Vol8 no6 2016
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TO BEGIN WITH
FLYING SOLO: BANELE KHOZA (22), alumnus of and part-time lecturer at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, hosted his first solo exhibition which opened at the Pretoria Art Museum in July. The exhibition was titled Temporary Feelings and consisted of 25 artworks, including the one featured on this photo, called Union Pub. “It is a scene taken from a local pub in Pretoria Central,” says Banele. “The characters are being watched by the ghostly figure, who is a representation of me. It is the interaction between the individuals that you will find in the pub that interested me and the instinctive behaviour that occurs in the space. Before I began with the body of work for Temporary Feelings, I exposed myself to scenes that could possibly inspire me. Union Pub is a central point for all classes of the LGBTI society to meet and have fun.”
Visual Communication (Photography) student KHOTSO MOTSOENENG was the photographer behind the lens of this edition’s cover photo.
TWICE GIVES US FIVE LEADERSHIP TRAITS
In view of a leadership seminar hosted by Accommodation, Residence Life and Catering (ARLC) during the July recess, we ask ELIYA (TWICE) MOGANEDI, Residence Manager at West City and one of the organisers of the event, for his top five characteristics of a true leader.
DESIRE TO SERVE OTHERS
"Authentic leaders genuinely desire to serve others through their leadership."
"They are more interested in empowering the people they lead to make a difference than they are in power, money, or prestige for themselves."
GUIDED BY HEART, PASSION AND COMPASSION
"They are as guided by qualities of the heart, by passion, and compassion, as they are by qualities of the mind."
RECOGNISE THEIR SHORTCOMINGS
"Authentic leaders use their natural abilities, but they also recognise their shortcomings and work hard to overcome them."
"Authentic leaders are dedicated to developing themselves because they know that becoming a leader takes a lifetime of personal growth."
To win this
please send your name
and cell number to email@example.com on or before 16 September. Mark the subject field: COOLER
Since starting her career at Vrye Weekblad, a groundbreaking, anti-apartheid Afrikaans weekly
newspaper in the eighties, Virginia Keppler (44) has made her mark in the South African media industry. She has worked in various capacities at newspapers such as Beeld, Rapport, City Press, Sondag and now as Pretoria Bureau Chief of The Citizen. But, in spite of all this experience, she has never obtained a formal qualification in journalism.
THIS YEAR, YOU APPLIED AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM THROUGH A PROCESS OF RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING. WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO STUDY? I have done a lot of courses over the years, but I always felt that it was not enough. It was as if there was something missing. When my eldest daughter, Marc, finished matric, I encouraged her to further her studies. That’s when I also decided to go for it. I need to get my own piece of paper. It’s hard work and I am trying my best. I want to make my children proud.
YOU WERE WORKING AS A CASHIER AT SHOPRITE IN BRIXTON, JOHANNESBURG BACK IN THE DAY, WHERE SA POET AND AUTHOR, DON MATTERA “DISCOVERED” AND INTRODUCED YOU TO MAX DU PREEZ, VRYE WEEKBLAD’S EDITOR. HOW DID YOUR LIFE CHANGE THEN, AND HOW WAS IT WORKING AT THE HEADLINE-GRABBING NEWSPAPER? I had dropped out of business school after one year and went to work as a cashier, earning R45 a weekend. But, after I met Don Mattera, my life changed forever. Max is no ordinary man and a great talent scout. He decided to give this girl from the heart of Eersterust a chance. My first article was a disaster. Max tossed it into the dustbin. He came to me, sat in front of my computer and asked me to sit right next to him. There he taught me how to write a proper article. That was the birth of Virginia Keppler the journalist. It was an enormous privilege working for a struggle newspaper during the last breaths of the apartheid regime. From there on I managed to work my way up to become the first non-white assistant editor at Sondag and the first non-white news editor at Beeld.
YOUR DAUGTHER IS ALSO STUDYING AT THE DEPARTMENT . . . It’s exciting. On our first day this year, we took a picture together. She just rolled her eyes. We do not attend the same classes, but we travel to class together. It’s always a battle to see who gets the dining room table first for all her study material. Of course, I always win. Ha ha!
CAN’T YOU TEACH THE LECTURERS A THING OR TWO, GIVEN YOUR VAST EXPERIENCE? I’m sure I can. But, right now, they have the upper hand because I am the student. I’m doing Research Methodology and it’s harder than I thought. It’s like trying to swim in mud. The academic language is hard to comprehend, especially after being such a free-spirited journalist. At one point when I wanted to give up, my daughter just said: “No ma, ask someone to help you. You can do it.” She went straight to my lecturer. Luckily, I’m on track again, working at a slow pace. But, in the end, I will succeed.
WHO ARE YOUR MENTORS IN THE MEDIA? I was fortunate to have many mentors, starting with Max du Preez. Then, there was Andriette Stofberg, whom I referred to as my journalism-mamma. Tim du Plessis and Barnard Beukman also played a big role as mentors when I returned to Afrikaans titles after a five-year stint in the English market, followed by Peet Bothma, who remains one of my biggest mentors. In fact, he played a very important role in helping me to develop leadership and managerial skills and to unlock strengths that I never knew I had. He has always believed in me.
Veteran journalist, Virginia Keppler (44).
RETURNS TO CLASS AT
PHOTO: Herman Verwey
When students board the bus from Soshanguve to Ga-Rankuwa, they are greeted with a big, warm smile from Mama Rosinah, the first female bus driver for the Ga-Rankuwa Campus. Truly Mahlwele, a Journalism student at the Soshanguve North Campus, met her.
Rosinah Mashabela (49), a mother of two from Soshanguve, drives the student bus for twelve hours daily, Mondays to Fridays. She dispels the myth that there are certain jobs that women cannot do.
Before driving the student bus, Rosinah used to sell vegetables at the Mabopane
station. Driving big cars has always been her passion since her twenties. She started driving heavy vehicles in 1987 and perfected the skill with her family's mini truck. She often drove the truck to and from the Tshwane market, collecting fresh vegetables to sell at the station. When she is not driving, she knits feet warmers that she sells for an extra income.
"Women should not be scared of the structure of big vehicles or driving big cars. I would encourage anyone in possession of a light vehicle licence to upgrade to a heavy vehicle licence for better job opportunities,” she says. Rosinah adds that she loves her job and that the only challenge is dealing with students who refuse to follow rules.
Over the past 14 years, she has gained a lot of experience. She has worked for Starline and the City of Tshwane.
"It is not a lot of women who would opt for Rosinah’s job, and we are proud of her. It still surprises many people when they see her behind the big wheel. It also encourages other women that anything is possible," says Thabiso Nong, a student who uses the bus daily.
Thomas Masemola, Supervisor at Stabus, says he is pleased to see a woman joining their industry. “It brings gender equality to life,” he says.
Rosinah Mashabela (49) really enjoys being the first female bus driver at the Ga-Rankuwa Campus.
BEHIND THE BIG WHEEL WITH
LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION!
Hollywood took notice of young filmmaker Hencas van Huyssteen (26), a third-year Film and Television Production student, when one of his films, Wake¸ won the Just 4 Shorts online film competition. The competition gives filmmakers increased global exposure and is closely watched by Hollywood insiders seeking new talent and feature film adaptation deals. Hencas tells Heita! why he has never looked back since swopping music for movies.
YOUNG FILMMAKER ON THE RISE
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO STUDY FILM, AND WHY AT TUT?
I initially studied music here at TUT, but felt I could be more creative. Music felt like limited expression to me. I love film because it is where all the different art forms come together. So, I figured I'd finish my diploma in Jazz and then try to get into TUT's Film and Television Production course since I was already watching more movies than I was studying. I chose TUT because its courses are more practical and that is what you need when pursuing a craft – practice.
TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT WAKE. After suffering a head injury at work, Chris, one of the main characters, begins having enigmatic nightmares. Haunted by a door in the dreams which he can never reach, his pregnant girlfriend, Anne, seems unbothered by his nocturnal torments. His suspicions and confusion are heightened when he meets Edward, the town conspiracy nut, who swears Chris and Anne's life is not all it appears to be.
IT SEEMS AS IF THE SA FILM INDUSTRY IS BOOMING. WHAT IS YOUR VIEW OF
THE QUALITY? It’s definitely growing. I can only speak as a student and one who has as yet only had a taste of the pains and pleasures of making films. Therefore, I will only say that there is always room to improve in terms of quality, not necessarily technically. Quality in terms of telling good stories about great characters is an unending quest which must always be pursued and never come second to the technical aspects of a film.
CORRIDORS, ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR SHORT FILMS, HAS ALSO BEEN ACCEPTED FOR
THE OFFICIAL SELECTION OF THE LAGUNA SHORT FILM FESTIVAL IN CALIFORNIA
LAST YEAR. TELL US A BIT MORE ABOUT THE FILM. Corridors was my first real attempt at making a short film. I was in first-year and learned that we would only get to make a narrative film in our second year. That felt like way too long to wait. I decided to make my own little film and it turned out OK. Actor Jonathan Pienaar stars in it and it was an absolute pleasure and honour to work with him. I wrote, directed, produced and edited while studying and decided to enter it into some festivals.
Corridors revolves around Joe, a homeless drunk, who accosts a group of violent young men for some cash outside an abandoned hospital. His night takes a terrible turn. An altercation ensues and the men drag him into the building to teach him a lesson. But something else awaits them inside. Something that repays cruelty in kind.
WHAT IS THE BEST FILM OF ALL TIMES? My answer will never be the same. There is no one best film. There are great films and great film directors who each has an amazing
body of work. I'm a big fan of David Fincher's films. I really enjoy the dark, cynical and sometimes anarchistic worlds and characters he is so good at creating. I'm also a lifelong Star Wars fan and consider that series to be one of the reasons I got into filmmaking in the first place. Christopher Nolan tells incredibly intricate stories, the best so far being Interstellar.
WHAT FILM WILL YOU MAKE IF YOU’RE GIVEN AN UNLIMITED BUDGET? If I could get the rights and the money to make a film about the video game Star Craft, I would die happy. After people are tired of comic book adaptations, they might enjoy seeing their favourite video games come to life. I love epic films and there is a special place in my heart for Sci-Fi, especially the really high concept, out-there stuff. I'm currently writing a few stories that I probably won't ever get to make because of its size and scope.
Saving money wherever we could, we ended up filming all the scenes of Chris and Anne's home at my girlfriend's house. We used a variety of locations to create the nightmares. Heinrich Kotze, who plays Chris, and Elri Nel, who plays Anne, were both Drama students at the Arts campus last year. My brother, Stephan, portrayed the role of Edward, and Karabo Nkuna, a current Drama student, also starred in the film. The crew and myself played various other small parts.
HENCAS VAN HUYSSTEEN (26)
Virginia Keppler (44), a veteran journalist who started studying at the Department of Journalism through a process of Recognition of Prior Learning, says journalists should demand transparency and guard against being censored.
HOW HAVE NEWSPAPERS CHANGED SINCE YOU’VE STARTED? When I started my career at Vrye Weekblad, the content was risky, challenging, thoroughly investigated and well-researched. Remember, we were addressing apartheid issues which angered the then government and many racists. Post-apartheid was a different ball game. For the first time, newspapers were uncensored. It was like discovering a new playpen full of goodies you were taught were bad for your health and existence. Today, the media has become the informers of the masses and this is taken very seriously. We demand transparency and we must guard against being censored.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE STORIES YOU’VE COVERED OVER THE YEARS THAT MADE A LASTING IMPRESSION. I have been a crime reporter for many years and have seen and interviewed people who went through horrifying incidents – death, rape, assault . . . What made some of these stories stand out is that many of the victims chose to forgive. There is one story that I will never forget. It was about a young boy who was abused in a mental institution. I felt I had to tell his story because he could not speak for himself. He was beaten, bitten, left with his own dirt and unfed. It sparked a huge debate in the newsroom whether we should publish his name and show his face and injuries. The initial reaction was that we could not. I cried and sat at the office until my superiors changed their minds. Eventually, it resulted in a major investigation into the facility and proper action was taken to deal with the guilty parties.
YOU HAVE FOUR CHILDREN (INCLUDING TWIN BOYS). GIVE US SOME TIME MANAGEMENT TIPS. In this line of work, you need a strong support base and a very reliable nanny. I am a single parent, so I also need to be extra hard on my kids. All my kids basically grew up in a newsroom and they understood the dynamics from a very young age. It’s almost like: Now you see my mother, now you don’t. Although I like to work hard and do well, I also ensure that I make time for my children. My eldest daughter, Marc (21), is a third-year student at TUT, my second daughter, Kyle (16), is in Grade 10, and my seven-year-old twins, Jayden and Jade, are in Grade 1. These boys keep me on my feet.
DO YOU THINK NEWSPAPERS WILL SURVIVE, GIVEN THE DECLINING CIRCULATION? Yes! I’m very optimistic when it comes to community newspapers. One must remember that some media houses are not only newspaper title holders, but they also venture into other businesses where they are making lots of money.
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR JOURNALISM STUDENTS WHO ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE INDUSTRY?
If you don’t have a lot of integrity and don’t like working hard, reading, taking risks, changing the world and sometimes even hating people, my advice is to run as fast as you can.
LATELY, YOU’VE ALSO VENTURED INTO POETRY. IS THERE A BOOK ON ITS WAY? Yes! I’m done writing my little book which is no ordinary piece of work. It includes poetry and short stories. People can expect something colourful. I’m no dull girl!
PHOTO: Herman Verwey
A WAY WITH WORDS
BACK TO CLASS AT
In view of Women’s Day that was celebrated on 9 August, Jackey Masekela met up with Durell JeJane (28) who obtained a B Tech: Sports Management degree from TUT. She is currently a Sports Administrator for Athletics South Africa (ASA) and, of course, an experienced netball player who has represented South Africa at national level.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED IN SPORTS?
I have always participated in sports as my parents encouraged me to take part from a very young age. Given my talent, I was moved to a school that was good at sport. At high school I made a conscious decision to give it my all and one day give back to the community. I was into athletics at school.
WAS SPORTS MANAGEMENT YOUR PREFERRED CHOICE OF STUDY? Sport was always my first choice. My parents never wanted me to participate and study at the same time, so I first enrolled for an Economics course. I negotiated with them and later convinced them that Economics is not my passion and that I am more into sports. I enrolled for Sports Management the following year.
WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AT ASA? I work closely with the CEO as I am a PA as well and oversee events that the province organises, such as the SA Championships. I ensure that the correct procedures are followed and I organise and coordinate our AGMs and executive meetings.
HOW DID YOU GET TO REPRESENT SOUTH AFRICA IN NETBALL? Netball was easier than athletics and I have been involved with teams in Gauteng where I was playing. As I got better, I was selected at the national championships to represent South Africa.
WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO YOUNGSTERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A CAREER IN SPORTS MANAGEMENT? Study Sports Management, but know what you want to do with it. Sports have so many different dimensions.
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It’s easy! All you have to do is answer the following
question (don’t fret, you should get the answer somewhere
in this edition): WHO IS THE SEASONED SA JOURNALIST WHO IS CURRENTLY STUDYING AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JOURNALISM?
TRYPHINA MASEKOAMENG (24), a B Tech: Information Technology (Software Development) student at the Soshanguve Campus, is the winner of the competition featured in Heita! Vol8 No5 2016.
SPEND THE R300 WISELY.
The winner of the CLOCK is NALEDI MAKOLA (18), an Accounting student at the Ga-Rankuwa Campus.
All work and no play make Jack (and Jill) a dull boy (and girl).