Groot trek

In a surprise turn of events that happened very very quickly, I have moved to Cape Town. I somehow managed to land myself a mad cool job as a reporter at eNCA and packed up my life to do so.

It’s been a month since I started working for the news channel and living near the mountain and I can tell I am going to love it here. I’m sure it will be a tumultuous relationship with me and this place that was (is) the epicentre of the violence of 1652 onward.

But I needed the change, Joho was strengthening it’s choke-hold on me and for the first time in a long while I can breath easy. This is the part where I stop and force you to look at my work – will “press” stories I am particularly proud of working on henceforth. Kbye.

 

 

 

Because, the interweb

I  took part in a blog-a-thon a few weeks ago. This is what I came up with in the hour and a half we were given. I chose the topic “digital nomad” and employed free writing principles to get the post done in that time frame. 

Hi I’m Pheladi and I’m an  interweb slore.

It started at the tender age of 16 when I was persuaded to open up a Facebook account in 2007. I didn’t really know what it was but the more I gave of myself the more I liked it. I moved there permanently a month later when I uploaded my first album. I did it on the sly in the computer room at the school’s library.

Soon enough I invited people over to live with me and when I got a new phone my new shelter went everywhere with me. The other places on the interwebs just didn’t have the same allure. Emails were cold, Hi5 left an abandoned building along with MySpace once FB took over.

When rent became cheaper circa 2009 my parents finally smelt the roses of the millennia and got us internet at “home”. This is when my relationship status changed, to “in a relationship” for the first time.

The first thing I did when I woke then was check for new FB activity. In the car on the way to school I ignored my dad’s random unfunny jokes to see how many new likes I had since I posted my hilarious yet tragic new status. At school we posed for photo’s behind what now seems like ginormous camera’s to be posted later that night. We picked on each other via comments – someone’s humiliation bringing out the snark that I suppose was always brimming on the surface.

Until then I had really only cheated on FB once, with Mxit – but I’m not sure that that counts, I used that for my private life, not my interwebs life (there’s a difference).

I became a real slore when I went to varsity. I was a media student, a gateway drug to the interwebs. I had clearly left Kansas and even learnt what an interweb slore is via the wireless tentacles that kept pulling me in.

Let me school you

  • Interweb(s) – Derived from the real word ‘internet’. I learnt this word on black twitter. Timeline unknown (unremembered really).
  • Slore – An adjective of sorts, combines the word “slut” and “whore” to mean ultra promiscuous. First heard on an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, streamed live via free varsity data.

FB was my main chick, but I had an insatiable appetite that needed to be filled. I saw YouTube on the way to lunch with a friend, I introduced myself and we hit it off. I had just gone through a bad break up on FB which made it difficult to stay loyal (don’t get me wrong I was on everyday – it just hurt) – so YouTube provided all the happiness I required, especially the musical kind.

Twitter was love at first site, I was shy at first because (s)he was already with so many of my other friends, that and the fact that I think everything is lame until I try it. We took it slow at first (aka I trolled other people’s timelines for “research”). I made the first move as @sista_rebz – 5 months later and 5 000 tweets later we were practically married. At which point my slightly advanced Nokia got stolen by two white “plumbers” and I got degraded to tweeting from twitter for mobile. I spent about R200 on airtime a week to keep up the all-consuming union.

I also suffered a tremendous blow to my twitter image, everyone was tweeting from “twitter for Blackberry” by then. But there I was tweeting “via mobile” but who said socks with sandals isn’t cool – not me because I still managed to keep up with the BB kids hitting the 10 000 tweet mark in under year of joining.

The exposure to things and stuff on other people’s timelines pushed me into a digital wormhole I may never escape from. It started with starting something new with some new .com every other month. I began IM’ing, skyping, tumblring, checking in on foursquare, feeding my brain with wiki leaks (or forced spills if you will), listening to sounds on the clouds, trying to be “profesh” by linking in and and and.

All these things I am now on (with) help me in my professional life as a journalist. I’ve since lost contact with what was my first love – I keep FB close, an app on my homepage even but that’s about it. The need for likes wore off when I got to know him/her better. Juggling these other loves is difficult and data consuming but I stay stumbling upon, flipping boards, sending grams and +1’ing because, the interweb.

 

Where I’m at

That headline is probably a grammatical sin of note but I’m 23 and kind of cool so let’s just be strong.

So I have been a working girl for a few months now and figured it’s time to say something about that.

The Job

I am currently working at The Citizen newspaper, as you can tell from the infrequent posts I manage to put up. I’m an intern at the daily paper and I rate so far so good.

I have managed to end up on the front page a few times – which is really very flattering. I’m fortunate to be working somewhere where I am allowed to do that – most interns don’t really get the opportunity to write as frequently as I do. Most people do the things senior journos are “above doing” – making phone calls, rewriting press releases that kind of thing.

I almost feel guilty that I have all this freedom to do pretty much any and everything while some of my friends are on the press release end of the spectrum (note: I have nothing against press releases I use them as well just not enough to want to die yet).

On the other hand I feel like I was NEVER ready for a daily newspaper – life here is really fast. Sometimes it feels like I’m on a rotating conveyer belt – type, file, type, file, type, file – on and on. What doesn’t kill you right?

The money

Being in the working world, paying my own way through life has taught me a few things about myself. Initially I was like “who would ever use this much money in a month? Losers.”

In the beginning I could not spend it all, I saved some, spent more and carried over the rest. Then I decided it was time to invest in things I really needed, a new camera and laptop. It didn’t seem like that much money at the time but soon that coupled with careless social spending, ever increasing petrol prices brought me back to reality.

Last week I ended up with R40 and only enough petrol to go to work before pay day – it was the worst feeling (I’m very liberal with hyperbolic speech). I suppose I have to learn how to budget now. Having money is nice but it makes everything look shiny and like something I “need”.

The social/not so social life

Coming into journalism everyone warned me about not having a life. Something which I experienced a bit last year when I was doing my honours at Wits – I became the friend who cancelled plans last minute and was always late to things. I suppose last year I didn’t feel it as much because my classmates became a huge part of making up for the nonexistent social life.

This year, without them things are different. I do go out when I can but I mostly just want to sleep. Everyone works now so making plans, finding times that fit is another struggle – because you know they have boyfriends and things.

Then I go to stories and other journos know eachother and I just play candy crush to pass time. I suppose I didn’t count on the loneliness when I decided I want to work in the media (to paraphrase Fitzgerald Grant).

The Newsroom 2.4

The time I used to dread and now look forward to has finally come. This is my last week interning at the Wits Vuvuzela. It is time for us to hand over our baby to the new students and hope they raise her right.

As that happens I’m heading out into the big bad world full of daily deadlines, long nights and probably on my way to becoming a social recluse. As of next week I’ll start working in a “real” newsroom (as opposed to the simulated one I’ve been working in). For the longest time that has been something that’s quite scary to me but now after these two months back at Wits, I’m very ready and in fact keen to leave my comfort zone and take on this new challenge.

It was interesting to get to see the new students, knowing that a year ago I was in their shoes. I got to watch them in a retrospective manner, seeing who I used to be before I was moulded into shape by this course. At this point there’s nothing more we can do to prepare for what’s about to come. I can only hope that those I have had a hand in mentoring take those lessons and use them effectively.

Here’s a short but not so short audio recording of my last goodbye:

The Newsroom 2.3

Oi vay, another week another neglected post. This space is staring to resemble the empty pages of my diary that I somehow imagine my memory won’t fail me when the time to write everything down comes.

I’ve had a fairly chilled two weeks, doing this and that for the paper. This week the new lot got a bit more hands on with their writing and with helping to produce the paper. It took me back to exactly a year ago when we were going through the same thing. Having the same doubts, the unbridled enthusiasm and excitement to be doing what we love everyday. It’s nice to watch the process from this side of the fence.

I’ve written quite a bit over the past two weeks, put up the one’s I was particularly proud of up on this site already. Our time in the Vuvuzela newsroom is speedily drawing to a close. It’s both exciting and scary at the same time. But it is time, for the new lot to start taking charge of our baby and for us to let go – hand over the reigns and start being the journalists we’ve been trained to be.

The Newsroom 2.2

The past week in the newsroom has been so hectic that I didn’t manage to get around to this post until now. We had a lot on our plates, resulting in the production of a great edition of the Wits Vuvuzela.

Did some very interesting stuff, some ruffling a few feathers even:

We were also busy over the weekend with a workshop with some students working with One World Media. They are in the country trying to produce feature pieces on various topics. We helped where we could by answering questions they had about how and where to start with their stories. They were a lovely bunch, with interesting projects – I look forward to seeing their work in a few months.

#teamvuvu: Thuletho Zwane

The Pig's mayor in the house.
The Pig’s mayor in the house.

Thule [with an “e”, not to be confused with Thuli with an “i”] was one of the older women in the class, reppin’ the senior citizen’s wing [other members being Funi and Emelia]. She was the mayor of the Pig and [unsurprisingly] did this interview while at her fave watering hole.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thule: I’m wearing white wedges, a white dress and shades. I’m dressed for this hot, summer weather.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thule: Laid back, relaxed and no fuss. When I have to fuss, red lips do the trick.

Me: Now that we’ve broken the ice, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thule: Very [Probably even more so, now that she’s an award winning journalist ;)]

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thule: By this do you mean answering these questions or studying Journalism? If I wasn’t answering these questions right now, I would be drinking my wine without any interruptions. But if ‘by this’ you mean studying Journalism, I would be an economist.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thule: Fun. I’ve explored ideas and places I would have never explored like Kitcheners Comedy Nights on Tuesdays, Melville, Orlando East and West. [This answer :”D]

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Thule: Waking up on Fridays, being scolded by the VC,  reporting on Wits issues and the media – these were the most challenging things this year.

 

The most rewarding things were waking up on Fridays to attend Anton Harber’s classes and being scolded by the VC for reporting on Wits issues and the media [hahahahaha, oh the irony].

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Thule: I’ll be at City Press next year, doing journalism kinds of stuff like being a journalist and doing what journalists do. Hopefully wearing shoes is part of that [I fear the wine drinking may have begun shortly after question 3]

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Thule: Loud, loud and great.

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Thule: Be loud, loud and great.

 

Quickfire Q & A

 

[Unfortunately I’m experiencing some technical difficulties, my sound refuses to convert and some of it is MIA. So we’ll give multimedia a skip this time around.]

 

Me: Who is your favourite author/writer?

Thule: James Ngugi [aka Ngugi wa Thiong’o]

Me: Who is your favourite musician/band?

Thule: Esperanza Spalding [winning]

Me: Your favourite place to eat and thing to eat at that place?

Thule: Since starting this course, the Pig. I love their chicken schnitzel and salad for R26 [bargain].

Me: What do you like to do when no one is watching?

Thule: I think…

#teamvuvu: Nokuthula Manyathi

iThuli or Thuli with an ‘i’ is another native from the Ridge. She is however a nomad, who travelled to Diepsloot every evening and on weekends. This Oprah stan is the personification of the phrase dynamite comes in small packages.

Looking summer fresh.
Looking summer fresh.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Thuli: Summery (is there such a word?)

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Thuli: Clean and casual

Me: Are you sure about this journalism thing?

Thuli: Yes, I am. In my  16+ years of being in the school system I have never felt more at home then I do now.

Me: That said, if you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Thuli: I’ve never seen myself doing anything that doesn’t involve people. I’d be doing something that involves interacting with people on a daily basis, like teaching.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Thuli: This year has been amazing. Everyday even on my worst day I was excited to come to class. I don’t remember bunking or skipping a day of school. This year a fire was ignited or a passion within me that I hadn’t thought I had. I’m generally excited about the future but this year took my excitement level about the future to another level. I’m in love.

Me: What’s been the most challenging thing and the most rewarding thing for you this year?

Thuli: I’m not a writer. I express myself best verbally. So I was challenged in that I had to explain/express my thoughts and concepts on paper. When I arrived I was very insecure about my writing I would spend days on one story to try make it perfect but now(because of practice) I file stories faster and people understand what I’ve written which is a big win for me. This was both a challenge and reward. (Oh and live tweeting used to kick my ass).

Me: Where will you be next year and what will you be doing?

Thuli: Next year I’ll be at City Press here in jozi. I’m really excited to be challenged and to be pushed to the edge. I can’t wait to be pushed into the deep end and see myself swim cause that’s the only option I’ve given myself.

Me: How would you describe #teamvuvu in three words?

Thuli: Passionate, visionaries, extended family

Me: A word of advice for the incoming team for 2014?

Thuli: Enjoy boot camp that’s the most time free time you will have in afternoons to have a social life. What you put in is what you will get out. Your growth is dependent on what YOU are willing to give. Don’t stress, even the “experienced writers” in class are insecure about their work. Take every opportunity.

Quickfire Q & A: