Sunday, November 25, 2012

Young White People Discuss Trust Funds - Young Black People Repay Student Loans

Siphumelele Zondi

Recently I was in a pub in Johannesburg’s leafy suburbs of Parkhurst. My friend and I were the only two black people there and everyone else inside this popular pub was white. I overheard a conversation taking place across from us where young white people were discussing how trust funds their parents had set up were helping them get started in life. Another also spoke of the property his parents had bought for him.

I later had a conversation with a white friend of mine who acknowledged that a lot of benefits white people have come as a result of apartheid and other policies that existed before apartheid was formalised which ensured that black people would be near-slaves for white people. My white friend mentioned that he has a grandfather who owns a fruit farm in the Eastern Cape and knows that those that work on the farm are uneducated black people, who are uneducated because policies of the past made sure of that. He mentioned that his grandfather would never find labour that cheap if he was in Europe as that kind of exploitation would never happen there.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Thought it was Writer's Block, Nah, Not Me!

Kgoshi Segagabi Nkgadima 

I have been going through journalism school thinking I can write anything that is thrown at me. After all I studied journalism because writing was always second nature, I never struggled with the craft as a kid. That was until recently as many of us have to produce good quality pieces in a short space of time in offices and newsrooms where we work as interns, junior reporters or junior public relations practitioners.

I realised how much of a writing novice I am when I was faced with a quagmire of a situation recently.  There I was facing a deadline and ideas just refused to come. I looked up at the ceiling, the computer, the ceiling, pieces of paper on my desk and then the computer again. The clock on the wall kept on tick-toking and tick-toking, reminding me that time was running out and I had to come up with something very quickly. I would scribble down what I would think is a brilliant idea, soon squash that piece of paper, I would start the process all over again. Soon I found myself drowning in a pool of paper on the floor. Time didn’t stop and hours passed.