[PHOTO ESSAY]: Walkie Talkies 2014

The 2014 Discovery Walk the Talk with 702 this year had the biggest participation in all its years. Ahmed Kathrada, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and many other familiar faces showed up to do the walk in promotion of healthy living. The Morning race walk started at the crack of dawn and it was a grueling 20km walk. This was for the fitter people of the world. Followed by the 8km walk which started at 9am and lastly the fun walk which started in the afternoon. It was a sunny Sunday with a cool breeze in the air - and the perfect setting for a good family day with your pets. Photo: Prelene Singh.

The 2014 Discovery Walk the Talk with 702 this year had the biggest participation in all its years. Ahmed Kathrada, Gauteng Premier David Makhura and many other familiar faces showed up to do the walk in promotion of healthy living. The Morning race walk started at the crack of dawn and it was a grueling 20km walk. This was for the fitter people of the world. Followed by the 8km walk which started at 9am and lastly the fun walk which started in the afternoon. It was a sunny Sunday with a cool breeze in the air – and the perfect setting for a good family day with your pets. Photo: Prelene Singh.

The amount people who crossed the line promptly after 9am for the 8km was the largest compared to the other walks. People cheered and laughed as they started the walk - with smiles which would soon turn upside down 7km's down the line. The sun shone bright but with winter still looming jackets, scarfs and gloves were still a must in the cool breeze. Photo: Prelene Singh.

The amount people who crossed the line promptly after 9am for the 8km was the largest compared to the other walks. People cheered and laughed as they started the walk – with smiles which would soon turn upside down 7km’s down the line. The sun shone bright but with winter still looming jackets, scarfs and gloves were still a must in the cool breeze. Photo: Prelene Singh.

Dogs of all shapes and sizes participated in the walk. It is estimated about 2000 pets were entered for the walk this year. They all received bandanna's for their necks and there was many water stops for the dogs every kilometre, with balls for some water fun. Photo: Prelene Singh

Dogs of all shapes and sizes participated in the walk. It is estimated about 2000 pets were entered for the walk this year. They all received bandanna’s for their necks and there was many water stops for the dogs every kilometre, with balls for some water fun. Photo: Prelene Singh

Another willing participant of the 8km walk - however here he looks like his paws need a two second break. It was day of healthy living for all people and animals of the walk. Our dogs need just as much exercise as we do to stay healthy and fit. Photo: Prelene Singh.

Another willing participant of the 8km walk – however here he looks like his paws need a two second break. It was day of healthy living for all people and animals of the walk. Our dogs need just as much exercise as we do to stay healthy and fit. Photo: Prelene Singh.

If you are a person who is passionate about something in your society, you could make posters and dress up to show your support for this charity or vision. HariKrishna devotees wore there traditional outfits and played their tablas's while walking - others held signs up saying "We support car seats for children" and others just wore tootoo's and wigs for fun to add some life and colour to the walk. Photo: Prelene Singh/

If you are a person who is passionate about something in your society, you could make posters and dress up to show your support for this charity or vision. HariKrishna devotees wore there traditional outfits and played their tablas’s while walking – others held signs up saying “We support car seats for children” and others just wore tootoo’s and wigs for fun to add some life and colour to the walk. Photo: Prelene Singh/

Companies and sponsors of the walk set up their tents along the route - some played music to up the spirit of the walkers as they tried to finish the walk. Europcar lined up on the sidewalk and cheered, sang, and danced for people as they passed the,. Photo: Prelene Singh.

Companies and sponsors of the walk set up their tents along the route – some played music to up the spirit of the walkers as they tried to finish the walk. Europcar lined up on the sidewalk and cheered, sang, and danced for people as they passed the,. Photo: Prelene Singh.

As usual protocol - ambulances were on site and ready to help if the walk became too much for people. Although I believe Gauteng is a pretty fit province therefore the paramedics could sit under the trees and chill out eating lunch. Photo: Prelene Singh.

As usual protocol – ambulances were on site and ready to help if the walk became too much for people. Although I believe Gauteng is a pretty fit province therefore the paramedics could sit under the trees and chill out eating lunch. Photo: Prelene Singh.

The tragedy in the Gaza strip is horrifying and extremely uncomprehending to the average South African who is shielded from these kind of attacks which happen in other parts of the globe. Its a reminder to just how far South Africa has come and how fortunate we were to have Nelson Mandela fight for the freedoms and safety we enjoy today. It was sad but yet great to see people of our country taking time to stand and make people aware of the war zone that is Gaza at the moment and caring about whats happening to the innocent outside of our country. Photo: Prelene Singh.

The tragedy in the Gaza strip is horrifying and extremely uncomprehending to the average South African who is shielded from these kind of attacks which happen in other parts of the globe. Its a reminder to just how far South Africa has come and how fortunate we were to have Nelson Mandela fight for the freedoms and safety we enjoy today. It was sad but yet great to see people of our country taking time to stand and make people aware of the war zone that is Gaza at the moment and caring about whats happening to the innocent outside of our country. Photo: Prelene Singh.

THE TIME CAME: Just after 12pm on Sunday the finish line approached us (let's rather say that) and was everyone so happy to see the end point. After which people just wanted liquids, food and a seat to rest. The walk was successful and a must do every year. Photo: Prelene Singh.

THE TIME CAME: Just after 12pm on Sunday the finish line approached us (let’s rather say that) and was everyone so happy to see the end point. After which people just wanted liquids, food and a seat to rest. The walk was successful and a must do every year. Photo: Prelene Singh.

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Witsies shave it off for CANSA

The team of Take Away Cancer who helped out at the shavathon today. Photo: Prelene Singh

The team of Take Away Cancer who helped out at the shavathon today. Photo: Prelene Singh

Wits University held its second shavathon today during lunch in front of Umthombo. Students of all faculties gathered to show their support for cancer survivors and sufferers.

‘Take Away Cancer’ is an initiative by students of Wits university who hold these events in order to raise money for cancer research with all the proceeds go to CANSA (Cancer Association of South Africa).

The shavathon attracted an equal amount of men and women. But the majority who shaved their heads were men. Women students indulged in highlighting their hair with various colours of spray. Tarryn Human, community mobiliser for the CANSA Houghton office said if women shaved their heads, their hair would be parcelled and sent to make wigs and weaves out of them for cancer patients.

All participants were  given a pink ribbon, symbolic of cancer and more specifically breast cancer. With the ribbon came a Shavathon card which was traded in after the shave/spray for a free ice-cream. Photo: Prelene Singh

All participants were given a pink ribbon, symbolic of cancer and more specifically breast cancer. With the ribbon came a Shavathon card which was traded in after the shave/spray for a free ice-cream. Photo: Prelene Singh

Thomas Geffen, 2nd year BA said he was shaving his head because it was for a good cause and worth it. Photo: Prelene Singh

Thomas Geffen, 2nd year BA said he was shaving his head because it was for a good cause and worth it.
Photo: Prelene Singh

A Wits student who shaved his head as it was a quick haircut for him and he simultaneoulsy ended up shaving his beard off too. Photo: Prelene Singh

A Wits student who shaved his head as it was a quick haircut for him and he simultaneoulsy ended up shaving his beard off too. Photo: Prelene Singh

Adrian Song, 1st Biokinetics health science, decided to spray his hair in support of the shavathon. Photo: Prelene Singh

Adrian Song, 1st Biokinetics health science, decided to spray his hair in support of the shavathon. Photo: Prelene Singh

Some ladies and gentlemen decided to get creative and sprayed some interesting designs on the hair. Photo: Prelene Singh

Some ladies and gentlemen decided to get creative and sprayed some interesting designs on the hair. Photo: Prelene Singh

After getting their hair sprayed or shaved, students handed in their shavathon card to the Casablanca Silly Buggers tent and were given a free ice-cream for their contribution. Photo: Prelene Singh

After getting their hair sprayed or shaved, students handed in their shavathon card to the Casablanca Silly Buggers tent and were given a free ice-cream for their contribution. Photo: Prelene Singh

Thato Benedict, founder and chairman of Take Away Cancer and also a maths and economics Witsie started this initiative after his mother passed away in 2011 from cervical cancer. Photo: Prelene Singh

Thato Benedict, founder and chairman of Take Away Cancer and also a maths and economics Witsie started this initiative after his mother passed away in 2011 from cervical cancer. Photo: Prelene Singh

In the mission statement for Take Away Cancer it stated this initiative aims to be the equivalent of love life by 2022 said Benedict. “We aim to have a mobile clinic on campus for women who live in residence and all women on campus to have free mammograms done”, Benedict said.

The team of Take Away Cancer who helped out at the shavathon today. Photo: Prelene Singh

The team of Take Away Cancer who helped out at the shavathon today. Photo: Prelene Singh

Photography excursion of nature

After much consideration about the career path I have chosen, I decided that it is important to know how to capture a good photo. As a journalist one should be able to invision what photo they need in order to take their story to the next level.

After a hectic week in the newsroom I took a stroll in the park to de-stress with my camera in-hand. This is a photo diary of what I saw and invisioned as good photo opportunites.

The very first attempt at photography immediatley as I entered the lake.

The very first attempt at photography immediatley as I entered the lake.

The sunset covering the ducks with the view of the glittering water behind them. Serenity.

The sunset covering the ducks with the view of the glittering water behind them. Serenity.

My very pretty flower which captured my eye with its colour. Quite proud of this photo.

My very pretty flower which captured my eye with its colour. Quite proud of this photo.

The bunch of flowers blowing in the wind which caught my attention.

The bunch of flowers blowing in the wind which caught my attention.

A simple yet intricate photo of the leaves which float on the dam.

A simple yet intricate photo of the leaves which float on the dam.

A candid moment.

A candid moment.

Great moment to show how hard canoeing is!

Great moment to show how hard canoeing is!

The boat on the canoeing range.

The boat house on the canoeing range.

A brighter photo of a bird soaring in the wind.

A brighter photo of a bird soaring in the wind.

Caught the candid moment of when this bird flew across the lake. Sometimes the simpleness of nature surpasses you. This photo brings it all out.

Caught the candid moment of when this bird flew across the lake. Sometimes the simpleness of nature surpasses you. This photo brings it all out.

By far the best photo of the day. I love this photo as it evokes emotion in you when you look at it. A relaxed and pensive mood comes over you. The sun, the boat and the lake all incorporated in the photo fits perfectly.

By far the best photo of the day. I love this photo as it evokes emotion in you when you look at it. A relaxed and pensive mood comes over you. The sun, the boat and the lake all incorporated in the photo fits perfectly.

Boats at the canoeing range.

Boats at the canoing range.

A photo of what was in front of me that evening. The sun as it made itself across the lake .

A photo of what was in front of me that evening. The sun as it made itself across the lake .

Definately a good experience and I taught myself so much more about photography in my quest to get the best pictures of nature.

A Superb photographer and photo journalist

Photo journalist, chief pMe with James Oatwey from the Sunday Timeshotographer at the Sunday Times, James Oakwey visited Wits Vuvuzela today and dawned on us his experiences and lessons he has learnt in the 3 years that he has been in the industry.

He gave us a preview of some of the work he has done between last year and this year.

Firstly, he showed us a photo essay/documentary he did called “The Lost Crows”. This was his idea and his project which he independently researched and executed apart from his job at the Sunday Times.

The documentary featured a group of San people who were forced to join the South African Defence Force (SADF) during apartheid. They were made to join the army because of their special skills. These people knew how to read signs of the bush, they possessed good hearing and they were accustomed to the specifications of the natural world which normal soldiers did not have.

The “Kwek” and the “!XN” were two tribes where these people were pulled from. They fought for the opposition (which was South Africa) and as a result when the war ended they were scared to return home, leaving them homeless.

The army gave them a plot to live on near Kimberly called the Kraaines – which means lost crows in their language and thus the title of the documentary. However, they were consequently evicted from this land and were given RDP houses from the government in Platfontein.

James said because apartheid has long past and these people live in very poor rural areas, they have been forgotten and he wanted to document their lives as a reminder that “modern” san people do exist which do not fit the stereotypical view of san people.

James took a photo of a man’s silhouette who hung himself from a tree in the bush. The newspaper chose not to run this story as it might show to promote suicide. Another, ethical decision in journalism. Another photo was of a woman named Sonia who suffered from malnutrition and also had HIV/AIDS. She was not receiving any ARV’s neither was she receiving any grant money. Sonia passed away last year May at the age of 33.

Somehow the portrait of Sonia has not yet left my mind, it was a photo which makes a print in your consciousness because of its shock and horror of her boney structure.

Other photo’s included portraits of people, daily life and photo’s of “tombo” their local potent alcohol. James explained that the unemployment is very high in Platfontein and at first it was hard for him to get access into the community, he had to explain his quest and then he was allowed to take photos.

James recently returned from the Central African Republic, he shared with us the photo’s he took and his experience while there. More fascinating to me was the tactics he and his reporter used in order to get around and survive in CAR. Getting a photo in such situations does not come down to focusing and shooting, but the effort and preparations to get the permission to take the photos.

We were able to put faces to these ‘rebels’ we always here about on the news. We saw the SADF vehicles which were taken over by the rebels. The dilapidated palace and President’s office after the take-over, the young soldiers who were called the “new recruits” holding deadly weapons, men tied up in the most uncomfortable positions and left to die in prison…these were all the photographs we saw and again photographs I will not forget easily.

James told us that what he learnt was that when you are in war zones you never show fear, even if someone is pointing a gun to your face, you as a person and a journalist need to stay calm. If you show emotion you might not live to tell the story because they will take advantage of your fear.

I realised that to be a great photographer you need to be a special type of person. It is not about getting the frame, it is about getting that frame, that one frame which will make the difference, that one frame which captures everything, that one frame no one will forget. It is a required passion, it is an inherent bravery and it is your life. Photography has no limits and sometimes in war situations coming out alive is a privilege even having your limbs become a privilege.

I have come to understand photography…and photography is no child’s play. It is an admirable occupation and a calling which not many of us have.