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


For a change I saw something different on TV. SABC schedule is filled with many entertainment shows from Monday to Sunday, and less programmes that are informative. And then there was One Day Leader. This was a reality show on SABC 1, where a group of six young people were engaging in a debate about issues and give solutions on how they would tackle those issues if they were to become world leaders. The show gave me an insight of how intelligent and creative young people can be, and their thought about the country and government decisions.
“Young people are more hopeful and have more great expectations about the future “, said Gerard Boyce from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He was addressing the audience at the Blue Lecture Theatre at Eden Groove this morning. He gave emphasis on a misperception that a majority of people have about young people, that the youth are a generation in crisis. Gerard produced research results about youth attitude related to perception of life satisfaction, South African Identity, differences between young and old people and differences between youth in race. There is a need for more programmes such as One Day Leader which will allow the youth to get a chance to express themselves so that the world can see what young people think, and that can act as one of the possible solutions to get rid of the misperceptions the world have about the youth.
By Sindisiwe Mthembu.

Youth voices in South Africa

The youth are becoming extremely important participants in the politics, social structures and systems, etc. in South Africa. They are the future leaders of tomorrow hence they should be able to voice out on the issues and this is what the talk from Gerald Boyce was suppose to be about, in his attempt to do this he has committed a few faults. Therefore the amount of participation was a lot less limited to what it could have been.

The talk covered topics such as the young people’s interest in voting or the lack of it rather. The youth has lost interest in voting, most of them see it as being an insignificant thing, that it does not make a difference if they participate or not. This is very misleading and it will affect the youth in the near future, we all know that in order to make a change one has to get involved and take the initiative and let their voices be heard and if they do not exercise this freedom of voting, then they are inhibiting other possibilities.

Mr Boyce presented his talk on the youth voices in a rather unconventional way. He used data that was systematically presented, therefore discouraged any involvement from the audience, more so from the youth, seeing that the talk was about the youth and its issues as South African citizens.

In his presentation he paid so much attention on race and I think was totally exaggerated, fine we have not passed that stage yet, were all people are free from racial discrimination but this did not make his arguments and findings anymore valid. I think that the speaker should have been more open to engagement from the audience. He could have presented his talk in a more qualitative method and focused on the current issues affecting the youth.

By Busisiwe Busenga


The presentation by Gerad Boyce on the youth voices in South Africa was quiet good but as a youth among the assembly I was left with so many unanswered questions. In that manner he emphasized on two distinct point that the youth of today are a generation of crisis but in the discussion the presenter was not able to make an introspection in the different situation that the youth of today are facing.

From such concerns and questions, I realized that young people are often confronted by a plethora of issues and questions about HIV, AIDS and sexuality to which they need answers. However, I believe that the presenter could have highlighted the issues that the generation is facing.Gerad mainly focused on the quantitative approach ignoring the facts that when referring to a large number and for it to be meaningful and authentic it has to have the qualitative approach.

Gerad also brought the limelight a very important point on the consensus that young people are different in comparison with the class of the `76`.Looking back at the presentation made by Elinor Sisulu she emphasized on the fact that the emergency of the I CTs has transformed the lives of young people which therefore if African are the set of group that has a low percentage of these ICTs and have a high percentage of high expectation, I believe that the youth of today can use these ICTs to change the crisis they are facing and live a better life.

By Portia Makore

Perceptions of life satisfactions amongst youth!

Youth voices in South Africa: An echo in the Age of hope is one of the presentations that lacked cause and effect at the National Arts Festival . Gerard Boyce is one of such man who engages in research in bringing the so-called concrete generalisation. He underwent a basic research, but according to him is an applied research.

The research had findings that were in contrast with one another. In his statistical figures; that ranged within the satisfaction with service delivery where he found no significant difference. All miniature captured really showed a stereotyped ideology (random conclusions) where he conducted a quantitative approach in his research. One of his nonsensical conclusions was that all African youth are very enthusiastic towards their future whereas the next figure showed that they are behind times too much.

In that regard, the researcher failed in the first step where he aimed on describing the blind relationship between classified groups. The finding did not deliver the facts but his assumptions and non-attestable hypothesis. Phenomenon under the study was supposed to be objectively conducted under the qualitative design where information can be linked. Hence, participation rather not on-looking observation could have helped in the matter.

He has failed to explore and come up with all connotations of the main problem. The point of digital divide blacks and whites, proved the future orientated group which is coloureds and whites. It really showed that they are the ones who know what’s in store for them.

By Moses Moreroa


Going to a talk to listen to what other young South Africans have to say about some of the issues surrounding them you would have all sorts of expectations. Well, I expected a whole lot more than what Gerard Boyce, a PhD student at UKZN had to offer at the Think Fest session. His research was more quantitative than qualitative. Oh well, Nyx, our trainer was more than willing to tell him that. Ouch! Bruised the guy’s ego though! And Nqo our coordinator couldn’t stop talking, the dude could not even attempt to answer her. HIGH FIVE LADIES!

Anyways, from what he presented there he mentioned that race seems to be driving differences between people more than the age differences. I agree and disagree to this statement because you will find that people of the same race share the same views about some issues but sometimes the issue of class affects the way people think and drives the differences between citizens.

“Youth has more hope in the future, whereas older people have less hope in the future.” Well I might agree to that, old people do have a doubt in the younger generation and its future. “Africans are not satisfied with life now, but have high hopes for the future for the future” What does this conclude about “Africans”? And anyways, what is his definition of “Africans”?

In his research he states that in the great expectations, Africans have high expectations about the future. In digital Divide, Africans have far less access to Information Communication Technologies than any other races. Does this mean that by hoping that the future will be better, the “Africans” are hoping that the digital divide gap will be bridged?

By: Sesethu Malgas

Opinion on Gerard Boyce talk at think Fest

Gerard Boyce, an economist student doing his doctrine at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal gave a presentation this morning in Eden Grove, on the topic of Youth attitudes in regards to SA identity, democracy, life satisfaction. He used a qualitative method for his study. His presentation also showed that youth attitudes are related to perception of life satisfaction.

His study showed that the youth’s attitudes towards voting were not huge, that the youth were disinterested when it came to those matters. I believe the apathy which the youth have towards voting is because we feel no one takes us seriously but this does not mean they will not vote although this may not be the truth for most.

Young people are a youth in crisis! I believe the youth are in crisis in terms of how we identify with who we are in relation to the older people.

His study used the categories of African, Colored, Indian and White. My question is, how do we define African? Anyone could have identified themselves as African, especially the youth.

In his presentation I noted that national pride, amongst our youth is quite high amongst the youth. Could this be due the recent events that have taken place in S.A.? I think events like the 2010 Soccer World Cup can be the reason it is high, although the voting is low it shows that the youth believe in our country and what it can be.

The study showed young people have more great expectations about the future and are more hopeful. This for me is a great link up to the national pride which was touched on. With that said the youth are hopeful because and have great expectations due to the fact that although there has been suffering endured in the past so with time we hope it will get better.

The qualitative study he used was not appropriate in regards to its agenda. It was a study about the youth but it felt like it was without the youth’s true opinions. Forums and discussions would have helped his study/findings.

In my opinion the youth are misunderstood and there are very few individuals to partake or engage with the youth, many things are based on assumptions.

By Nokwazi Khumalo

My opinion on :Youth Voices in SA Echoes in the Age of Hope

By Wendy Ngcobo
One of the criteria that sparkled in the discussion that was run by PHD student Gerald Boyce was how happy the black youth were with democracy and the way things are run in South Africa. In my view that was not a correct account of the youth at large.

Young people are not happy with a lot of things that are happening and concluding that they are over a research that was done with 10 people is a bit shocking. Having just come from the Municipal elections it was discovered that young people did not bother to vote in these elections. Now I am not a researcher but they did not need to do a research or evaluation .It was the young people themselves speaking out ,simply saying they are not ‘happy’ with the way things are run in South African.

And this is not to say this is a recent account, but they have not been happy for along time only they have been trying to find measures and ways to make their voices heard.

The democracy issue in my view goes beyond race because to perceive that the black youth are happy with what they have now is not an accurate reflection of every one that considers themselves to be a young person in South Africa. 

I am young person in this beautiful country of ours and feel Mr Boyce should consider engaging with us   on an advanced approach  because then he will have a realistic analysis on what I as a young person really think about the political structures and about the democratic structures in our country .

Alive in colour

Bursting with colour, his paintings are a reflection of the charming personality he possesses. He greats me with a smile and asks if I need anything. I casually decline and ask if I can do a profile on him. The stall is swarming with art loves and can hardly get a moment to engage with him long enough to ask a question.

This is Benjamin Furawo, originally Zimbabwean a painter with a talent for projecting everyday life in still art that one could almost connect with. ‘Painting one art work can take thirty minutes to two days depending on the mood of the day’, he says. He paints everyday and says ‘my uncle is the reason I paint, he strongly influenced my love for painting’.

Although he has faced many hard times such as his friends enduring xenophobia, to him being unable to find water paint to do what he loves and makes a living off. Although he loves being in South Africa but he still feels that he needs to explore his options. He plans on going to Germany at the end of September.

In every painting he gives his all and he wants to be remembered for the passion he portrayed in every art piece. ‘ I want people to appreciate my painting, that’s all’, he says. He casually tells me how he gave someone the same morning one of his art works for free. ‘I do it for the love not the money’.

by C Pumla Luthuli

What FJP means to Sibulele

For me this programme, which is greatly close to my heart, is not only just a networking opportunity but it is stepping stone for me to broaden my horizon in the field of journalism and media. When I found out I was accepted into the programme, Nqobile knows exactly how I reacted. I saw this as a prospect for me to enhance my likelihood of gaining employment in this ever competent field of reporting. 
For FJP the F should fall away as the programme allows me to be a journalist now not just in future. I know that my participation in the programme will open doors for me as it has with previous participants.

Particularly the winter school, it has provided a glimpse into the busy and crazy life of a journalist. I long so much to be part of that world and the programme is the key for me to be there.
Based on the connection I had created with the participants and coordinators of the programme during autumn school, I began to see FJP as more of a family than anything else. I have shared so much with the journalists in this programme. They have touched my life and I hope I have touched theirs too in some way or by some means. As mentioned, the benefits I will reap from my involvement in the programme are extraordinarily rewarding since the programme is renowned by many media institutions and newsrooms because of the amazing training it provides which also supplement my academic curriculum.

Rhodents frequently display their disapproval for the programme labelling it as racist and discriminatory, I have defended the programme from those untransformed views and portrayed it the way it truly is to the students. Philosophically speaking, the programme gave me wings to fly to my future. That is what the Future Journalist Programme mean to me.  
By: Sibulele Magini

Youth in Africa

Considering the research done by Gerard Boyce and his organisation, they certainly missed a lot of angles in context of what youth’s behaviours and attitude really mean. Their research tends to take a more quantitative angle to the study of people’s attitude, a field that would better understood on a more qualitative stance.

This is because qualitative methodologies tend to delve deeper into the reasons why people behave the way they do, instead of grazing over them, and relying on numbers and generalisation that tend to be the main feature of quantitative research. Attitudes vary between individuals and the way people express their thoughts differs from place to place, and within different social or economic standings.

For one to understand the youth, they have to be involved in talks with people who represent them, and with what is happening in this present life. South Africa has come a long way to address the issues of inequality between people, and to a larger extent people between the different race groupings that are there. This means that to understand young people, one has to go into deeper issues than just differences in skin colour. There are even differences in attitudes within same racial groupings.

I certainly believe as much as young people need to be heard and given the platform to express themselves, even the older generation needs to be given a chance to grasp this ever-changing world. If the older generation is given a chance to migrate from the ancient world into this modern one, they would, by no chance find it complicated to let the younger generation play a part in learning and embracing new technologies. Young and older people are working together for change.

By Bhekimpilo Dungei

Shoelace Rockers

This up and coming incredibly talented band consisting of four band members are originally from the Eastern Cape, Port Elizabeth.

Shoelace Rockers, previously known as ‘Untitled’ are a group of friends who share a love for music. The band however broke up as they had lost a band member but soon after rekindled their musical romance we now know as the Shoelace Rockers.

They all first met each other at the Arts centre in Port Elizabeth and have been friends ever since. Xola who is the drummer has a passion for jazz music and finds his inspiration there within. James on the keyboard lays his interest in hip hop music and is also a drama major. Vuzo, who studies music, is on the guitar. Lastly, Ndumiso a music major, who is on vocals and base guitar.

The name of their band symbolises oneness. The figurative idea of a shoe without a lace implies that there is no sense of togetherness hence the name ‘Shoelace’. Naturally, there are disagreements within any band but the Shoelace Rockers would not have it any other way. “We’d rather make a band with friends and encounter conflicts because they would be resolved quickly instead of with people who do not have an understanding of each other”.

Shoelace Rockers soul band are hoping to release a single soon and build up a reputable fan base. In time, they will be hitting centre stage with South Africa’s greatest.

By Duschanka Hitzeroth



Zenzo Moses Gambisa was born in Zimbabwe on October 25 1984. He started schooling in Zimbabwe until 2004 when he moved to South Africa following his father, James Gambisa a professor at Rhodes faculty of Environmental science.
In 2005 he enrolled at Rhodes to study towards the Bachelor of Pharmacy, and unfortunately, Moses failed his first year. Moses a true believer of the philosophy that everything happens for a reason is quite happy that he failed that year. It served him with an opportunity to be able to stay here in South Africa after completing his degree and be able to look for a job here. This was possible because his father, professor Gambisa was granted citizenship a year ago.
But in order for Moses to be allowed to practise as a pharmacist in S.A he had to get some recommendation letters for the Home Affairs department. He said that this is such a small letter but it cost him a year to wait for that letter. Finally he got it early this year and is waiting for his internship in a government’s provincial hospital which promises to come through in August.
Due to this situation his mother also was forced to leave her job in Zimbabwe to stay here and support her son while he was trying to find a job.




I feel that the youth is not well understood and heard.The older people expect the youth to mimic their actions when they were youth. That is not possible given the opportunities and the circumstances we face today.Another issue is the kind of challenges we face today are totally different from what the experienced.All that they had to worry about was freedom and a better life for all, but today we face many issues like, HIV/AIDS, Unemployment, climate change and also trying to bridge the gap between the previously advantaged and disadvantaged.
Most believe that we do not appreciate the freedom that they fought for .We is simply wasting it away on unimportant things. For example: the now popular hip hop culture, one may not decide to go the academic route but venture a career in hip hop, the adults will never accept that as something that one may make a real living out of it.
The talk today did not really reflect on the youth today. I do not believe that a study conducted on people less than a hundred will depicts what a million people think and feel about certain issues. I also feel that the study was not so much engaging with the youth in general, it just felt like perceptions of one-sided thinker.
In terms of race, I think that the youth have the same issues about related issues. The only problem would be on the socio-economic classes. For example looking at black and white youth, in as much as they both may know what Facebook is, but they both don’t stand equal chances to accessing it.

PhD candidate "explores" youth attitudes

Economics doctorate student from the University of KwaZulu Natal, Gerard Boyce, hosts a talk on youth attitudes based on a research done by the South African Social Attitudes Survey.  This debate provoking presentation was held as part of the Think!Fest initiative. The presentation explored youth attitudes with regards to their nationality identity, democracy, life satisfaction, governance and popular myths growing amongst the youth.
For my part, the statistics presented were too general and did not account for individualism amongst the youth. Young people were often packaged as being a homogenous group that share the same views only marked by race. This is not the case. Though racial differences do mark a difference but it is more culture and class, which are determinant factors of the ways of living, than race that truly shape our views and lives. The stats failed to account for that. The stats brought forward for the most part were a study about the youth without the youth. This is a true reflection of society of how frequently the better privilege speaks for the less privilege. Men usually speak for women, physically-able speak for the disabled; whites speak for the blacks and in this case old people speaking for the youth.
Young people are often presented as being disinterested and unconcerned. He mentioned that 1976 is used as a benchmark to compare the born-frees to the young that took up to the street for the Soweto Uprising. This is an unfair comparison as the challenges faced by the 1976 youth and the contemporary youth differs markedly. Overall, the presentation was sloppy but did provoke a lot of debate and was largely questioned. 


Youth Voice in South Africa- Echoes in the Age of Hope

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the June 16 Massacre, what does that mean to me as a youth? How does the blood shed play significance especially as a young African youth?

I believe that the talk’s focus on the quantitative research in regards of attitudes of the youth was of contradiction. This is because attitudes can never be stable; our surroundings either in term of political, social or personal activities influence us, positively or negatively. The evaluation of race was also of contradictory in that democratic race was evaluated in terms of the apartheid regime’s notion. One thing not clear was the fact that race was determined in African, White, Indian etc, are we not all Africans regardless of our skin colour? Gerard Boyce also mentioned that the Class of 2010 has been labelled ‘Generation Disappointment’; he could’ve at least tried to explain the reason of labelling them.

Socio-Economics is one factor that I’m not knowledgeable on, Gerard did not also give a proper explanation with regards to that. As a young person, I wanted to come out of that talk well informed about issues relating to the youth. His survey dwelled much on the government and democracy than on real issues that the youth deal with on a daily basis. Boyce was again not clear on the gender the surveys where conducted on. On a positive note, the talk was an eye opener.

By: Khutso Mabokela

For the love of art

By Wendy Ngcobo

Sunali Pillay is a 22 year old Fine Arts student at Rhodes University, who does henna application during her spare time.

Mendi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration done to Indian brides. Sunali was only 12 when a bad job that was done on her hand for her uncle’s wedding.

This inspired her to practice her designs on friends for months.”You see people do it, but you develop your own style", said Sinali. This she does with delicacy and flair as she’s had many years of practice.

After a stint which she did for a year in Journalism the following year she tried English and Philosophy.
 Sunali  then wanted to ‘stray’ as did her parents who studied but ended up doing something different.

 Her mom studied English and Drama but she is a businesswoman who owns her own company, her dad a trained draughtsman owns a Landry company. This inspired her to ‘wander off ‘on her own which she did while in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, and Ireland.
 Until she founded comfort in the field of art.
‘I’m happier now”,she said because I’m doing something I love “.