About me

23 February 2012 | 16:12 | about | Leave a comment (four)
Femke van Zeijl, May 2014, Freedom Park, Lagos (photographer Victor Ehikhamenor)I am a Dutch freelance journalist based in Lagos, Nigeria. In my journalistic work I focus on Sub Saharan Africa, where I've been traveling to regularly the last ten years to report. When my time came to settle, I decided to move to Africa's biggest city and the continent's most populous country, where I am the only Dutch speaking resident correspondent.
My first novel was recently published in the Netherlands. Koning van de barraca's (King of the barracas) describes the love affair between Daniel and Cristina, a Mozambican Casanova and a Portuguese voluntourist. Before that I wrote two non-fiction books on Africa and I am working on a third one, which will be fiction. All books are in Dutch (for now). The last years I've lived in six cities all over Africa to write a book on urban life on the continent. Gin-tonic & Cholera was published at the end of 2010. Just like in my previous book A Night in A Mortar, on the subject of women in Africa, I zoom in on the daily lives of people, thus portraying current affairs.
I am a writer at heart, but the last couple of years I have discovered other ways of telling a story. Photography, radio and video have become as important a part of my features as text.
Feel free to mail me if you have any questions or remarks.


23 February 2012 | 15:34 | about | Leave a comment
Last update: May 2013

Femke van Zeijl, born September 22nd 1971, Berkel-Enschot, The Netherlands

Journalistic work

Based in Lagos, Nigeria

2011 - now
Writing third book, which will be a novel.

Second book publication, Gin-tonic & Cholera, on everyday urban life in Africa (nonfiction).

First book publication, Een nacht in een vijzel (A Night in a Mortar) on women in Africa (non-fiction).

2005 - now
Teacher in journalism (guest lectures, workshops and student counselling):
- Fontys Hogeschool Journalistiek in Tilburg,
- School voor Journalistiek in Utrecht.
- Utrecht University.

2004 - 2005
Political and socio-economic editor at opinion magazine for women Opzij.

2002 - now
Debate moderator and presenter.

2002 - now
Freelance feature writer, photographer, radio- and video maker in Sub-Saharan Africa (16 countries a.o. Mozambique, Angola, D.R. Congo, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Nigeria).

Visiting contributing editor at German national newspaper Die Frankfurter Rundschau as part of a German-Dutch journalist exchange.

1999 - now
Freelance journalist for Dutch and international media, a.o.:
- National newspaper NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands),
- Opinion magazine Vrij Nederland (Netherlands),
- News radiostation BNR (Netherlands),
- Foreign affairs journal Courrier International (France),
- Feminist monthly Ms Magazine (U.S.A.).

1996 - 1998
Contributing editor local newspaper Dagblad De Gelderlander.

Other journalistic activities

2008 - now
Member of the board of ZAM-net, publisher of ZAM Africa Magazine.

Belgian Filip Decock Award for journalism in developing countries.

2003 - 2008
Member of the board and eventually chairwoman of Stichting Vrouw & Media (national foundation for the advancement of women in journalism).


1994 - 1998
Academie voor Journalistiek in Tilburg, four year Journalism course.

University of Utrecht, History Department, Contemporary History.

1983 - 1989
Cobbenhagencollege secondary school in Tilburg, vwo final school exams passed, roughly equivalent to GCSE A-levels.

Other activities

Private Portuguese language course in Maputo, Mozambique.

Portuguese language course at Kosmus Language School in Lisbon, Portugal.

1999 - 2005
Organised Thomas Jazzdansdagen, yearly week long jazz dance course with 150 participants and 5 international dance teachers.

1987 - 1990
KNGB Course Jazz Dance Teacher, obtained second degree teaching qualification.

Other skills

Dutch, English, French, German and Portuguese.

Knowledge of html, building websites, experience with Linux, Mac and Windows platforms, Final Cut Pro, Reaper and other video and radio editing programs.