The media team at Ukufunda aims to build a community of interest around all things education. We are situated in Grahamstown and love to write stories about education for all those involved in education, especially learners still in school. We’ll cover everything that schools and higher institutions throw our way, from concerning service delivery issues to the latest and greatest school dance.
Meet The Team: 2015
Supervising Editor: Gillian Rennie
Gillian Rennie teaches writing and editing in the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University. Before that, she worked for a long time for a variety of print media. She has edited Cue newspaper quite often, has won a national award for profile writing, and been selected twice as a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow. Her MPhil through Stellenbosch University was on the literary journalism of Jonny Steinberg. She loves a good metaphor, the Eastern Cape’s blue sky, and believes that cats know everything already (though you’d have to disregard their disregard for semicolons).
Executive Editor: Rod Amner
Rod Amner worked as a writer, sub-editor and editor for a range of news agencies, newspaper and magazines for more than 10 years before joining the School of Journalism and Media Studies as a lecturer. A former editor and director of the Development Media Agency, he has a long-standing interest in the theory and practice of alternative ‘journalisms’, including public/civic journalism, development journalism and participatory/citizen’s journalism. He did his Master’s research about a public journalism experiment conducted by the Daily Dispatch newspaper in East London and is currently researching and testing alternative approaches to reporting for his PhD. He likes camping with his family, cycling to work and other interesting places, and listening to very uncool music, most of it from the 1970s.
Co-Editor: Dani Kreusch
Somehow crazy enough to come back for a fourth year, I have found that watching my baby blog grow up a little more has been an amazing experience. I’m your typical ‘word nerd’: anything to do with creative writing – be it stories or scripts for series or movies or whatever – or editing any type of writing and I am in my happy place. Apart from writing and editing content for this wonderful blog, I’m also the one of the three head honchos in terms of bossing the third year reporters around and making sure they write beautiful things. I’m also the person who messes around with the coding as much as they’ll let my itchy fingers.
Co-Editor: Lesedi Ntuli
Hey all! I am Lesedi, a fourth year student at Rhodes University. Apart from being a Writing and Editing student, I’m a radio personality, a mentor, and a professional napper. I have a passion for the entertainment industry, red velvet cupcakes and I am utterly obsessed with Coldplay. Sometimes I enjoy perusing websites like Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog. After my studies, I wish to pursue a career as a journalist for either a newspaper or magazine. Role on Ukufunda: Editor and sometimes reporter.
Co-Editor: Carol Kagezi
Student at Rhodes University studying towards a Bachelors of Journalism degree. I am passionate about so many things, a list too long to write down. This year however, I chose to focus my energies on learning and education. I am particularly interested in learning more about learning disabilities.
Reporter: Roxanne Daniels
I love stories, I love telling the stories of other people (and I’m slowly getting better at that) and I love that I am part of a story that is happening right now as I breathe and think and imagine. My name is Roxanne Daniels and I am currently doing my third year of Journalism and Media Studies and English Literature at Rhodes University. So far my experience at university has been a wonderfully challenging one. I hope to go into education soon, teaching English, Drama and Geography to high school students. I would love to engage with young people, encouraging them to love learning and growing as I try to present lessons in a stimulating, exciting way. As a young reader, I loved reading Harry Potter, The Magic Faraway Tree and I am David, especially because this last one was read to my sister and me by our mother. My favourite though, has been The Book Thief.
Reporter: Sihle Jack
Hi all, I am Sihle Jack. I’m a third year Journalism and Organisational Psychology major student. I enjoy cooking, reading and watching documentaries. I have this big dream for world peace and I love keeping up with the latest trends. I would really love to write for either a newspaper or magazine.
Reporter: Mitchell Parker
Mitchell Parker is a Journalism and Media Studies 3rd year at Rhodes University. He has worked as a politics writer for The Oppidan Press, as a newsroom manager for Cue newspaper and most recently as the Online Editor for Activate. Personal narrative is his favourite brand of story telling and is a big proponent of the human interest story. More often than not found under his arguably far too big headphones with his nose buried in a book, Mitchell is a lover of words – lyrical or otherwise. Eternally dreaming of the moment when his Hogwarts letter will finally arrive. Frequently given to impromptu singing and dancing.
Reporter: Joy Ngaphu
My name is Ntombovuyo Ngaphu but you are free to call me Joy. I’m a third year student majoring in isiXhosa and Journalism. Apart from being a passionate writer I am defined by my humungous love for the Xhosa language together with its indigenous literature-poems, tales, riddles,-and the general culture of the Xhosa people. NdingumXhosa myself, if that helps and I’m looking forward to establishing my own isiXhosa newspaper one day. My interests lie in education, women rights and the general well-being of people from disadvantaged backgrounds.
I am currently working as a tutor in the African Languages Department at Rhodes and I’m also mentoring two students from my scholarship called Rural Education Access Program (REAP). I have worked with Activate as an editor for the isiXhosa section in 2013. My role on this blog is basically just writing stories.
Reporter: Loyiso Gxothiwe
My mother asked me to name my little brother when he arrived home from the hospital. I named him. My mother said, “It’s nice name but let’s find him another one.” He got a new name but I still call him what I named him. The nickname I gave got stolen by some kid’s parents in our neighbourhood. I guess that’s why I decided to be a journalist – to bring justice to the world so that what happened with my brother’s nickname would not happen again. I also paint on the side.