By Wendy Ngcobo
Sihle Siyabonga Mthembu took some time to motivate the 2011’s FJP’s (Future Journalist Programme).
He described his experience at FJP as one that was very interesting as it became a unique networking platform and learning experience. The workshops that were offered during his FJP year took his writing to another level. Initially, Sihle disliked writing hard news but he told FJP’s to pay attention to their writing workshops. He acknowledged the fact that the writing workshops made him more comfortable in writing especially feature stories.
Currently, Sihle is at the National Arts Festival, doing reviews for BBC. He is also doing an internship at the prestigious Media 24. These are valuable contacts which he made during the Highway Africa Conference, through the exposure offered by FJP. He advised FJPs to use this opportunity as a stepping stone to bigger things. “I met MathataTsedu at Highway, who told me about the cadet school at Media 24,” he said. Ironically, Mathata has since taken Sihle under his wing.
He credited the programme for his success and the opportunities since derived from it. Sihle encouraged the FJP’s to take full use of this opportunity not only to build networks in the industry, but also amongst themselves.”The colleagues you have now will help you should you need to interview someone in Johannesburg and you are in Durban”.
He emphasised on professionalism as he believes it is what brought him to where he is now.” Remove the mentality of being a student”, he said. “That way you don’t leave room for mistakes.”
|Sihle Mthembu checking shows that he will be reviewing||.|
Sihle encouraged the FJPs to spread out and think beyond politics, stressing the industry’s dire shortage of quality journalists, particularly in the field of arts, environment and business.
In the midst of story-chasing and meeting deadlines, Sihle motivated FJPs to always be prepared, take initiatives but also enjoy themselves and have fun.”This is a great opportunity” he said.
For now Sihle’s he’s busy working on his first documentary called The Uprising. Asked on what lies for the future, cinema was no doubt the next invasion space!