24 November, 2011

MDDA forges partnership with University of Limpopo

By Moses Moreroa

The Media Development and Diversity Agency(MDDA) in partnership with the University of Limpopo(UL) held a media, culture and tradition dialogue at Hall R-40 in Turfloop Campus.

The MDDA aims at pursuing Media Development for our Democracy in accordance with its mandate, the MDDA exists to ensure an 'enabling environment' for continued media diversification, giving people from all demographic groups in South Africa a chance to participate in public-sphere communication. Broadly, its aim is to create an environment where a diverse, vibrant and creative media flourishes - one that reflects the needs of all South Africans.
In collaboration to UL, which aims at being a world-class African university which responds to education, research and community development needs through partnerships and knowledge generation continuing a long tradition of empowerment।

The event was blessed by the attendance of Lumko Mtimde, Chief Executive Officer of MDDA। He has given a clear overview of how media should function. "media freedom must not be under any threat, let us leave the fictional part of the story and focus on the facts. The secrecy bill does not exist, there is no jurisdiction in the world that does not have the protection of state information. Let us practice professionalism and investigative journalism. The content that we consume must interest all people by producing our own views and opinions regarding our languages and culture", he said.

The event most wanted opinions from media practitioners on what are the opportunities and challenges that they face on daily gathering and reportage of news। The UL media studies lecturer Vusimuzi Mabuza was one to break the ice. "You may use your own language, but, what is critical is mindset. If people still think like Europeans, then there will be a problem is preserving African culture and media diversity", Mabuza implied.

Despite meaningful inputs added by media practitioners, traditional leaders also had something to say when coming to culture and media। Honourable Chief Rampududu, said media should collaborate with royal houses on how to approach them since there is a steep protocol to follow. "Journalists should be trained, particularly young ones, in the community they serve. MDDA should monitor such media literacy for success", he added.

In addition, Ms Madima, who is a print media studies lecturer, sustaintiate by adding the issue of attitude and behaviour towards media and culture। "What you have been taught reflects your personal traits। You cannot go and interview a chief while chewing a gum", she laughs.

Also the Director of the School of Languages and Communications in the university, Professor Richard Madadzhe, emphasised on the distortion and misrepresentation of utterances। This is led by misinformation and high level of ignorancy among young journalists. "I usually visits my chief during December vacations. It is our culture to nurture the chief with gifts. I normally give him R500 or so for Christmas present. What would the misinformed journalist write? I paid bribery", said the director before facilitating the forging of partnerships.

In appreciation, Deputy Press Ombudsman, John Retief further stressed the point of language equity। "All 11 official languages should be met in our local media and must be supported by the nation and many advertising agencies। Media should be diversified and we should send out skilled journalists who will bring out interesting content so that we avoid duplicity of information",urged Retief.

The event was ended by the grace of the Head of Department in Media, Communication and Information Studies, Professor Sheila Mmusi। In her closing remarks, she argued that, we must be culture sensitive by not looking our culture in an international way। She said, "Young people need to be encouraged to learn indigenous languages and the eldery should not misinterpret our cultures".

She declared the event to be success as their mission is reralised and most dominating factors to underdevelopment has been identified. "Media students in my faculty should take one or two indigenous languages to third or even honours level in their programmes. We need to invest in Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) by not consulting Department of Education, but add such information in media ethics and linguistics", she concluded.

10 November, 2011

Maximal Football Website

Dear FJP's
This is just an appeal to all of you to visit this website, www.maximalfootball.com. This is something we (me and my friend) started in few months back.
The site is all about soccer and I would love to hear what you guys think about the website. You can post your comments on our stories but the main reason behind this is plea is to create enough traffic to our site.
As you may all know that in website business in order to attract advertisers, you must have more then enough people visiting your site. So I trust that you will spread the word to friends and families to be regular visitors of our sites. So go and visit the site because we are "Tapping the untapped" in the world of football

01 November, 2011

Vote FJP's blogs at the SA Blog Awards

Hi guys

This year we have 2 FJP 2010 alumni's in the running at the upcoming SA Blog Awards.

My blog (Zee Fashionista) is the running for the Best Fashion Blog at the 2011 SA Blog Awards, and I'd like to ask all of you to vote for me by clicking on the SA Blog Awards badge at the top right hand side of my blog, or by clicking here - http://website.sablogawards.com/2011/vote/voteforme/3762,4176. Sihle's blog is also in the running, and I'll add his voting details to this post as soon as he let's me know about them.

Please use your correct email address because you will be sent a confirmation email which you will have to respond to in order to confirm your vote.

The process allows you to vote for only one blog per category.

Should you decide to vote for another blog in the same category you will lose the original vote, as the new vote will override the initial vote. So please spread the word because each person can only vote once for me in the Best Fashion Blog Category, and once for Sihle in the Best Lifestyle Blog category.

Public voting is from the 31 of October to the 9th of November.

Thanks guys!

Zinhle Mncube

31 October, 2011

Entries Open for 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award

Nairobi, 13 October 2011 - The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is pleased to open the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award.

Following the successful launch of the competition last year, African journalists between 21 and 35 years, who are based on the continent and working for local, regional or international media organizations, are once again encouraged to apply.

Journalists entering the award may submit one radio, television, print or online report (in English or French) on an environmental issue.

The prize is an all-expenses-paid study visit to the USA, where the winner will follow a specially designed “green itinerary”, interacting with leading environmental projects, green economy projects, scientists and public figures.

Last year’s UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award (YEJA) winner, radio journalist Patricia Okoed-Bukumunhe from Uganda, is currently in the United States completing her study tour.

Visiting Washington DC, Seattle and Miami, Patricia will be meeting and working with Voice of America, National Public Radio, National Geographic and a host of other media organisations and environmental groups.

You can read about her experiences as the 2010 YEJA winner on her US blog, ‘Patricia on the Road’, at www.unep.org/yeja

Applications for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award can be made online at www.unep.org/yeja until 5pm (Nairobi time) on 16 December 2011.

Written articles must not exceed 3000 words and radio or television reports should be no longer than six minutes. The report must have been published or broadcast between 1 January and 31 December 2011.

Please visit the website for all other terms and conditions.

Over 120 entries from 24 African countries were received for last year’s award. The diverse subject matter covered by journalists included the role of traditional ‘medicine men’ in protecting biodiversity in Kenya, the need for improved sanitation in communities in Nigeria and the impact of climate change on weather patterns in Togo.

Among other criteria, judges for the 2011 UNEP Young Environmental Journalist Award will assess entries on the strength of their environmental component, newsworthiness, originality, scientific accuracy, and relevance to local or regional communities in Africa.

The award is made possible through funding support from the Government of the United States of America.

For more information, please contact:

Bryan Coll, UNEP Newsdesk, on Tel. +254 20 7623088 or Email yeja.africa@unep.org or bryan.coll@unep.org

28 September, 2011

My year as an FJP

By Wendy N Ngcobo
I remember walking shivering with anxiety as I didn’t remember doing anything that would get me to be called in to go to the office.
“You have been chosen to be on the FJP programme “these were words by my lecturer Mrs. Sobbend when she delivered the good news to me.
Her lips carried on moving but in my mind I was thinking “after months of regretting having taken long to enter this industry, could the wait been worth it “.I was smiling but my eyes were filled with tears that because she saw me smile she was unable to see .I blew my nose not because I had a problem but because I didn’t want her to see that I was actually hiding my tears from being seen.
I was excited and nervous, at the prospect of such an opportunity, that I Wendy Nolwazi Ngcobo was about to embark on this journey, I was going to Rhodes University. I was nervous and excited at the same time I didn’t know which emotion to deal with first. I was going to Rhodes University and will be meeting new other students from  around South Africa who had the same passion as me .I was excited about my journey to autumn school that I packed a week in advance.
Mobile Phones as tools for journalism  is what  our workshop was  based on and there was nothing as heartwarming when on our last day we sat and watched a movie that I had made on YouTube .I’ve continually received positive feet back  on the story I did in the community of  Joza.
I had the amazing opportunity of being involved in the Durban International Film Festival which was an amazing networking platform form for me as an up and coming journalist. This opportunity came after one of our alumni’s Sihle Mthembu motivated us to ‘remove the mentality of being students”,” you are professionals from day one “, he said.
From that point on I have been so confident in introducing myself as ‘a journalist from Highway Africa’ that the poise I have possessed and the mentality of professionalism  has seen me  surrounded by influential people in the media ,in entertainment and in government.
Wendy ,Elethu and Akhona
Words cannot describe how I feel about the programme about the amazing initiatives it continuously   provides for young and upcoming journalist as the lessons we learn at our tertiary institutions, those alone are not enough to prepare one for the task we have at hand as advocate for people.
So to the future, FJP I wish them all of the best  they should take hold of this amazing, once in a life time opportunity.

21 September, 2011

I will miss you FJPs

It is so sad that our time had to come to an end, it was really nice spending time with you FJPs. I gained something positive from each and everyone of you and I can happily say that I am inspired by most of you. We were like a family. I will miss each and everyone of you; every second we spent together and every laughter we shared. I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Nqobile and the entire Future Journalists Programme staff for everything they have done for me. If it was not for the FJP I would not have been who I am today. Through the FJP I’ve gained confidence in myself, yes I am not the most talkative person, but I can tell you that I am no longer the Elethu I was before joining the programme. Being part of the FJP is the greatest thing that has ever happened in my life and that is why I will never forget the time I spent there. Keep on doing the great work Nqo! I will miss all of you my friends!

12 September, 2011

Journalism Fratenity talks Climate Change and Sustainable Development

BY: Nqobile (Buthelezi) Sibisi

How can journalists and journalism academia play an active role in ensuiring sustainable development in Africa? What are the many facets of sustainable development in Africa and have they been properly debated in terms of how we as the media, working with civil society, government and business can form a fratenity to ensure its mandate? How are we as the media framing the agenda on climate change and on whose terms? How is the media forming relations with the sciences industry in the fight to curb climate change and ensure food security?...

These are just few of the questions that will be asked in this year's Highway Africa Conference in Cape Town. The theme this year is African Media and the Global Sustainability Challenge. With the recent scourge of drought in East Africa resulting to the shocking poverty level in Somalia to the changing weather pattern in South Africa, this conference couldn't have been more timely! Africa needs to ask itself; what is its current status; what needs to be done to effect change and what promise do today's decisions offer to the future of its children?

These are pertinent issues which I am afraid might serve no interest to most of youth in South Africa. Julius Malema and the hate speech trial is a more jucy engagement for some. Though I am not taking away anything from the importance and relevance of this particular story and many of its counterparts; I believe South African politics must realy now delve into the issues which will ensure our survival and that of the contintent apart from party squables, seeing that we take the lead in affecting direction in the mother land.

Simple lines from Paul Valley in 2008 predicted that Africa would be most hit by the effects of climate change. "Emerging analysis seen by the Stern Review into the economic impact of climate change suggests one of the worst affected places on the planet will also be the poorest," he said then. Five years down the line, Africa has begun to see climate changes adding frustrations to this already challenged land, resulting to more human suffering.

Just this winter, South Africa experienced heavy rainfalls resulting to floods and loss of homes, depriving the poorest of South Africans the much needed warmth amidst the increasing chill of winter and heavy snowfall! One might ask of the broader impact of climate change in the country and why they should be bothered. The Department of Environment Affairs' new climate change webpage has summarised the effects of climate change in South Africa, saying:

"...recent studies for the 'Country Studies Project' predict that climate change will cause mean temperature increases in the range of between 1oC and 3oC by the mid 21st century, with the highest increases in the most arid parts of the country. A broad reduction of rainfall in the range 5% - 10% has been predicted for the summer rainfall region. This is likely to be accompanied by an increased incidence of both drought and floods, with prolonged dry spells being followed by intense storms. A marginal increase in early winter rainfall is predicted for the winter rainfall region of the country. A rise in sea level is also predicted - perhaps by as much as 0.9m by 2100."

In lay men's terms, we should expect more droughts, followed by floods, storms and winter rainfalls, to name a few.The question to ask though is how all this change affecte economic development in Africa? The simple answer is that alike nature, the man-made lifecyle follows a parten of cause and effect. Climate change will most definately affect our economies, causing much unneeded 'vulnerability'. Humans would then need to adapt as a society, the 'adaptation' thereof beeing implemented through the policity put into effect by governments as a response to climate change and its conteraction thereof.

An example of a vulnerabilty cycles would be: drought-flooding thenafter-hault in maze production-no mealie meal-poverty for low income families-death of children-generations gap which would result to a gap in the economic production sytems as it would have no workers of a particular age-drop in production-South Africa unable to export and trade with other countries-no income-borrowing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-the country runs into det-....the cycle goes on into other sectors. In the end, the country is poor, unable to fend for itself, having to borrow funds which it cannot reimburse, leading to disaster! I dare not mention here the diseases that will follow from the fluctuating temperatures, including: high blood pressure, dehydration, malaria and cholera to name a few.

This was just a scenario, but the question is what key decision makers will do about it. A pact must be made, definately, between:
1. The climate change research body of scientist currently mapping out the situation on ground and grass root levels- coming up with solutions of how this challenge can be reduced and curbed,
2. The media who will disseminate this information to the masses- informing about risks, vulnerability and responsibility for each citizen to play part
3. Government who will then implement policy to ensure businesses are responsible about their carbon emmissions and held accountable
4. Civil society who will have the citizenry's best interest at heart, putting to task all offenders to stay true to the climate change code.

What is your take?

24 August, 2011

Michaella Uncovered

The essence of youth is a like the sensation of an exhilarating drug! Not that we take any narcotics at FJP, but it is the imagination thereof of an elixir of youth that pervades every thought with an addictive hint of positivity. Yesterday morning was filled with all conversations youthful, ideas imaginative and futures journalistic. What a happy time it was!

For the past 3 days, Highway Africa and FJP has had the pleasure to host Michaella Sloane, a 17 year old from Kingswood College. Michaella is currently serving her four-day observation period at Highway Africa. She couldn't have chosen a better time to come, since we are currently preparing for the upcoming 15th edition of the highway Africa Conference. All staff welcomed her and showed her the ropes of how to manage a continental journalism organisation.

Probing on how Michaella ended up in our midst, I decided to do a quickfire on her.

Sitshele- Tell us!

Asked to define herself in in 5 words, Michaella was confident to say she is “different, creative, artistic, sarcastic and comfortable.”

A Grahamstownian, bred at Kingswood College for the past 14 years, Michaella treasures her high school experience as she mentions it has given her a lot of experiences and opportunities. “At the beginning of my schooling I was in the corner, but in Kingswood I became a person who existed. I was made aware of my abilities, particularly art and writing,” Michaella said. This encouraged her to be her own person.

Talking about her future aspirations, Michaella acknowledged that she wants to be in a space where she is recognised. She wants to be an author, who at all costs, avoids romantic novels! “I want to write fantasy novels because it allows you to use your imagination; to be as weird as you want and people think you’re cool still.”

Considering the meagre readership of fantasy writing in South Africa, Michaella was not worried. “If I end up writing something famous, it would be cool to show that South Africa can produce really good stories.” Indeed, we are not worried about Michaella's success as a writer,as she plans to enrole for a journalism degree here at Rhodes. So, we at Highway Africa are merely counting a couple of years until we read an African Harry Potter by Michaella Sloane.

Wrapping the day, Michaella cared to share her thoughts on what she would like to see in South Africa in the upcoming few years. See video HERE.

23 August, 2011

A Day at FJP

By: Michaella Sloane

The Future Journalists Programme is more than just a selection of workshops for university students, it's a massive stepping stone leading to success.

Journalists in Africa have the potential to do great things but a lack of resources can hinder that potential. Although the numbers may be small, the students who are accepted into the programme find that they can overcome their disadvanatges and make incredible things happen. Of all the students I have heard about today, not one of them left the programme and wasn't welcomed by success. They were equipped with the abilities and skills that showed them they can be unstoppable.

This has been an inspiring experience, to see what FJP students can do to make a difference to society.

Journalism is no longer restricted to the columns of a newspaper. It exists in so many forms and I think people often forget this or sometimes just aren't aware of it. FJP opens all of these doors and encourages young people to take advantage of this and capitalize on it.

Lebogang Mgiba, a students from last years course, said that "One thing that made me love this project was the topic, 'social media and journalism'. It has taught me that journalists need to be aware of Twitter, Facebook and blogs for enhancing our journalism skills."

FJP seems like the opportunity of a lifetime to me and it's been really cool to hear everything that it's doing in the world of journalism.

18 August, 2011


UFH OR RSU?...That's the question on my mind as I walk out of the GREEN AUDITORIUM where a political debate was held at the University of Fort Hare (UFH), Alice campus on August, 18th, 2011.

A motion by PSAMA, one of the political student movements at the campus to change the University's name to "Robert Sobukwe University " created a buzz amongst the students leading to a commotion at the venue. Well, from what I could hear in the PASMA representative's reasoning, the name changing would be to seek as much attention from stakeholders and publics as all the other tertiary institutions.

Gives you something to think about though...I mean almost all the renowned politicians once stepped their feet on Forte grounds and lived in the same residences we live in today so why shouldn't we name our varsity after atleast one of them? (Just a thought/justification).

The debate was between Student Political Movements (SASCO, COPESM, PASMA, ANCYL) to discuss about the value and role of political movements of the students on education at the campus. You would think it would be thought-provoking, oh well it just left more questions than answers as the political parties were more opposing each other rather than bringing to the table what we (the students) wanted to hear. The questions stand...Are these political student movements really worth our votes? What are they contributing towards the betterment of our educational experience at the University? (Just my opinion)

And University of Forte becoming Robert Sobukwe University mhhh...Now that's one to think about. What do you think?

By: Sesethu Malgas

07 August, 2011

Blind Cetywayo hopes for the festival

by Moses Moreroa

Abraham Cetywayo, 48, a gospel artist who lives in Umtata make a living by singing praises to Jehovah. Cetywayo, born blind, studied keyboard at Umtata Disability Centre at the age of 12. His second album ‘ujehovah’ recently hit the shelves, and was marketed at Grahaamstown National Art Fest

“I believe that I can contribute to the wellness of this country through music. My wish is to be given an opportunity at the Art Fest”, said 48 blind Cetywayo.
Cetywayo is a father to three children and married to Martha who is also partially blind. “I have decided to help my father promote his music because he can not do all stock and travelling by himself”, said Ntombovuyo, first born.

“I am happy to realize the valuable impact on youth. I thought I was just doing this for my family to survive”, Cetywayo.

Cetywayo`s music inspired many young people to engage in community developmental projects that brings awareness that emphasises people to not throw in a towel when days are dark.

“I have also volunteered to distribute his music. His music keeps me kicking and realise that God is alive and helpful”, said Nomvuselelo Ntambo. Ntambo, 20, is one of those who give a helping hand.

26 July, 2011

Cliche topics fail us: drugs and alcohol

By Busisiwe Busenga

Just recently an article was written announcing that the singing sensation and hit maker of the
song "rehab" Amy Winehouse has died. It was no secret that the deceased was addicted to drugs, the interesting thing is that most celebrities get involved with drugs and alcohol and yet they treat it as something that is as normal as taking a bath. Sadly, most teenagers are following the same path, drugs and alcohol are the order of the day for most teenagers, regardless of the health effects it has on humans.

But excatly what measures must be taken, before the perspective of the youth can change. There already has been a number of strategies such as campaigns, adverts and even in the arts, they have all tried to get the message across, that drugs and alcohol should not be tempered with. However in the end it is an individuals personal resoning that can change their attitudes, change their thinking to be more positive.

Maybe it is time that people did an introspection, soul searching and maybe just maybe they will realise how important their lives are and that it is everyone's responisbility to look after their own personal health. But for the sake of the loved one's, because everything they do affects those they love, it would be of great magnitude if they spared them the pain. In this life we only given one chance to live, so live your life in the best possible way and start by loving yourself, then love the person next to you. Topics concerning drugs and alcohol are really starting to get boring, it would be a good change to focus on the good stuff, lets channel our energies to the positive things that really matter. Love is all we need!

21 July, 2011

Digital divide

By Busisiwe Busenga
I cannot believe that this is my first week back to school (University of Johannesburg) and yet i am already realising the importance and value of the Future Journalists Programme. This semester we are going to be busy with internet journalism and hence the digital divide will be one the topics covered. This reminded me of the interesting discussion we had on the didgital divide as the FJP's at the National Grahamston Arts festival . I have to say the discussion has enlightened me and broaden my horizons, i am very greatful for all the knowldge and skills we have aquired from the programme. I intend on using these mskills to the best of my ability, actually with everything i do i will definetly do my best, and i have a feeling i am going to ace this semester and it is all thanks to FJP, so "really" thank you for everything.

19 July, 2011

Anois Ar Theach an Tsamhraidh / Change has come

This piece takes you back to Soweto, and students protesting for better education. On 16 June 1976, police responded with teargas and live bullets. It is now commemorated by a group that is full of laughter, pain and joy. The group acknowledges the common struggle against British oppression in both South Africa and Ireland.

Ntombi Ntuli played a contradicting role; she was used to oppose the plan of burning homes of the oppressors. She wanted young people to sit the state down and discuss matters of freedom. She was afraid of loss of lives during the protest and burning process.

It was very pity that all members of the group clashed with Ntuli’s opinion. They continued with their plan. The plan turned happiness, anger into sorrow where the leader (Senzeni) lost his life.
Then after the death of Senzeni, who was shot in the process of protest, everyone thought twice. The theme of this piece is to bring youth to the awareness of hardships that freedom fighters went through.

“Not only blacks were oppressed, but whites in Ireland also. This piece is to explore such overlooked factors”, said Bongani Titana who is the director of this piece.

The crowd admired the ending that expressed an emotion which indicated the power of the word and freedom.
“This show for me is hectic and nice at the same time. Performing in front of people is challenging but I live and love what I do, that is what keeps me going”, Ntuli implied.

By Moses Moreroa

10 July, 2011


One BIG happy family FJP's.
It feels like yesterday when we arrived here for the National Art Festival in Grahamstown. We were so far from our homes and our families, but the FJP’S became our second family and Adamson House our next home. Now we have to say goodbye! We had fun together, and hopefully everything we learnt in the Future Journalist Programme is going to be of good course from now on in our studies and in future in our career.
Pause... Smile..! All the pictures we took together will forever hold a special memory of time spent together. Yet again a wise person once said “We meet to part and part to meet”, at some point we had to meet and now we have to say goodbye until the day we meet again.

by S. Mthembu

Inspirational Future Journalists Programme

By Bongiwe Tutu

The Future Journalists Programme is a platform for young journalists to further establish themselves in the world around them. It’s an organisation where a variety of second year students from all over the country residing from different universities come together in a joint initiative of future journalists making an impact in the controversial social and economic issues affecting us in our futures. This programme is a strong foundation whereby students grow into better individuals that can sparkle in field of journalism and other proffessions.

There are many issues that affect our youth and media and there is a need for solutions and change. This program is one of the platforms where this and more can be done and it is truly an honour to be part of it. It really means so much to be part of this family where you know that you are slowly but surely making your mark and leaving your prints in this world. A place where you are not only inspired by the program but by the variety of people you get to interact with. There is so much growth in this program and it is a blessing for all the future journalists who are part of it.

As a youth we have to grab every opportunity that comes our way and make the best out of it. We should not feel discouraged by the circumstances that seem to come our way of achieving our goals, there is no success in giving up, it is important that we are always strong in our focal arena.

I thank our trainer Nyx Mclean and the Future Journalists Programme Co-ordinator Nqobile Sibisi; these are very proffessional, higly esteemed and profound women who have taught us so much that empowers and builds us as individuals, I thank everyone else for their current and future contributions and wish you all the best :)

Gerard Boyce talking 'youth voices in SA… without the voices

Young people gathered in Eden Grove Auditorium expecting an engaging talk about issues that affect them and getting their voices heard.  The speaker of the day was Gerard Boyce, a PhD candidate in the school of economics and finance in the school at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

crazy4bee statistics...statistics...can't he be a bit practical?#fjpfest11”. (a tweet by young Busisiwe) Mr Boyce began his presentation by giving the findings to his quantitative study.  The presentation continued and we listened hoping that the form of the presentation would change.  I logged on to twitter and realised that I was not the only one who felt that Gerard Boyce was speaking at us and not to us.  Nyx Mclean tweeted “@NyxMcLean: This guy is annoying me, not at all energised - he speaks about the youth like an economist. Which!he just confessed to being”

Devaksha Vallabhjee stood up and told the speaker not to addresses young people like little lab rats.  His research revealed that race matters more than age to young people.  He gave statistics that I can barely remember after the talk.  He failed to speak to us or engage our minds in constructive conversation.  I instead felt like a guinea pig with no voice or opinion.

“@Realmav3riQ A more qualitative study would have been nice #fjpfest11”, this was the cry of the day from young people in that talk.  I genuinely walked out of a talk for young people feeling like ‘ok, WTF?’!

Always about Race

Older generations always tend to put the youth into a box, assuming that all are the same. They get some opinions from a few ‘youth’ and figure that those opinions are felt the same throughout the youth of South Africa.

It is impossible to get the view of all the youth from just a simple survey. Another issue of this form of research is that the youth are always changing, even if they do a survey today, a few days later they could feel different about certain issues.

As with the majority of issues in South Africa, race is always brought up. Is it ignorant to look past it? Is it completely necessary to always include race?

Yes this country has a diverse history and it is understandable that race issues are still present in our lives but I don’t think it needs to be part of everything we do. We need to move on from our past so we can truly reach our potential as a country.

By: Megan Deane

What does FJP mean to me?

My main pursuit since I started my university academic career was to do marketing, or even advertising, anything personality related. But having been selected to be part of the Future Journalist Programme my life has not been the same.

Since I have joined FJP my mind has been opened up to new thinking and different ways of understanding who I am. This programme has allowed me to learn about mobile journalism, has given me a platform to write and to believe in the potential within me. I have had the chance to silence the sub-editor who has and continues to live inside of me. A lot of the time I doubt and second guess my ability but within this space which the programme has given me I have gained confidence in my writing. Although I may not be the greatest writer I love the fact that I have been given the opportunity to work through that.

FJP has opened my eyes, has made me see media studies and journalism in a way that I had not seen it before. Sometimes when I think about what it is I want to do I am confident to say I an considering journalism because I have realised that like with every other career option there are many options and I sincerely believe that I will find my niche within the industry.

I thank FJP for selecting me and putting me through this once in a lifetime experience, the peers who I have had the chance to interact are all different and are individuals that have been able to add value to the person that I am. FJP has afforded me the space to socialise and make contacts that will be around for a lifetime.

Lastly being able to come to the Grahamstown National Arts festival, is something I have always wanted to attend and be apart of and being in this programme has done that for me so I thank FJP for everything they have done for me and all I can say is to the future FJPs , FJP is a wonderful group to belong to and I promise your life will never be the same after you have joined, the people you get to meet and the things you get to do and be involved in, will awesome fun yet educational and will equipt you with skills that you can use for the rest of your life.

By: Nokwazi Khumalo


It feels strange to hear the two speak in ‘white’ accents when we sit down with Liam Magner and Cobus van Heerden of the Neon Anthems after watching their show, Escape from Nombiland! As for the guy sitting in between them, Loyiso Macdonald, we’re still trying to figure out which side of the colonial line he lies on.

Liam and Cobus met in high school and had what Cobus described as an “intuitive comic understanding of each other”.  They started their career by writing comedy songs which became popular because of their “unpretentious” style.   A while later their careers leapt forward when they performed an impromptu act using Zulu accents.  And that was their inspiration behind their hit show Tokoloshe Come and Go in which the guys play characters with Zulu accents while telling an African folk story. After years of performing it at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival they decided to write a sequel, Tokoloshe Come Again.  Their accents coupled with their comedic chemistry and original premise made the shows a great success, especially with young audiences.

Escape from Nombiland!  is the Neon Anthems’ new show which made its debut at festival this year. It features the subtle humour of Loyiso as a colonial Englishman while the other two again adopt their polished Zulu accents. Similar to their previous shows, Escape from Nombiland! plays heavily on stereotypes, but unlike their previous shows, it carries a message about racial politics and colonial discourse in a way that’s accessible and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Liam states that “it seemed the obvious [artistic] progression to include a black guy with a white accent… there was no one point where we sat down and decided we’re going to do this to make a statement.”

Theatre is a craft that is considered as high culture, but the Neon Anthems seem to have positioned themselves beautifully in the market.  In their words, “We want to make theatre fun. A lot of people in theatre take themselves very seriously.” Their style of caricatured story-telling sets them apart from their perhaps more ‘snotty-nosed’ counterparts in the industry. So, as the Neon Anthems prove, it doesn’t matter which side of the colonial line you lie on or what race you are, as long as you have a sense of humour about it.

Escape from Nombiland! moves to Durban theatres after Festival.

Devaksha Vallabhjee & Pearl Nicodemus

Think!Fest: Youth Attitudes

The Think!Fest lecture by Gerard Boyes on youth attitudes in the ‘age of hope’ had me excited at the idea of a good topic that the FJP’s could really sink our teeth into. However, by the end of the lecture I was more peeved than anything else.

Mr Boyes presented a quantitative study that he had done on a group of ‘young people’ indicating their attitudes towards their lives, politics, state of the nation and the future which was divided into age groups and race groups. We sat through 45 minutes of statistics being thrown at us  about this seemingly generic group of ‘young people’, which frankly did not reveal anything surprising either (stats differ mostly between white and black youth and not in different age groups; shock horror).

I felt that Mr Boyes went about studying the topic at hand in the wrong way and his data, while providing a very basic outline of research – was not as constructive as it could have been were he to have added a qualitative aspect to it. He made us as young people seem simple and homogenous (although he insisted that his research proved that we were not) while a more discursive aspect would have given him substantial, complex data to work with.

It felt as though a burning topic which is highly prevalent was reduced to a simplified set of figures, not to mention an entire group of youth with vastly complicated, varying and fragmented identities who were treated as though they were a species to be studied.

By Devaksha Vallabhjee

The Friendly Coffee Guy

Moses Gambiza (26), is better known as the friendly coffee guy for those who get their daily dose of caffeine from the blockhouse coffee shop. He is a Rhodes alumni, he graduated with his B.Pharm in 2010. Gambiza is a pharmacy intern but is helping his mother at the blockhouse during festival.

He chose B.Pharm because he is a caring person and enjoys interacting with people, and said “Rhodes is one of the top pharmacy universities in South Africa.”

In the future he would like to become a practicing pharmacist and hopefully open his own pharmacy one day. He also has a goal to be a millionaire by 30 and give back to Rhodes University.

He enjoys watching sports, playing chess and the occasional game of tennis. His favourite author is John Grisham and has read many of his novels.

Gambiza said that this years festival was more organised than the last one but was disappointed by the weather as it also affected business at the blockhouse. “There seemed to be more people this year but my favourite thing about festival are the different food stalls.”



This is sadly my last day in Grahamstown and my last day at the National Arts Festival, it was fun, it was memorable, I had the best time exploring, attending shows, shopping around the market, meeting new and exciting people and not to mention important people. I learnt a lot during these eleven days, I learnt hard work, team work and dedication and pesistence. my fellow FJPs, especially Akhona Valashiya who was my mentor and my Festival guide, FJP Co-ordinator Nqobile Buthelezi and FJP trainer Nyx Mclean were all great, I got along very well with everyone and now saying goodbye is so sad. I look forward to seeing the FJPs again in September at the Highway Africa Conference and having a lot of fun again. 

                                                          By Akhona Valashiya

09 July, 2011

Jacques Brandt

Behind every production that has been running throughout the Festival there has had to be a technical team. These people are responsible for ensuring that lighting and sound for the different shows runs smoothly and without a glitch. Without them the shows which we watch would not be what they are, but most of the time these are the people who go unnoticed.

During my stay in Grahamstown and having had the chance to socialise and interact with different people who were apart of the Fest, I had the opportunity to meet a very passionate and talented man who has been running the technical aspects of Graeme College, one of the venues which was used for festival showings. His name is Jacques Brandt, age 24, from TUT, studying entertainment technology.

Jacques Brandt has been the lighting technician and has been a part of technical support system for the following shows on the main programme of the Arts Festival: Benchmarks, Shakespear, and Purgatorio. His job is to make sure technical cues run smoothly and that lighting, sound, props, the set and audience if necessary are managed effortlessly.

Brandt is also a free lance worker, who is passionate about his work and is remarkable at his craft. He prides himself in producing nothing but the best work, which is why he was hired by festival recruiters.

By Nokwazi Lhumalo

Is youth interested?

Gerard Boyce , an economist and PHD student at the university of Kwa-Zulu Natal, gave a talk about south African identity and youth participation in governance. He presented statistics and quantitative observation of his findings. The study was based on the youth, defined as people between the ages of 14 to 35.
He was looking to tackle to basic questions :
What are young people thinking?
Is it different from what other older citizens are thinking?

This lead to the conclusion of how South Africans are different in some aspects, but others is similar. It also concluded to how satisfaction still lacks according to the youth, in terms of deliverance even though they feel strongly about participating in the voting process.

It was an appropriate research project and it could lead to a more precise study. The points that were brought up were relevant but vague. When asked questions, his argument was not substantial. He did not personalise the views of the people involved in the statistic process.

With more research it would lead to the investigation being more convincing, yet with the lack of proper communication about the findings, people would be less informed and not clear on the objective.

This lead to a lot of controversy, but hopefully the views that were brought up will lead to a more accurate research finding that also humanises it.

by C.Pumla Luthuli

Youth Controversy

The youth of South Africa are so misinterpreted in our society. So many people make assumptions and in the same breath do not do sufficient research on the issues they face and their opinions.

A talk given, at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival by Gerard Boyce; a PhD research student at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal has done a study on South African Identity, governance within social institutions and general satisfaction with democracy from the views of the youth. ‘Youth’ being the expanded definition ranging between the ages of 14-35.

According to the statistics Boyce had, the idea of the youth being apathetic does not correlate with the results of the study done on the youth. These statistics are however based on race and not on age. With that been said, certain questions asked indicated a similarity in answers from white and black people; however, the ratio was totally different when questioned about democracy.

It is good to be knowledgeable however it must be delivered correctly and be substantial. If you are addressing people, engage with them and their thoughts. The research was not personalised with the youth and therefore so was the actual presentation.

The actions and attitudes of the youth need to be understood properly before they are assumed and I personally feel that it was not conducted accordingly. The youth of South Africa have too much to offer and look forward to, to be portrayed in this image.

By Duschanka Hitzeroth

Survey confuses youth

“Youth Voice in SA Enchoes in the Age of Hope” was the theme of the programme by Gerard Boyce, a PHD student at University of KwaZulu Natal. A programme which was expected to be a discussion that would focus on tackling down the youth challenges turned out to be a survey presentation, a survey that seemed to have confused a lot of people.

According to Boyce the survey was a general survey of South African youth attitude, and the survey was categorised based on their race. The statistics produced by Boyce were confusing and seemed to be contradicting each other.
His statistics indicated that 55% of African youth is satisfied with democracy whereas on the other hand only 23% of White youth is satisfied with democracy. He further issued out that a large margin of 74% of White youth is satisfied with life as a whole, 45% of African, 48% and 58% of Coloured and Indian respectively were satisfied.

How can people who are satisfied with democracy be the one who are not satisfied with life, and those who are satisfied with life not be satisfied with democracy? I personally would never say I am satisfied with democracy if I am not satisfied with life because this would mean that democracy is not providing me with the kind of life I want to live. Boyce’s conclusion on the youth attitude was that the youth’s attitude was not determined by age but was determined by race in which they belong to.

The youth showed a lot of dissatisfaction and confusion, one stated that “there are many youth representatives in the country who come up with different surveys. When do we reach the stage where we get to know who we are and what is expected from us?

By Elethu Magele

The Youth Need A Speaker

Youth Leadership series at the Think! Fest at the National Arts Festival presented Gerard Boyce his research on the youth in South Africa and how is it looking on the born free youth and whether they are positive and happy with the situation in post apartheid South Africa.

The world of the youth is truly uncertain as we lack confidence in taking a step like the golden era of the 70’s. Issues we still face haven’t changed that much as the past is still in our future and the most important people or the youth are the ones who matter most when speaking about the voices of the youth. Power or a platform to be given so we can stamp our frustrations or our view on the direction our country. There isn’t any direct talk between the stakeholders of government and the rest of the youth in the country and that brings a lot of uninterested youth who don’t bother to even vote let alone know what issues that the country face for the next generation leaders of tomorrow.

Initiative should be taken on facing challenges that the youth themselves can be a difference if any means necessary mobilising in bringing a greater participation even in the simplest issue that is raised that can affect the youth I the longer run and can be fatal. We are in charge of our own destiny in the country particularly the youth and if we can be given a chance to voice our suggestions on the country going forward, we can bring about serious change for anyone and everyone!

By Thabiso Sihlali