By Bongani D Shongwe

Cardinal Magazine is a digital travel, lifestyle & leisure publication that aims to educate on racism, xenophobia and promote inclusivity & diversity through tourism. Cardinal explores travel in its entirety, not just physical movement from one place to another but mental and sensory stimulation when you read about our destinations, recipes, beauty and fashion tips, and interviews.

We entered the programme eager to learn and underestimated the phrase about Jamlab being a ‘hothouse accelerator programme’, and we are definitely feeling the heat but we believe we are only being refined and molded into our best form.

We joined the Jamlab Accelerator Programme as we felt we had done our part, we needed further assistance in order to grow our start-up, we needed to expand our skills, we wanted to add to our knowledge by learning from professionals and were seeking guidance especially on the journalism side and organisational management.

The October issue of Cardinal Magazine.

We are happy to say that even though there is a lot of pressure in the programme, it is good pressure, it is only refining us into the new form we want to take, the new level we want to reach and the potential we want to unlock.

After the six-month programme we are confident all the skills, knowledge and tools we are learning will reflect in our upcoming publications. We believe we will hone our journey, by not putting pressure on ourselves to be perfect but allowing ourselves to make mistakes so they can be corrected. We also hope to embrace correction, be willing to fix things that aren’t working and truly be a self-sustainable publication long after the programme is over.

Thus far we have learned how to better organise our ideas, how to better structure our organisation and to be open to change, so open to change that we are breaking down the magazine from one publication to three publications — travel as an independent publication, leisure as an independent publication and lifestyle as an independent publication — in order to better deliver to our customer segmentation instead of having a confusing mix match issue.

We are thoroughly enjoying the programme so far and can’t wait for the coming weeks.

The JamLab Accelerator is a six-month hothouse programme for journalism and media innovators. It is based at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in the heart of Johannesburg.


  • How to build a successful business post-pandemic

    Examine how companies are operating post the pandemic with Jamlab Accelerator alumni Adenike Aloba and Bongani Shongwe who talk about how business has changed since the Covid-19 pandemic

  • Apply for the 2023 Jamlab Accelerator Programme

    Are you working on something that you think could reshape media or journalism in Africa? Do you have skills you could apply to creating great new media? Apply to join the Jamlab Accelerator Programme

  • Jamlab Accelerator alumni: where are they now

    Hear from our Jamlab accelerator alumni who detail their entrepreneurial journeys so far

  • Jamlab Accelerator Programme helps birth the Goloka dream

    The accelerator programme came at the right time to help midwife with the delivery of Goloka, a tool that will power decision-making in business, policy, governance, and development, writes founder Adenike Aloba


Everything you need to know regarding journalism and media innovation in Africa – fortnightly in your inbox.