05 July, 2010
The Hitchhikers guide to Highway Africa
By Siphesihle “RAZ” Mthembu
As a veteran of the Highway Africa and future journalists programme (I use the word veteran with the powers vested in me by the unofficial non-existent Sihle Mthembu Life guide, which defines a veteran as someone who has done something at least ONCE). I have decided that after day one of the running around trying to find this that or the other and a mixture of easy conversation and vigorous debate, it would be worth while for me to give the Journalist/Hitchhikers guide as to how to survive the FJP and HA programme.
Tip # 1: what do drivers? Actors and academics have in common? (No it’s not the fact that they would rather not pay their taxes), but it’s the fact that they are simply allergic to asking for directions. Right after you finish shinning your shoes and air punch thinking to yourself man “I’ve arrived”. You will be well advised to locate yourself. By all accounts Rhodes is a big university (especially to those of us that like to limit our Horizons of infinite abilities to the 140 characters on our Twitter updates). So it will take more than a few clicks before you know the blocks. The most commonly used venues are (Nelson Mandela Dining Hall-where you shall never go hungry-but only during meal times) (Eden grove this venue has two large lecture theatres one called Eden Grove red (because the seats are red) and another called Eden Grove Blue (because yes you guessed it the seats are blue). The last Major event venues is the African Media Matrix (is modern beautifully painted building which for its Broadway style light surprisingly uses the colour red instead of the traditional matrix colour green (I guess the only feasible excuse for this is the fact that this is an African take on it). Amongst the other locations one must locate are the toilets because contrary to popular belief the rest room is one of the most desirable places to be. All locations are outlined in a map that you will get. When you have completed Tip# 2
Tip# 2: the second thing one must do when visiting someone’s house is let the landlord know that you have arrived. So at Eden Grove first floor right next to the Blogging lab, you will find a registration venue (you don’t know what I’m talking about? Then you didn’t read Tip# 1- and if you still don’t know what I’m talking about don’t worry just smile and nod, you’re an academic you’ll figure this out). Hopefully you won’t have to wait for long for registration as the computers tend to freeze up when they know the hold the information and names of important delegates such as Retired Ghanaian President John Kufuor and Advocate Pansy Tlakula. Please also remember to bring the correct spelling of your name with you. The last thing you need is the added stress of wondering why (after reading your tag) people keep calling you Dludla instead of Dladla.
Tip#3: Now that you know where you are and you know who you are, its time to dot he most important thing to do is Tip 3. Know who everybody else is. So forget the serious mandate that you were given with you ticket and act like a typical African. Put on your newsroom tendencies and mix, mingle and make merry with everyone at the event. You never know who might me standing next to you, Highway Africa is a place for us to make friends and meet colleagues. Collect as many business cards as possible and remember as many names as you can.