Upstarters ready to move up!

by Sihle Jack

As the Ukufunda blog writers, we are so fortunate to be working with children who are full of promise on almost a weekly basis. This week was no different, except for the fact that it was spiced up. Rod Amner, one of the writing and editing lecturers and Executive editor of our blog, was kind enough to share an idea with us, one that we immediately loved. He opened us to the idea of teaching the children who are part of Upstart how to be citizen journalists and report on issues, events or anything they find newsworthy about the different environments that they find themselves in. Upon hearing about this, we, the writers, were so excited to be doing this. I of course only speak for myself when I was super excited as I have been looking for something like this for a while.

Our little mission to the Joza Youth Hub was first derailed by one of our writers, Roxanne, getting her car keys jammed in the boot minutes before we had to leave. We then were able to overcome this and managed to get there on time with the help of everyone on our team.

Meeting the small group of budding journalists, much like us, was quite an experience for all of us. After arriving at the centre, we took it upon ourselves to introduce ourselves to the teens and introduce an icebreaker so that we could all be comfortable with each other before doing what we had set out to do.

We then broke ourselves up into groups. I was lucky enough to be in a group with three teenage girls.

We then followed one of the girls to her school, T.E.M Mrwetyana, where they conducted interviews with each other about all the negative things which happen at their schools and what their wishes for their schools are. For the next time we meet, we have scheduled to go to their different home environments as they have kindly invited Roxanne and I to see what happens in their lives.

Having gone to the Joza Youth Hub reminded me of how interested I was in journalism before taking the decision to study it. The teens that we saw today looked so passionate and were willing to learn. I am really looking forward to the next time that we are all going to meet.


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