Free The Word: A literary gathering

I attended a night of poetry and literary goodness in a jazzy place earlier this month. Finally got down to editing and packaging this short(ish) video of what transpired that night, enjoy.

Advertisements

VIDEO: My year at The Citizen in 5 minutes

On Thursay, November 29 was the we had to do our end of year graduate presentations for our mentors and fellow graduates.

It was really cool to see what other people did with their year and how much they learnt. There were only three of us at The Citizen – so we only knew each other.

Anyway, I decided to make a short-ish video as my presentation. We were tasked with telling people a little bit about our backgrounds and explaining the ups and downs of our time here:

 

VIDEO: Charges withdrawn in Meyiwa suspect

NOTE: This article first appeared on The Citizen website on November 11, 2014. 

The  NPA has officially withdrawn the charges against Zamokuhle Mbatha, the 25-year-old man accused of killing Senzo Meyiwa.

Mbatha had his second appearance in the Boksburg Magistrates Court on Tuesday morning and the charges of murder and robbery were dropped against him within five minutes.

State prosecutor Gertrude Market requested that Mbatha’s appearance on Tuesday took place in absentia.

It became apparent why when Magistrate Daniel Thulare accepted the State’s request to withdraw the charges.Thulare said there was not enough evidence against Mbatha to carry on with his trial.

Mbatha’s family, who filled two benches in the packed court room, were overjoyed. Lindiwe Mbatha, his sister-in-law, said: “We knew they had the wrong person. He would never do something like this”.

The family left the court in song.

Mbatha will be released from police custody and investigations into Meyiwa’s killing will continue.

Cell C complaint banner gets a makeover

NOTE: Article first appeared on The Citizen website on November 9, 2014. 

The banner lambasting Cell C as “The most useless service provider in SA” outside World Wear shopping centre in Randburg has had a makeover over the weekend.

Black tape has been used to cover the white circle around the “C” logo and more tape used to cover the provider’s official colours.

The changes made were reportedly an effort to avoid legal action from Cell C.

The network provider is reportedly seeking legal advice on the matter and want to possibly take action against both the man who put the banner up, and the mall where the banner hangs.


READ MORE: Cell C blasted by “irate” customer (video)


Over the weekend, people on Twitter tweeted in support of the banner while airing their own frustrations with the network:

https://twitter.com/ramzymunya100/status/531155407595921408

https://twitter.com/chrisreeler/status/531164370999705601

 

#Teamvuvu #Neknominated

#NekNomination, a social media challenge, has flooded profile pages and time lines of young people around the world. Formerly a drinking game, #NekNominations are now used to encourage people to do good.

A person or organisation challenged does an activity that helps someone else out, then passes along the challenge. It’s sort of like a electronic chain letter for charity.

The Wits Vuvuzela team (#teamvuvu), was challenged in a #NekNomination from Wapad, the student publication of the North West University. We had 24 hours to take on the challenge of making a difference and recording it.

Wits Vuvuzela reporters hit the streets of Braamfontein to hand out cupcakes to the homeless. But we also wanted to  ask the homeless what they needed because sometimes a simple gesture is not enough.


In-depth wrap up [4/4]

It’s OVER! We’re done.  It’s over.

I have been looking forward to writing this final in-depth blog post for the longest time.

It has by no means been an easy journey to this semi-blank text box. This week was the most trying week of the whole year.

On Monday we were given one last opportunity to fix and fine tune our features. Most of us staying put in our seats from 7a.m to 7p.m. Coffee and durry breaks being our only escape that day.

Then Tuesday came along. All features were done so there was a little less pressure on us (or so we thought). Multimedia production began that day. We had to start putting together video’s, maps, and, and, and.

By 3p.m that day I realised that I would not be done in time. So a few of us decided to pull an all nighter.  I went out and bought a toothbrush and Shandu lent me a blankie and a pillow. 

image
The stash.

The excitement of the “sleepover” started to wane at about 11p.m when I realised how real putting together an audio package was. I had never put sound together but I decided to teach myself that night. Pride isn’t the word I would use to describe the end product but ya. I did what I could.

To go with that I put together an infographic and a ThingLink, both of which I had a little experience with. When I was finally done with that a day later, I thought I had reached the finish line but was told there was one last lap to run.

Putting up all our elements on our new website for the project. The new back end looked a lot like our Wits Vuvuzela website but it was nothing like it at all. It took us a whole day to get our things up on the site. But the storm is over. We made it (somehow).

Now to cross fingers and hope people like what we’ve come up with.

Witsies put their bare feet forward

BAREFOOT BEAUTIES: From left to right, Nelisa Ngcobo, 2nd year BA, Mungi Llale, $th year Dramatic Arts and Ziyanda Ngcobo, 3rd year BA
BAREFOOT BEAUTIES: From left to right, Nelisa Ngcobo, 2nd year BA, Mungi Llale, 4th year Dramatic Arts and Ziyanda Ngcobo, 3rd year BA. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Witsies braved stale urine, glass and camel droppings on April 16 when they came to campus barefoot in support of the One Day Without Shoes initiative.

The Wits Volunteer Programme (WVP) hosted an event to raise awareness for the drive, which aims to collect shoes for underprivileged children. Witsies attended the event barefoot to show their support and donated shoes.
A “path without shoes” was created on library lawns, from sand, dried grass, rocks and bits of Lego. The barefoot students were encouraged to walk across it to make them aware of how tough it could be to walk across these kinds of surfaces.

SHOES FOR WHO?: Students take on the "Path Without Shoes" to understand what it is like to live without shoes. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
SHOES FOR WHO?: Students take on the “Path Without Shoes” to understand what it is like to live without shoes. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

But perhaps a normal walk across campus provided the greatest challenge. Besides camels offering rides, and depositing droppings, on Library Lawns, Wits Vuvuzela caught the scent of urine in corners and saw broken glass on pathways.
“We take shoes for granted…in some developing countries some kids are not allowed to go to school if they don’t have shoes,” said Joanne Tomlinson, 2nd year BA and co-founder of the initiative at Wits.

Some kids were denied the opportunity to get an education, simply because they did not have shoes.Children also get cuts on their feet, which turn septic over time, she said. They caught diseases which were completely preventable.

One Day Without Shoes is an initiative that was originally started by the American shoe company TOMS. “For every pair of shoes they [TOMS] sell they give one away… They have actually handed out some in Diepsloot. They take each individual pair and fit it onto a kid’s feet. They don’t just drop the shoes off,” said Tomlinson.
Asked by Wits Vuvuzela how she had survived her day without shoes, Vivien Teijlingem, 1st year Fine Arts, said: “It’s nice for us to get to experience how tough it is walking without shoes, so we can care and understand what people go through.” BSC student Khosa Solly,added: “We can feel the pain that they [children who go to school without shoes] feel today, which will raise awareness.”

Tomlinson said she was grateful for the support the initiative had received from the WVP. Karuna Singh of the WVP attended the event barefoot.

Those who missed out on Tuesday can still donate shoes at the WVP offices in Senate House, Tomlinson said the shoes collected on campus would be given to the Bryanston Bible Church, who run a number of community outreach initiatives.

 

 

Fees rally

On Friday the 3rd of August, Wits students took matters into their own hands regarding the proposed fee increment of registration fees. Students heeded the call to meet at Senate House Concourse at 14:00 hours

Students gathered at Senaate House concourse for the rally. Picture: Pheladi Sethusa
Students gathered at Senaate House concourse for the rally. Picture: Pheladi Sethusa

Wits Management proposed that this fee be increased from R7950 to a staggering R8600. There is a steady increase in these fees every year. One would expect improved facilities and services as fees increase gradually but this is not the case. This was the main point of contestation for both students and the Students Representative Council (SRC). Fees are going up continuously yet students don’t see the use of this money in their surroundings. Lecturers and support staff are definitely not benefiting from the increasing fees so who then is..?

According to Professor David Dickinson, a lecturer at Wits and president of the Academic Staff Association of Wits University (ASAWU), Wits is making a profit from their surplus. In 2011 alone they made over R100 million in surplus profits which – when added to the overall surplus profit – came to a staggering R1.8 billion in total. The crowds gathered could not believe their ears when they heard these astronomical figures. Professor Dickinson went on to say that lecturers and students should not be divided on this issue and should help one another in taking management to task. As a parting statement, he highlighted how important it is for students to “engage with the big issues”.

The students gathered at this rally were in high spirits and burst into song whenever there was a pause from the speaker’s side.

Tokelo Nhlapo did a great job in running the proceedings smoothly and getting people to join in when necessary. Not that those in attendance needed much help, students present were vehement in their stance against this proposed increase. Their attendance and energy proved evidence of this.

After this, the SRC president, Tebogo Thothela, made a speech. 

His main concerns were the fact that Wits registration fees keep increasing rapidly when other universities do their best to make increases as affordable as possible. He made it very clear that the SRC had students’ interests at heart and is taking direction from the student body with all their actions. That together with strong support from students, we could all have a hand in changing any inflexibility shown by management.

**NOTE: Post first appeared on exPress imPress on August 14 2012.