Africa and Africa. For Global Africa Network, he every year produced a set of books on the economy of each province in South Africa and a book called South African Business. He was also the author and editor of TradeInvest Nigeria and wrote the bulk of the text for two further books on Nigerian states, Lagos and Kwara.
A particular interest is renewable energy and the Green Economy. Since 2013, John has travelled to Denmark several times studying issues such as the water sector, the green economy, energy efficiency and how the media can play a role in raising awareness of green issues.
John speaks Danish fluently, having been an exchange student in that country in 1976/77.
John has worked as a trainer and mentor, particularly in Langa township. He was for 12 years the principal and director of the Cwesi Adult Learning Centre, or night school, that operates on the premises of Wynberg Boys’ High School. For ten years he coached cricket with Bob Woolmer during holiday coaching courses, and also acted as Bob’s administrative assistant.