Archive for February, 2015


Having attended #communitymediaengagement hosted by Freedom of Expression Institute with fellow newshounds yesterday, I was left wondering about the importance of training (be it formal or informal) and what impact it has in the media industry irrespective of the medium.

We reside in a country where tertiary training is too costly, some of us may be forgiven for not having those privileges hence the constant need to fake qualifications when the need arise.

However, how vital it is for one to be fully equipped and be referred to as Editor-In-Chief?

Perhaps, one can argue that I can simply research how the industry works and take it from there; but the again does this mean I can do research on medicine upon completion be qualified to open a pharmacy?

A wise man once said, “Grammatical error in a news article is unforgivable, because such mistakes makes you wonder what else is wrong.” This quote involves sub-editing which then requires training.

Locally, we always brag about how ‘rich’ formerly Vaal Triangle (now Sedibeng region) is whenever it suits us but in reality what is it that is rich?

Most publications (inclusive The Official View News) and radio stations have a tendency that if their content does not comprises of Emfuleni Local Municipality and Sedibeng District Municipality therefore it is not complete, what is this message portraying to the masses outside the region? That there is nothing other than the municipalities’ worth reading about over here?

Training will teach you that there is a difference in aligning your entity by being a bridge between the community and government instead of letting it to be a mouth-piece (and serving as a PR-exercise).

And once again training will teach you that Vaal on its own has hard-hitting news that are breaking every now and then, there are issues of community interest other than municipalities and this include social cohesion, gender-based violence towards LGBTI’s, HPV vaccination to our beloved siblings to name just a few.

I pity budding media personnel who fork out +/-R20K in tuition fees just to be exploited but then again how will you know a journalist worth if;

a) You’ve never been on-field to source news yourself;

b) You’ve never encountered hostile protesters for a news article;

c) You’ve never faced men in blue ordering deletion of pictures off camera unless face arrest;

d) And most importantly you have no idea what terms like libel, plagiarism, scribe, propaganda mean.

The bottom line is training is crucial and tutors one not to compromise on quality for quantity!!!!!

RIGHT OF PASSAGE: Those who were once boys now men following successful initiation. Picture by Sifiso Jimta.

RIGHT OF PASSAGE: Those who were once boys now men following successful initiation. Picture by Sifiso Jimta.

By Sifiso Jimta

SEBOKENG – Jubilation and tears of joy written on the faces of parents as graduates who recently came from the local initiation school return home safe.

As woman ululated, men broke in traditional Sesotho songs celebrating the circumcision of their sons as they took a leap from childhood to manhood.

It was a month back when these young males left their homes bravely with the idea of becoming men now it is all a dream come true. Residents of Sebokeng came in their large numbers to observe the ritual, woman joined by neighbours and other relatives screamed the names of their sons as they showcase and define themselves in a manner they were taught, the crowd unable to contain their joy while these your men walked bare foot, donning decorated blankets and animal skin covered with red clay.

The return of the initiates was a relief for other parents, Nomalanga Mokoena said, “We always hear stories about initiates dying in the camps not knowing what went wrong; I am just relieved to see all of the initiates back home safe and sound.”

Mixed emotions prevailed as some members of the society were not happy with return of the initiates claiming they bring controversy in the community and barricaded roads when they accompany each other home.

Edited by Reginald Nhlapo