30 October, 2007

Why pee in public?

Ukona Jelwana (WSU)

I don't mean to player hate, but eish the guys "ziyasihlaza"(are a disgrace).

Why must they strut their stuff everywhere. On my way to varsity this morning I had the unfortunate pleasure of witnessing a dude unzipping and doing a number one right there. I was so shy because the traffic was very slow and he was in my face invading my private space. Mara why guys? Yho.

I am specifically preaching to the guys because you hardly ever find a chick that would pee in front of everyone without a care in the world of who sees her or not. Urinating in public is a nuisance not to mention degrading, to the person urinating and the person that has to witness the deed.

Why can't guys hold it in until they find a toilet? I would be forever grateful if I could find just one guy that could answer this question because this is really getting out of hand. I am challenging the Future Journos guys too.

28 October, 2007

Cleaning aunties: Litter for better?

Nqobile Buthelezi (UKZN)

It's amazing how high school learners look up to us varsity students. Ask any matriculant what their aspirations for next year are. "Varsity and being a student" is the stock answer.

When I asked my sister last year, she said she finds students mature, informed, responsible, independent and all those big and good words, so she couldn't wait to be one. Okay, I also thought the same in my high school years. But, I can't believe how wrong I was and that also goes for my sister as well. Students and responsible in the same sentence do not make sense.

Irresponsible students
Just last Friday afternoon, I couldn't believe the dirt that was scattered around campus. Empty Coke bottles, popcorn bags, pie wrappers, straws, you name it. Filth at its best if you ask me.

It so happened that I saw one of my friends throwing a used and obviously unwanted piece of paper on the floor. When I confronted her about it, she simply told me (with a broad smile on her face) that the cleaning aunties will pick it up. According to her, she was doing them a huge favor by providing them with a job.

It's for the better if you ask her.

What kind of nonsense it that? Just because we have cleaning aunties doesn't imply that we should litter as we please. Surely if these cleaners find dirt on their way, they pick it up but that doesn't mean we should senselessly throw stuff about just to give them a job.

These people have a lot on their plate as well and litter is the least of their problems. They have offices, lecture rooms and the lawns to clean and look after. Instead of making their jobs worse, we should be assisting them to make our campuses conducive to learning.

Some of these aunties and uncles are the same age or even older than our parents. So their age on its own asserts them the respect that we ought to give them, but our learned selves feel not the need to inscribe this right upon them and we choose to make their lives difficult.

I don't know about your own campuses, but this litter problem irritates me. Irrespective of our higher hierarchical position to them, let us respect them and also our environment.

Responsibility starts with a few people and it can spread like a wild fire. So let's take the initiative to teach our friends and change their mentality about the pros and cons of littering and the cleaning auntie situation.

26 October, 2007

Your South Africa

Nqobile Buthelezi (UKZN)

Exam pressure is building. The end of each day brings us closer to year end, and we all know what that means...results. Big smiles for all the P's in the record or a throb in the heart for those daunting supps and F's. It's either a good or a bad deal anyway, but I live with the hope that all of us will make it.

Good luck guys, I have utmost faith in all of us (yep! me included).

I was thinking of writing a feature story on "Public Toilet Vandalism in Institutions of Higher Learning". This story will look at how students write all sort of vulgar expression on toilet doors. This is a pressing matter and a disgrace to be honest.

As students, we are part of the most learned and elite in our societies. At Universities, students acquire a great deal of knowledge and enlightenment. But where does all this educational wealth go?

Supposedly, we should give it back to the world through our respective fields of study, but what do we choose to do - to take it out on silent doors in the most appalling manner. Not only will this story create awareness of the irresponsibility of the 'supposedly educated', but it will also be an eye opener to our institutions that sometimes to educate youngsters starts with simple rules like 'knowledge is responsibility' (not only to ourselves but to our communities as well). So students should stop writing at the wrong places (exams and assignments are the appropriate places to express our learned selves!).

Street kids
Well, my second and very broad idea for the City Press story is to write about street children. I mean, they are everywhere- pavements, public parks, digging in inner-city dustbins or slouched at bus-stops: everywhere...breaking everything!

Of cause this is a widely written about issue, however I feel the need to find out the cause of this 'street children' phenomena. why do they at all exist and most importantly why they end up vandalising public space and I mean this in every aspect:
  • physically as they destroy public infrastructure,
  • verbally as they abuse citizens by calling them names, and also
  • emotionally- it is just an unsettling feeling to go to the bus-stop only to find you'll be uncomfortable with these children looking at you, probably contemplating to rob or even do worse to you.

In contrast, their existence simply abuses my emotions as the thought of them weighs so much in my heart when I think about the success of this country, only to find that there are those little souls that are wiped out in the face of the earth, abandoned, forgotten and not cared about. Is vandalism a form of expression for their anger? If they are angry what is the cause? Pressing economical or social problems, or maybe they are just unappreciative youths polluting our cities and adding a percent to the crime statistics in South Africa.

There is a lot involved in this feature. With City Press's approval, I propose to follow up on this story after the exams due to the scope of its magnitude. For the time being, I will write on lighter but equally important issues.

25 October, 2007

G'town alive with story ideas

Simphiwe Kanityi (RU)

Right! here I have two story ideas

1. Grahamstown is a well known place "City of Saints" where many conferences are being held. What is amazing about Grahamstown is the fact that there are no public toilets. I want to tackle this story through taxi rank which is very very dirty, it is almost in the centre of the town and is really dirty. Places made for people to rest while waiting for taxis are full of filthy water and used as loo.

2. My second story is about a guy who is doing recycling, they collect bottles, glasses, papers and boxes. This guy does not have a place to work on, so using his truck for collection and storage for all that he collects. So I want to find out about the products he produce out of this recycling so that other people can do the same with the litter that seem to be so scattered in our communities, and whether he gets any support from municipality.

Hope they both make sagacity. Since I will be starting writing by next weekend I would like to work on these as soon as possible, only if they get approved.

24 October, 2007

Home for humanity

Sertanya Reddy (UKZN)

I would like to pitch my first story idea for City Press. I would like to write about Habitat for Humanity, the international organisation that is involved in building homes for the underprivileged, through the use of volunteers.

The story would inspire because it would focus on how communities come together to help each other and promote the development of the community. I have been part of Habitat builds, so I would like to give a partly personal account of the experience of working as a member of a team that is involved in developing and uplifting a community.

I hope that the story is in keeping with City Press' "Your South Africa" campaign.

18 October, 2007

Ignorance our greatest enemy

Ukona Jelwana (WSU)

"No dumping by order of the town clerk", (written in some of the environment campaign boards).

Nobody listens though. You find that if you look down, not far from where the board is or better yet just below the board there is rubbish cluttered right there. What is the problem why are people not listening?

Could it be that the community does'nt have any other place to dump their litter, or they do but they just don't care to make an effort? Are these campaign boards really making a difference (really are they?) or are they just a waste of money? What does the municipality say about this are they making any follow up on the matter?

I think I need to find answers to these questions. Either way people keep your environment clean. This is, after all your city and it should be taken care off.

She's exceptional

Ukona Jelwana (WSU)

I commend street vendors yazi, for the simple reason that they are making an honest living by being entrepreneurs.

There is one in particular that grabs my attention every time I walk home from the taxi stop. She is so environmentally friendly, unlike other street vendors she always cleans up when the day is over. She would pick up all the left over rotten fruit and veg, pile them up neatly and put them in a black plastic bag.

It's a pity though that every morning when she comes back, all the rubbish has been scattered all over the place. I always think to myself what if she could get a big metal bin to put all her rubbish in, in that way saving her the trouble of having to reclean after the dogs have torn the plastics open.

I ended up thinking (once again) that I have been afforded an opportunity to raise awareness by City Press. I am a future journalist therefore i have the power to write stories and get the right people to make a noise about such things. So I'm thinking of writing a story about her.

That's if the big boss approves of it anyway.

17 October, 2007

East Londoners: Take care of your environment

Ukona Jelwana (WSU)

I don't understand why people can't clean up after themselves.

East London is fairly clean (during the day) I must admit, but when the clock strikes five and people are on their way home I find that the streets are filled with paper, plastic bags, rotten fruit etc.

We are guilty of throwing things out of our windows, be it a car's window or a house window it does'nt matter. I mean even though we have street sweepers cleaning every evening, is'nt it morally correct to say that a person should know not to make a mess just because they know that its not their job to clean it up.

As Thomas and Glen from Metro fm likes to say " this is seriously stealing my joy".