#teamvuvu: Shandukani Mulaudzi

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Shandu in the stu. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Shandukani Mulaudzi is our class rep, our problem child and also my boo thang. Have a read to hear what’s popping with my neighbour.

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Shandu: Humpf, it’s bright, casual and comfy?

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Shandu: People like to say it’s alternative, boho chic or whatever but I don’t like those words. I don’t have a word to describe my style, I just dress for myself and for the mood I’m in. My style icon is Solange Knowles.

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

Shandu: Defo’s. I’ve waited to do journ since I was in grade 10 (2005) but I had to take a bit of a detour for a while. I really can’t see myself anywhere else.

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

Shandu: Vokken hell, um singing on a stage  or acting. Whatever it would be it would be something creative.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Shandu: Everything I expected and much more. I’ve learnt a lot, but I didn’t expect to make friends and not just any friends the kind of friends that will be at my wedding one day.

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

Shandu: The most challenging thing has been having to call out my mentors when they were wrong. Cause they are wrong sometimes and in those times you have to stand your ground.

The most rewarding thing has been being able to work alone and in groups without it being forced on us. Through working in groups I have learnt to trust people and to embrace mine and others strengths and weaknesses.

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

Shandu: I’m going to be a young intern at You magazine in Sandton.

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

Shandu: *laughs for a while* Ambitious, musical and extroverted.

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

Shandu: Don’t compare yourselves to teamvuvu 2013, you’ll come short. They should just know that what they put into the year is what they will get out. Also they should try to apply themselves in everything that is put before them. And bloody hell go to the Pig. Learn to balance work and play now. 

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REVIEW: Marikana movie Filmmaker Rehad Desai tells the story of the Marikana tragedy in a real time film

In the same way that Shaka bearing his spears was not on an equal footing with the British colonialists and their rifles, the Marikana miners with their machetes and knobkerries could not have been a true threat to the police.

They were met with nyalas, revolvers, stun grenades and hundreds of police officers. A line was crossed on August 16 2012. That line was the blurry line between self-defence and murder. The Wits Club on West Campus was transformed into a movie theatre on Monday night for a screening of a rough-cut of Rehad Desai’s film, which has the working title of Countdown to Marikana Massacre.

The ”roughness” of the version shown was evident but the story being told was so compelling that there were no grunts and groans when those parts came or technical glitches interrupted viewing. Desai’s version of events shows new evidence that seems damning. The police had footage of the area they now refer to as “scene two”. At this smaller koppie, miners were shot down after the initial shooting.

The police footage was one of the most horrifying yet gripping scenes of the film. It showed just how power had crossed a line and put its rubber boot on the throats or necks of ordinary miners. “Scene two” shows miners’ bodies at the bottom of the koppie. From the way their bodies fell it looks like police officers went after miners who were hiding. Police in the footage are heard congratulating one another for using “nice skills” where their shooting was concerned.

That scene is the climax to the message Desai had been trying to convey throughout the entire showing. He was saying something about the police and their collusion with Lonmin and perhaps even politicians. He pointed out that this kind of collusion was to blame and showed us what a force it was. This sentiment was further reinforced when new footage was shown of how the shooting on August 16 started. Miners no longer look as if they are charging at the police like in most of the footage circulated in the media, but are rather walking slowly towards the Wonderkop informal settlement.

Suddenly, a shot comes from behind one of the police vans, followed by a return shot by one miner armed with a gun and then the story we have seen before plays out.  The film is much like eNCA’s Through the Lens and Seven Days of Night two-part documentary in the way the story unfolds but different because it is clear that one side has been chosen and is favoured by Desai and the commentators he chose to interview.

Journalists are taught to have balance in whatever story we tell and, as we know, there is no such thing as objectivity. As a filmmaker, Desai has chosen the side he believes and backs up his evidence. More evidence has surfaced indicating that on the day of the massacre a call was made to a mortuary ordering four vans, each with the capacity to carry eight bodies. Four-thousand rounds of ammunition were also ordered by our police force.

Even if we tried to put ourselves in the shoes of Lonmin, the government or the police, it is becoming increasingly difficult to believe that self-defence was the reason for 34 miners dying.

Best Reads

New Chinatown-3

As part of our in-depth project, we have to blog religiously to keep our various mentors up to date with what we are doing and how we are progressing (or not). There were a lot of posts to read through and a lot of good one’s out this week, but as always I do have my faves and here they are:

  • A Chinese Necropolis: Day two by Mfuneko Toyana. Learnt something interesting about Chinese tombstones when I read this and it was just a good read. Give it a bash.
  • Chinese Johannesburg: Field Work Day 3 by Liesl Frankson. I legit cannot wait to read Liesl’s final product, her topic is of particular interest to me and this piece is a nice little taste of what’s to come I think.
  • In depth day 5: Thank God for Google Translate by Ray Mahlaka. Ray struck gold when a genius and innovative idea to start breaking down the language barriers we all kept hitting. That’s my team member ya’ll. Have a look at his blog for more posts from the past week, pure quality.
  • Snake wine for sexy time by Caro Malherbe. Last week we tasted some of the most potent alcohol I have ever tasted, Caro looks at what was in that little shot glass.
  • Unpacking prejudice by Shandukani Mulaudzi. Shandu writes about an interview she had, which forced her to realise she had some ‘unpacking’ to do 😉

Best reads

This little thing called life got in the way of me posting a ‘best reads’post last week, I will not let this thing called life do that to me again.

Last week was one of the last editions we’ll produce in a while, so it was jam packed with copy to feed the appetites of our readers.

Here are some of my personal highlights from the edition:

  • EFF triggers PYA exodus by Thuleto Zwane. One would imagine that it would take more than kitch red berets to sway comrades’ alliances, one would be wrong. I kid, I kid. Interesting to see how quickly the new political party is gaining ground among some students.
  • Dr Last loses by Shandukani Mulaudzi. Things came full circle last week when a verdict was reached regarding our supposed ethical misdemeanour with one of our sexual harassment stories. Good to know that even back then our ethics were intact.
  • Wits improves in world rankings by Dineo Bendile. Since my first year of studying at Wits I have been one of its most ardent supporters. Defending it left, right and centre at braai’s and other such gatherings. It’s good to know that we are indeed getting better as an institution and that I can brag even more 😉
  • Enjoying food that has roots by Mfuneko Toyana. For no other reason than the deliciousness that came from this meeting. Glad I got to tag along and literally get a taste of Kenya.
  • “Go see Josh” by Sibusisiwe Nyanda. Lovely and inspirational story about weight loss. Josh had me going til he mentioned something about no carbs, that’s when I knew I couldn’t do what he did. But inspirational nonetheless.
  • Witsie bail-out by Nolwazi Mjwara. A look at the contentious issue of students on campus being bailed out of jail by the university.
  • Survivor: ANN7 edition by Nokuthula Manyathi. Another one I got to sit in on last week. It was interesting to hear first-hand how things are going over at ANN7. The tweets weren’t lying.

GALLERY: Morning fun in Braam

We were meant to be out on assignment and then ended up taking casual snaps of one another, great fun.  All photo’s in this gallery taken by me 🙂

Best reads

Last week saw us delivering another 12 pager, how we did is beyond me, but anyway here goes:

Best reads

Last week I was the editor of the paper, proud to say these were my best reads:

  • Wits staff ‘rural farm workers’ by Thuletho Zwane. A great article that exposes an outsourcing company which used dodge classification of workers to pay them less. It is disgusting that this kind of thing is still going on in this day and age.
  •  Rumble in the tunnel by Caro Malherbe. A story about the supposed improper conduct by the PYA last week. Points to some of the tactics being used ahead of SRC elections.
  • Women’s team won’t whimper by Mfuneko Toyana. A story on women’s football at Wits, it highlights the big difference in attention and resources provided to teams based on gender.
  • Oppikoppi photo spread by myself, Shandukani Mulaudzi and Caro Malherbe.

Best reads

This week’s paper came out a little later than usual, hence that lead to delayed reading of all the copy.

But now that I have, here are this week’s best reads:

  • Cheers, I’ll drink to that by Liesl Frankson. This was one of the first ‘fun’ front page stories we have had all year. It was a refreshing read and I’m glad it got to go on the front page. Also love the picture that went with it.
  • Transie Missions by many (lol). This was a collaborative photo spread done by a few of us in the newsroom. I love any and all photo spreads that go in the paper because I’m down with photos like that :p
  • The power of woman by Prelene Singh. This piece spoke to the other side of the Vavi scandal. Probably an unpopular debate to have with it being women’s month but an important one I rate.
  • Supreme Failure by Emelia Mostai and Shandukani Mulaudzi. This breaking news story looks at a high school across the road from us; parents and students complained about the lack of teaching staff for grade 12 learners. The publishing of the story has led to the Department of Education promising to visit the school tomorrow to assess the situation. The efforts of great journalism.

OPPIKOPPI: Made it out alive

CHILL OUT: Oppi goers taking time out on a couch on the last day of the festival. Photo: Pheladi Sethua
CHILL OUT: Oppi goers taking time out on a couch on the last day of the festival. Photo: Pheladi Sethua

By Pheladi Sethusa and Shandukani Mulaudzi

While one of us sits with a heaving chest and the cough of death, the other found the cure to her cold at Oppokoppi.

The last day of the festival could not have come soon enough, we were exhausted, dirty, dehydrated and hungry – but we had survived.

#InDustWeTrust

We had the time of our lives and we screamed our lungs out for our favourite acts as the dust made its way into our ill-prepared bodies.

The first thing to remember for next year is that Oppi is also known as “Dustville”. Have something to cover your nasal cavities and mouth. It will save you rocky tastes in your mouth and sandy lip gloss.

Now that we are no longer Oppi virgins, we thought it fitting to provide a few survival tips for those looking to go next year.

BAKING: Fans braving the sun to watch a show. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
BAKING: Fans braving the sun to watch a show. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

 How to make it out alive

We had bought enough food and booze to sustain our little bodies for three days in the bush. But on the last day, dry hot dogs with no margarine on the bun or sauce on the Vienna no longer seemed appealing.

The second thing to remember, the festival runs on a cashless system. Those who wish to buy food and drink on the farm have to buy pre-loaded debit cards.

We opted not to do this, knowing it would lead to frivolous spending. We had packed enough food but the smell of boerie rolls and hot chips accosted our senses by the last day, we were dying for a hot meal.

We were also so dehydrated at that point that seeing people’s water bottles had us salivating. Pack enough water, even enough is not quite enough – pack more than enough just to be safe.

In addition energy drinks would have been beneficial. We could barely keep our eyes open by the third day, this would have been cured by a kick and wings from one of those special drinks.

RUINED: Three pairs of shoes that will probably never be clean again. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi
RUINED: Three pairs of shoes that will probably never be clean again. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi

 Clothes and shoes

We were so scared of the cold that we only packed winter clothes, big mistake. During the daytime we wanted to cry as the hot Limpopo sun scorched our fully covered bodies. It was as if the devil himself was sitting on the hill by the stages letting his heat out on everybody.

Do not bring shoes you hope to wear ever again and only bring one pair. You are going to be filthy by the end of the festival, so rather go with the general theme and take scrappy clothing.

On your way in and out

On the way to and from Oppi try to choose the route with the toll gates, it will set you back R21 but big, open, un-potholed roads await you. This way you won’t have to battle it out with trucks that are struggling to stay on the narrow, windy lanes.

Most importantly though we had a of fun, we enjoyed all that Oppi had to offer and made memories to last a lifetime.

Op pad na Oppi

OPPI PAD: The long and windy road. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi
OPPI PAD: The long and windy road. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi

By Pheladi Sethusa and Shandukani Mulaudzi

Three camera bags, two spare batteries for each camera, sleeping bags, tent, camp chairs, bags and booze all squeezed into the back of a Polo hatchback.

Even though the day had been coming for a month, two Oppikoppi virgins were scrambling to get their things together at the last minute.

Rosebank Mall was full of people getting last minute supplies, mostly of the liquid variety.

The journey begins

Within the first 30 minutes of the drive, a wrong turn made it clear that it would be a long journey to Northam Farm, Thabazimbi.

The scenic route made up for the potholes and narrow roads which made for a bumpy ride and also provided plenty of photo opportunities.

After two hours of driving a toilet break was needed but no Engen, Shell or Totall garages were in sight – only kilometre after kilometre of dusty road and the odd bush. The only solution to this problem was found inbetween the two car doors of the little Polo.

We’re here!

A wrong turn gone right led directly to the Oppikoppi gates.

ENTER HERE: Oppikoppi 2013. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi
ENTER HERE: Oppikoppi 2013. Photo: Shandukani Mulaudzi

Thorn bushes and dust in the air welcomed the first-timers to what would be their home for the next three days. Setting up a tent and easing into the campsite took no longer than 30 minutes.

After settling in, it was time to explore the festival they didn’t know but had heard so much about. Having heard rumours about poor to non-existent sanitation, drunken mosh pits and rampant racism – only first-hand experiences could tell.

Rumours turned true-mours

A performance by band, CrashCarBurn proved the mosh pits true, leaving a rocky taste in our mouths.

A bird’s eye view of the ShortStraw performance from the shoulders of a strong man proved the racism claims.

While many sat on shoulders and waved their hands to the music, it was not a fun experience for one.

As soon as she was lifted to the gracious man’s shoulders, pushing and shoving came from the girls in the front. It could have been a matter of jealousy however, we learned differently.

The guy let our reporter down, and apologised for the failed experience.

His friend, known only to us as Francois, told Wits Vuvuzela journo Caro Malherbe: “I’m sorry. I really would like to talk to them (the black colleagues) but the girls won’t like it. They are of a different race classification.”

With shock and disappointment, the short straw was indeed pulled: by us. We went back to our tents feeling disheartened, but still hopeful.

That hope was quickly snuffed out by comments that came from a neighbouring tent. To our left was a tent with two black men who were very chatty, to our right were two white, Afrikaans men who were also very vocal.

We overheard the white campers saying “Ag, ek gaan nou iemand klap as hulle nie stil bly. Ons sal sommer die nuwe Waterkloof 2 wees”, this was followed by the two men laughing.

That was within a few hours of being on the farm, two more days to go.