So we say good bye to the first semester

This post is something which has come too soon. I honestly cannot believe that the first four months of this course is already over. It seemed like yesterday when I met all my soon to be classmates and family, when we all came together to meet each other, get to know each others’ names and share a drink to toast to the year ahead.

Nostalgic view

And now I sit here thinking back on the past months and how close I have become to all these people, how many good and bad times we have had and what chaos we have caused within the Wits community but also in the national press.

I feel privileged (sounds cliché) but there seems to be no other word to describe the feeling I have to be a part of #teamvuvu. Not only are we a close group but we are also a group which thrives off each other.

The Wits Journalism honours programme

This course by itself is something very few get to experience and be a part of. It is something I think every aspiring journalist needs to live through. The course has taught me things which one could never study or read about or theorize. The experience and skills I have gained by being thrown in deep end, is shocking. The speed at which we had to learn things and adjust to our new environment, seemed unreachable in the beginning. We were given a newspaper and told to takeover and run it. And we have done it!

From generating stories, setting up interviews, writing with transparency and accuracy to taking the best photo’s for our articles and designing a newspaper. These were things we learnt and with that came working with a team together and successfully. I think that this cannot be taught, it can only be learnt through trial and error.

Our experience thus far…

The course has exposed us to amazing, talented and experienced journalists, which otherwise we would have never met at this point in our careers. People like Gia Nicolaides, Mondi Makhanya, Justice Malala, Ron Nixon from the New York Times in the US and James Oatwey. These journalists came and spoke to us and gave us some valuable advice which enhances a person’s perspective more than a textbook ever could.

The transformation

In the past four months the student journalists of #teamvuvu, I could say have lived through almost all of it. We have been attacked by the public, sworn at, critiqued, debated over endless issues, investigated and exposed the deepest secrets of the university and continue to be hunted by the national media. Wits Vuvuzela has gained a new life, it matters now, it is feared now and it is known.

People read our paper and they cannot deny that it is a good paper because they continue to read it every week, but all I can say is that sometimes the truth is hard to handle. So as much as we are hated we are loved.

In journalism if you are hated, I have learnt that this is a good thing, it means you are making a difference and whether the reaction is good or bad you have been heard and created a reaction in people, and that conclusively means, you as a journalist have done job.

I think along the way we all had a tough incident which taught us a lot. Whether it was spirit breaking or feisty arguments, we learnt valuable life lessons and also valuable journalistic lessons. This is the beauty of the course. We as young journalists can now go out there into the world with a good head on our shoulders, a focused mind and kindred spirit and a tough skin to deal with everything which comes our way, with ease.

With the first four months down I look forward to what the rest of the year has in store for #teamvuvu and I now it is going to be an exciting and tiring one.

Well done #teamvuvu – we made a hell of a change this semester!


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