#teamvuvu: Sibusisiwe Nyanda

Today you get to meet the stunning, Busi/Sibu. Another one of the awesome people from teamvuvu 2013.

Sibusisiwe Nyanda looking gorg. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Sibusisiwe Nyanda looking gorg. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Me: How would you describe your outfit today?

Busi: Summery, fun. It has a little touch of class, it’s a little chic.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Busi: I think my style in general is representative of the above. I like to look cute and pretty but there’s always a sense of my personal style in that. While I’m interested in what’s trending and what’s hot, I think it’s always important to have your own sense of style. I actually like a lot of my mom’s stuff, her style is on point.

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

Busi: To be honest with you, I’m sure that journalism is still something that I love. I’m just not sure that journalism is something that I would be good at and that scares me. I know that it’s got a lot to do with, you know, how I performed this year – I don’t think that I put myself out there and gave it as much as I could have. And that’s led to my questioning whether or not this is something I can do. I don’t question whether or not I love it, I question my ability to actually do it as well as I’d like to.

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

Busi: I would definitely be doing music. When I left high school I wanted to go to UCT and do music and my parents were just like listen, no – get a real career. That’s how I ended up doing Media Studies and Journalism. I’m still interested in doing music at some point in my life.

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Busi: It’s been challenging, demanding but it’s also been the best year of all my studying. Um, I’ve met awesome people and I feel like I’ve been exposed to the kind of practical, how to you apply theory stuff that I’ve always spoken about. When I started in my first year, I expected Media Studies to be like Journalism and I felt like it was a great waste of time when all that theory was being thrown at me without any place to actually apply it. I think in hindsight it was useful but this year has definitely been the best year. It’s been that kind of put yourself in the deep end and swim type of year, and I’ve loved that.

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

Busi: The most challenging thing has been the Monday pitches. Having to always have your brain switched on and have your finger on the pulse on what’s happening in the community, to be able to come back with something on Monday morning with an idea of what you’re going to put in the paper and making sure that it’s relevant.

The kind of feedback we get from people has been rewarding. People who like the stories that you put out or even for me, what matters more is my own peers telling me “that was cool, I liked the way you did this, I liked the way you did that”. To have your peers respect and admire some of the stuff that you’ve done, when you all started out knowing absolutely nothing was really rewarding for me.

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

Busi: I’m going to be an intern-journalist at Drum magazine, in Sandton.

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

Busi: Loud, opinionated and trailblazers. This has been the group that decided that just because this is how things have been done all this time doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Where some of the traditions and structures made sense I think the group conceded but where things didn’t, this group wasn’t afraid to speak out. Whether it was in the department or in terms of Wits  and the community’s attitude towards certain issues – this has just been that group. I think that’s really important because that’s what the industry needs, so ya.

[how quickly  3 words can turn into 100 :P]

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

Busi: Don’t pay attention to people who tell you that what you’re doing is a waste of time, because half the time you’ll find that those people are applying for the course anyway. Where there’s constructive criticism, definitely yield towards it and listen. But make sure that you aren’t paying attention to people who have shallow, empty criticism. Those are just people who have too much time on their hands. Also try not to compete with each other as a group. Have fun yo, enjoy your time here – it’s over before you know it.

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GALLERY: Last week with my family

Our last week in the newsroom in random-ish photo’s.

The Newsroom 10

Oh my, the end is here – in fact it has already come and gone hasn’t it?

This week was the most relaxed week we have ever had in the newsroom. This was the week that we got total control of the newspaper. As such none of the ‘big people’ were allowed to be involved in the production of our last paper for the year.

News conference on Monday set the tone for the rest of the week, we chose what we would be doing and once that was done went off to the Pig, haha, I knew that the week would be filled with nuts because of this.

For once I was relieved to have a thousand ad’s in the paper, it made our jobs a little easier. This last edition was meant to be fun and light, seeing as we had free reign but unfortunately we have become news writing automatons who can’t help but report the news instead of fun frivolities. Either way by 1pm on Thursday we had miraculously put together a paper. A whole newspaper – even though we were a little short staffed this week.

It was a great way to end off what has been an incredible year, personally speaking the best year of my life. This year was my chance to do what I’ve always wanted to do, to become someone with a public voice, an influential voice that is taken seriously. I’ve had the chance to be a part of an amazing team that ruffled feathers by asking the right questions, and digging and digging until they found some shred of evidence to get the stories. We have caused quite a bit of trouble this year and it’s paid off in more ways than one.

It’s been a roller coaster ride of a year, but a more pleasant one like the Golden Loop – which is quick and fast but not enough to make you scream and cry like perhaps the Anaconda (never again). It was an intense year, chock-a-block with work and fun – no one said it would be easy but no one said it would be so much fun as well. I’m leaving with much more than a degree.

It scares me how much talent is about to unleashed into newsrooms next year, teamvuvu gladiators have bright futures ahead of them shem. Again, it has been nothing but an honour to be a part of this year’s team – they will forever hold a special place in my heart as the people helped my dream come true. The people who held my hand this year, who made me coffee, who sang with me, who had drink after drink with me, the people I missed when I was absent, the people who have become my friends, my family.

It’s time for us to go our separate ways, be great and become the people we are meant to be.

#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. 

#teamvuvu: Ray Mahlaka

Always ready with a pose. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Always ready with a pose. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

While there was relative calm in the newsroom yesterday , I stole Ray for a few minutes to have a wee chat.

*Disclaimer: “Ray” is not his government name…

Me: How would you describe your outfit/style for the day? 

Ray: I usually go for a professional/workplace look but today I had to get dressed really fast, so I have a relaxed and casual look. 

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Ray: I dress in a way that’s adaptable to many social situations, as a rule I always try to go for a professional look. 

Me: On to the more serious, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Ray: Yes, I’m in it for the long haul. Journalism teaches you about this country and it’s nuances. I’ll only leave the industry in 20 years or so to settle down.

Me: If you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Ray: I’d be a certified gold digger *laughs* No, I would be probably be an economist, I really like finance and business so ya. 

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Ray: It has been an intense year but it’s also been very pleasurable. I’ve learnt valuable and priceless skills this year and now I can honestly say we’re competitive journalists. This course has enabled us to call ourselves journalists and I’m sure that that there’s a place for me in the industry now. 

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

Ray: Challenging: Time management, balancing my personal and work life has been tough. My work dominated my schedule to the point that it consumed my life. 

Rewarding: Seeing our work making a difference. With our sexual harassment stories we helped how people view this institution and it’s structures, the VC award we got is proof of that. 

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

Ray: I can’t say specifically where, I’m still considering my offers but I it will definitely be in this industry, financial journalism to be specific. 

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

Ray: Fucking awesome (that’s two but whatever), diligent and family. 

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

Ray: Hmmm, they shouldn’t have any expectations coming in and they should always try to work with what they have. In this course what you put in is what you’ll get out. And lastly they should just have fun. 

#teamvuvu: Dineo Bendile

This lovely lady is one of my classmates from the  Bushbuckridge section of the class, who let me crawl under her Diana Ross hairstyle for a few minutes to do a quick interview with her.

Dineo in her Beyonce inspired outfit today. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
Dineo in her Beyonce inspired outfit today. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

Me: How would you describe your outfit/style for the day?

Dineo: I saw a picture of Beyonce last night wearing shorts and a loose fitting jersey and it inspired me. So basically Beyonce on a Budget.

Me: How would you describe your style in general?

Dineo: My style is very versatile. Right now I’m entering a new chapter of my life, so my style is more more laid back right now but trust me I am glam all the way otherwise. 

Me: On to the more serious, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Dineo: I’m sure that I wanna work in the media. I don’t want to be a reporter on the field forever but I do want to work as a journalist for a year or so to start off with. 

Me: If you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Dineo: Leeching off some rich man. Seriously though, I studied drama so I’d probably be doing something in the arts. Or actually what people don’t know about me is that I love accounting, so maybe I’d be doing that. 

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Dineo: It’s been spectacular. With my last degree there were days when I hated what I was doing. This year I have never dreaded coming to school. This confirmed that I didn’t make a mistake choosing this course. I’ve also met amazing people, even when I’m having an offish day I know seeing them will change that. 

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

Dineo: The most challenging thing has been listening to lecturers advice. We work in a very creative environment, as such I thought we would be allowed to do whatever we want. So ya consulting people has been difficult for me because I like to do my own thing. 

The most rewarding thing has been seeing the work we do impact people’s lives and being recognised by outsiders. Earlier this year two guys stopped me in their cars, I thought they were trying to be fresh and were trying to make but they just said: “We like you in the Vuvuzela.”

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

Dineo: I have no idea, all I know is that I’m ready. I want to be anywhere that will allow me to use what I’ve learnt this year. 

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

Dineo:  All I’ll say is more personalities, more problems and more fireworks. 

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

Dineo: They should really cherish every moment of it, especially the moments of interaction with people. They should also be prepared to set aside their ‘set lives’ to explore and try different things. 

#teamvuvu: Prelene Singh

So I’ve decided to do little profiles on the team. I keep talking about these people and might have pictures up of some, but want everybody to get to know the awesome individuals I have shared the year with.

It’s a bit tense in the newsroom right now, with most people finishing off their in-depth projects. I managed to find one focused lady who was done and dusted to humor me.  Miss Prelene Singh (aka Pre or Pre-Pre when we’re feeling extra silly).

The lovely "Pre-Pre" in the newsroom. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa
The lovely “Pre-Pre” in the newsroom. Photo: Pheladi Sethusa

*Disclaimer from Prelene: “If you had told me about this interview I would probably have different answers. people are going to think I’m so dumb.”

Me: How would you describe your outfit/style for day?

Prelene: This morning I actually thought about what I would wear. I was happy and relieved to be done with my in-depth so I’m wearing orange to show that.  Before this course style used to be important to me but it’s just gone down the drain, 10 steps back this year. 

Me: On to the more serious, are you sure about this journalism thing?

Prelene: Yes. As a journalist you get to experience the world as no one else can or ever will. 

Me: If you weren’t doing what you doing this, what would you be doing?

Prelene: *laughs* Um if I could come back as another person, I’d totally come back as Guiliana Rancic. Jokes. I’d come back as a writer, just an entertainment writer. 

Me: How have you found your honours year?

Prelene: Let’s put it this way, I would have lost more if I had not done this course. 

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

Prelene: The most challenging would have to be keeping my perseverance and dealing with the different personalities on the daily. 

The most rewarding is being recognised for the hard work I’ve done. 

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

Prelene: I have no idea *laughs*

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

Prelene: Talented, loud and unique. 

GALLERY: We went on a field trip :D

As I mentioned in my last night, today my journalism class had a field trip. We went down to the old/new Chinatown in the city.  Today I choose to tell the day’s tales in a visual manner, enjoy.

ps – a few others are up on my photo blog: therebble.tumblr.com

Let the hunger games begin

Okay I might have added some spices in that headline, what I mean to say is ‘Let the in-depth games begin’.

Today was our first real introduction to our in-depth projects. A month dedicated to writing and producing in-depth features on a certain topic.

This year’s topic is ChinaJohannesburg – a look at the Chinese diaspora in this city.  A topic that didn’t come as a surprise to most of us because there was a leak (journalists, can’t tell them anything).

We were all divided into groups, each getting a sub-topic and a mentor. My group got given the topic ‘history and the future’ – a topic I begin to appreciate more and more as the day went on. Our mentor is the one and only, Kenichi Serino (yays).

Basically what we have to do over the next four weeks is immerse ourselves fully in this community in order to produce a long form feature with multimedia components (ranging from video, photography, audio and and and).

Our prep consisted of a number of guest speakers to give us some background and advice on our topic. It was a long day but a very informative one. Ideas were coming in and out of my mainframe all day. Especially because a bulk of what the speakers had to say touched heavily on my group’s topic.

Hearing the stories about the realities of being a migrant and of life in China made it abundantly clear that the next month would be an enlightening one. In a real and genuine way, in a way that would bring me closer and deeper than any documentary or article could.

My favourite quote from the day came from Emma Chen, owner of restaurant Red Chamber in Rosebank, she said: “Nobody dislikes the Chinese government as much as the Chinese themselves”. A loaded statement, that left me with much to think about (and investigate).

Tomorrow we have a field trip planned, I can barely contain my excitement. Let the adventure begin J

The Newsroom 9.5

As the clock struck 11 last week Thursday, we were frantically proofing and designing our way towards another deadline.

#teamvuvu did a steller job producing one of the last editions of the year. We only have two unofficial papers left to produce but we won’t have to worry about that right now.

Dreams of spending the long weekend with friends and family were quickly put at bay by our final exam staring us right in the face. We wrote for a whopping 5 and a half hours, some wrote for even longer than that. Exhaustion aside, it might be the most fun exam I have ever written (just hope the marks are ‘fun’ as well).

In keeping with the spirit of no rest for the wicked, tomorrow we start prepping for our in-depth project. All we know about the project is that it’s a long, research type project that will have us working like we’re part of amaBhungane.

Blue light wreakage - my semi-winning photo.
Blue light wreakage – my semi-winning photo.

I’m pretty keen because its a chance to so something a bit more substantial and less rushed than we’re accustomed to. I’m particularly looking forward to being afforded the time and resources to have a bash at a proper photo essay. An exciting few weeks lay ahead.

Oh in other exciting news, one of our lecturers is going to use some of my photo’s in a new book she’s publishing. Along with this I got an honourable mention at the prize giving for the fifth Wits Photographic Competition. Winning.

🙂