WHAT’S NEWS TO YOU?  LESSONS FROM A 13 YEAR OLD JOURNALIST

 

Keeping notes

Keeping notes

This month on September 11 I marked 13 years as a journalist. So I thought I should dedicate this week’s blog post to an activity that has dominated my life for the past 13 years. Of course, it’s a long story.

IN THE BEGINNING: WHAT AM I?

I had many dreams and aspirations before I decided on a path to become a journalist. In fact I wanted to be a great many things. I had dreams of becoming a cartoonist: working as an animator for Walt Disney, I also dreamed of being a dancer, a singer, maybe even an actress. Everyone in my family had at some point stood silently near the bathroom watching me talk to myself on the mirror while trying out different facial expressions. They would watch me practice over and over at the mirror, talking in a language even I didn’t  understand until I mastered the art of crying and laughing on the spot.  During those times I took on different characters, a broken-hearted lover, maybe some kind of a star, a teacher, maybe a university professor at an academic institution of high repute, a writer, a mother and so on. At some point I tried competing for the Miss South Africa Title. Alas.

 A  WHOLE WORLD IN MY HEAD

The list was (still is) endless. One of the options I considered to my mother’s chagrin, was joining the army. I thought then than it would be the easiest way for me to acquire a driver’s licence at no cost to my parents. I wanted to learn how to be disciplined because I had a short attention span and would find myself wondering to foreign lands in the middle of tasks, while washing dishes  for example, studying or trying to pay attention during Math class. I was intrigued by the story of numbers .  By suggesting I join the army  I hoped I would reign in the dreamer in me, and become more like my father who is disciplined, hardworking and always on time. As my mother and I poured over alternatives for my future career while lying on her bed, looking dreamily into the ceiling like lovers planning a future together, the word journalism surfaced. My mother acted as my career guide and told me:” you like to talk; to write, you are very curious, you enjoy reading, finding information and you want to travel, so journalism would be perfect for you. Plus you enjoy asking questions and you can be on TV  too if you want to”. It had never occurred to me that I could be a journalist. I was more than a  little overwhelmed with the number of things I could do or be for rest of my life, and at 17 the world seemed to contain an infinite amount of possibilities. But when my mother mentioned journalism I thought this would be a good career choice. It seemed the best way to contain all my aspirations. So I enrolled at the best institution for practical journalism at the time and here I am today.

WHAT IS JOURNALISM ABOUT?: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH

An online definition of a journalist reads as follows:
A person who writes for newspaper or magazines or prepares news to be broadcast on radio and television. Synonyms include: a reporter, correspondent, newsman, newswoman, newspaperman, columnist, writer, commentator, reviewer, blogger, investigative journalist, photojournalist, war correspondent, lobby correspondent, editor, sub-editor, copy editor, paparazzo, pressman, legman, wireman and the list continues.” 

I think that’s the  best definition. Even journalism professors  struggle to define who or what is a  journalist. So to keep it simple we will go with the above description. My entry into journalism was a very frightening event for me. I was never sure of myself at all. I was always scared and intimidated by fellow students and later colleagues who always seemed more intelligent, knowledgeable and more  experienced  than I was. My favourite subjects included History, Business Economics and Politics. History because it was fascinating,  it put current events into context, Business  Economics because it made sense to me (I understood the basic principle of supply and demand.) Politics because our third year Politics lecturer Ashwin Desai was so passionate about his subject he brought the world into our lecture room and made what we were studying real and tangible. Writing essays, however, was my worst fear. I really could not imagine how I ended up studying journalism after all. A profession which at its core involved copious amounts of writing. I remember I once broke out in hives while writing an essay during an exam because I was so nervous. It took me 13 years to gain control over my nervous condition. Even today I have to work up the courage to start writing or  even to speak  when I am live on Television and or  Radio. Each time  I write, it feels as though I am writing for the first time.

 TOO MANY QUESTIONS…

While studying journalism I learnt that the point of being a journalist, at least as far as I understood it was to ask questions. Who (did) What, Where, When, How and Why. And after you have answered all those questions ask the most important one of all: why should anyone care?
Imagine then my surprise when I discovered years into the profession that: asking questions, the very reason for my existence as a journalist was the worst thing one could do in this profession! I finally discovered that while I was taught/learned to be a journalist, someone who asks questions, in order to give context to current affairs. No one cared about the history of why things are the way they are or why people behave the way they do. In the real world journalists were merely reporters. People who merely presented you with the most basic answers to the five questions. A reporter for me was similar to a minute-taker at meeting,  someone who takes minutes of a meeting. It’s a great skills to take great notes, but it’s not journalism. The more you questioned the status quo the more you were ignored, or became less popular with the officials. To get ahead in the profession you had to choose sides and not the middle ground as I was taught. Journalism had become a cross between public relations and reportage. More over in many cases as a general reporter even if you wanted to give context to your work there was never the time to. Newsroom were so that you had to jump from one story to another, and sometimes even do multiple stories a day. Which were ultimately identical to your competitors. Journalists or reporters were often recruited into high level communication positions in government and business so that, journalist often just  copied and pasted  text from  press-releases without question as if it were their own original writing. Spokespeople who were once journalist were even harder nuts to crack.

I always refused to be called a reporter, always thinking in my heart that I was a journalist not a parrot. But the industry dictated otherwise. Each Media house has an agenda, is politically affiliated to a number of people in powerful positions and the merit of the story was always weighed on these factors. The higher up you go – the more compromises you had to make. At the end of the day, you didn’t want to bite the hand that feeds you so to speak, even if the chain of command is as far as the distance between Johannesburg, South Africa and Timbuktu, Mali.

BEYOND THE QUESTIONS: ETHICAL JOURNALISM

So when I finally decided to work independently as a journalist I discovered an even darker side of journalism which I would not have believed existed,  had it not  happen to me. I was on more than one occasion offered an exclusive story that could potentially put me in the league of award-winning journalists. “All you need to do is just put your by-line (name) to the story. You don’t have to do anything I will write the story for you” He said. I was incredulous, and looked at him laughing because I seriously thought he was joking. “How do you think journalists get leaked documents? Do you think all those famous investigative journalist you read about, write their own stories? “he continued realizing that I had no clue. “ Do you think they just stumble on documents?” This is how they do it he said. You just let me write the story and all you have to do is add your name to it.” He pleaded. I refused his offer and suddenly felt relieved. Until that moment I had never doubted the integrity of journalists – I being one them of  course.   I understood that some days are better than others, as some stories are better than others, but never had it occurred to me that journalists or reporters could participate in ghost writing, pass –off articles or stories they had no hand in writing and pretend it was their own hard work.

I always admired journalists who won awards, because I understand the amount of time and effort that goes into writing a great story. It has been my daily struggle for the past 13 years and each year I hope to write better than the last. I had up until that moment no idea what’s so ever, that journalists were capable of that, more  people I had looked up to. For the first time in my life I was proud of myself – proud that even though I had never won an award or been acknowledged for my work by any organization or editor in the country, all the work I had done as a journalist had been my own original work. I was not winning someone’ else’  award. And if I were to ever win anything, it would be  based on my own original work. The man in question  eventually refused to grant me an interview, but in the end, I was able to write the story without his help, I had to think of other ways of finding information, I had to depend on my own eyes and ears, and finally I had to trust myself. I finally had to ask myself how much do I want to win anything, and is it worth it and is that why I was a  journalist in the first place. There is a cost to everything.

A THIN LINE: OUTSIDERS LOOKING IN:

Perhaps I was inspired by the movie starring Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts called the Pelican Brief. Where the journalist (Denzel Washington) worked in collaboration with an economics student – an informant (Julia Roberts) to write a story which uncovered corruption within the american judicial system. It was  dangerous but it’s the story that caught me, the potential power in being a journalist, that you can change history, or someone’s life.  Perhaps I thought I could travel around the world, go places I would not otherwise have access to and meet people who would pass me by the next day. A word of caution: not everyone who says they are journalist is actually a journalist. Perhaps I got into this profession for the wrong reasons, but I stayed for the right ones. I believed in justice, in the right to know, in providing people with information that could change their lives, help people tell their own stories, uncover the hidden side of things – how they work or don’t work. In fact truth be told, I approached this profession naively, thinking that everyone had the best intentions at heart. So what have I learnt? That all those years spent in the mirror have helped me to keep a straight face in the face of danger – even when I  was shaking inside.  Words are numbers. And numbers are words. So If I love words it means I love numbers too!!! The more I write the more I realize that it’s a mathematical equation. It is ultimate all about numbers which are words.  I could tap into any career imaginable just by writing about it. I am in the right profession. But here’s a fun list of things I learnt in the past 13 years of being *flinch * a reporter – journalist:

 

13 LESSONS FROM A 13 YEAR OLD JOURNALIST:
1. Information is key: read money.
2. Spokespeople/Media liaisons/ Public relations personnel are information gatekeepers. In other words they are trained to manage information: their purpose in life is to feed you only the information they want you to know. They are trained to stop you from asking probing questions or from finding out information they want to hide.
3. Politicians are trained to be creative with the truth – and only tell the truth (leak information) when it serves their interests
4. There’s an infinitive number of ways to obtaining information. Officials ideally should be the last the last point of contact.
5. It’s the “invisible” people, that you don’t pay attention to who can give you amazing stories – which are true – family and friends, the homeless, etc.
6. Everyone has an agenda. Including your editor, your organization, you, every one.
7. Ultimately journalism – is about storytelling – the stuff that Novelists do without having to back it up with proof.
8. Asking (critical/simple) questions can be a career limiting exercise ( Choose carefully who you work for)
9. Sometimes people don’t want to know the truth. The truth is not always convenient. So your great expose can be conveniently ignored.
10. There are many truths.
11. Journalism is fun ( choose wisely who you work for)
12. You can go to most things   and places for free. ( if you don’t mind doing PR read marketing and public relations)
13. Acting is a great skill to have as a journalist (use at own risk)

 

A sneak preview to my upcoming project…

 

JOURNALISM: MA RAISON D’ETRE

 

The fourth estate. Are we asking the right questions?

The fourth estate. Are we asking the right questions?

Any journalist would know the basic core questions which must be answered in any news story: Who said (did) What, When, Where, How and Why, the Five Ws and an H. The Why question is what has been my main preoccupation throughout my life (even before I studied and became a journalist). My mother recently told me that though all children go through the WHY phases in their lives, I never stopped asking why, when I was expressing doubts about my suitability for the profession.  I have always asked questions, regardless of the consequences of what the answers might bring. I have always endeavored to try as best as I can to answer the why question in my reports, though I am as yet unable to quantify to what extent I was able to achieve that.  Why should the public care about who said what when, where and how, why is the story important for your audience, why am I reporting this story.  The why question is perhaps the single most important question any editor should answer before assigning a story to a journalist, and it’s the different answers to this why question that determines the weight of the story. Why? Has also been a source of arguments and heated debates in any given newsroom.  Someone once said, once you can answer the Why question, the how becomes easy.  But as in life, sometimes the answer to why is only revealed after a thorough investigation of the subject matter, something which requires time. Time is a limited resource, a luxury item for journalist but this fact is truer for radio journalist more than most others because they traditionally have half hour deadlines, on almost every story. You must have a new angle and story every 30mins while you’re out on assignment and must compete with your other newspaper and television journalist for the breaking news and angles and interviews while also filing news story every 20min. It is a high pressured job, where every second counts.  Imagine having to do that consistently for more than 10 years.

There’s little context one can give to a news event in one minute and 20 seconds, the most time that a news story gets on  Television or 2-3 minutes in radio.  The ability to answer the five Ws and an H in any in a single news broadcast is a mark of good reportage.  That can often only be achieved if a journalist or reporter fully understands the news story, which is not often the case. Adequate research is sorely lacking in the broadcast journalism world, whose news reports are becoming much more like gossip columns where journalist become the main actors in an effort to draw audiences.

It was when I found myself confronted with a series of Whys upon Whys with fewer and fewer answers to those whys that I began to question my profession, my life. It is right then that I started to doubt myself and my ability to be a “good” journalist or reporter.  You see, journalism for me was never just a job; it was never a thing I did to earn an income. It was my life, who I was, it was through journalism that I found meaning to my life, my voice on radio was not mine, it was a “voice-for-the-voiceless”. If I could not find meaning and relevance in my work as a journalist, the even I had no meaning and relevance in society as a whole. Journalism has always been a calling for me, what I always considered to be a noble profession like teaching, social work, being a doctor or nurse, a police man, and the work does indeed involve elements of all these professions and more. I took my job seriously, would have sleepless nights over a story.  I was Jedi Ramalapa the journalist and demonstrated my devotion my risking my life without a second thought at every any given opportunity. Yes there is a form of obsessiveness that comes with the job, where it does become a habit, but it was my life. So after trying all forms of journalism and even briefly dived into the murky world of public relations. It is when I couldn’t find answers to my questions, when I felt and lived in the dark side of journalism, when the professional mixed with the professional, that I needed to gain some perspective. What is a journalist role in society?  I had to start asking myself the five Ws and an H. Why am I still doing this job? Am I really a journalist? Or just a fraud seeking fame and accolades, does it matter that I have never being acknowledged for my dedication to the profession, who listens to my stories? What do they say about them? why am I in this profession in the first place? How have I fared? Have I been fair in my reports? Have I been balanced? How have I dealt with ethical dilemmas? Have I made a positive contribution to society with my work? Has journalism made me a better or worse person? Have I gone out of my way to tell the news as I see, without fear or favour? How have I dealt with opposition, confrontation? Am I asking the right questions?  To the  right people?  Am I independent? Am I critical? When have I done a good job? Where have I failed? The process of asking me these questions has not been an easy one, because what it meant was I had to face and deal and confront all my personal fears along with the occupational hazards of the job. In my zealous efforts to be the voice for the voiceless, I had forgotten about my own voice, about who I am  that though I truly love my job I needed to  take care of myself first and foremost  in order to continue doing a good job.  I needed debriefing, reviewing, and assessment of where I was and where I hope to go as a human being who also happened to be called to be journalists. I knew that I was called to this job, because I did it for free more than once, and have volunteer myself even when I didn’t need to because – I am my job.

Alcoholism, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dysfunctional relationships, drug abuse, work-a- holism, anxiety and depression, even personalities disorders are just some of the many hazards of Journalism – which if they go untreated could have devastating consequences in the personal lives of  journalists. It after recognizing that I had symptoms of PTSD as result of my job that I started this blog, of course risk employability by admitting this. And this fact became real when while being interviewed for a job in a newsroom where half the staff was suffering from some symptoms of PTSD, I was told they don’t want someone with “baggage”.   I found suffered from news withdrawal symptoms, I had enxiety, I ate fast, did everything quick as if I was on all, on standby, on deadline.  I was used to the daily pressure and excitement, so didn’t know what to do without it, once I started working as a freelance journalist and work became less and less available. Who am I if not a journalist? But even my ties to the profession seemed superficial.  I have never won an award for my work or ever been publicly acknowledged for a job well done – so could never quantify my value as a journalist. So what does that mean? Am I a bad journalist? Can I base the value or merit of my work against awards received? For many years I have been vocal about how these simple matters of awards don’t matter to me and always publicly professed that they meant nothing, but I lied to myself. This fact became more prominent when my faith in journalism – because my faith was in the profession, began to wane. So you can imagine how lost I was. I had to begin a process of defining myself outside of the profession and realized that what mattered more than any award or public acknowledgement for any news story I could write was if I could sleep at night. Can I go to bed each night at peace knowing that I had done my very best, without sacrificing my ethics, values and principles? More than any award – peaceful sleep is the reward – I get at the end of the day, because it is ultimately what really matters. Can you sleep at night?

An unexpected award I have earned for my work as a journalism is one I value more now more than ever, for me it is equivalent to a Pulitzer: The opportunity, time and freedom to define myself for myself, the freedom to write my own story, to choose my own angle, to be the voice for the only person who has remained silent in the past ten or so years – Myself the journalist. I love my job and am thankful for the privileged position that I occupy in society because of three simple words: I am a journalist. I understand now more than ever the enormous responsibility that comes with this job, more especially today where anyone with a camera and access to the internet and social media can be called a journalist. There is untold value in education so that journalists understand why we do what we do.  It is only the in years and years of being a practitioner of  journalism that I appreciate just how important it is for journalist to be fully literate in their chosen profession, to not only blindly ask the questions, but understand why and how to ask a question to whom, under what circumstances.  It is only now that the honey moon is over, now that I lived through the whirlwind romance and has had my heartbroken not only once but many times by this lover of mine that I can commit to a lifelong marriage. In truth, I am more qualified now, today to call myself a journalist that in all the years I was working as a journalist.

Journalism is my calling. Storytelling is a gift no one can take away from me. I promise to never stop asking, Who, What, Where, When, Why and How for as long as I shall live. So help me God.

The Second Sex: “Editor calls for A Skills Audit for SA’s Journalists”

The Second Sex At work. Jedi Ramalapa 2008. Spoof. pic by Candice Klein

The Second Sex At work. Jedi Ramalapa 2008. Spoof. pic by Candice Klein

03 October 2013.   After reading Simone de Beauvoir’s seminal feminist book, The Second Sex, I was quite dumbfounded; unable to find a way of condensing the book into a summarized book review.  The book brought up so many issues for me – in-fact all of the issues that I have been grappling with as a girl, teenager, young adult to a fully grown woman who is still fighting to resolve personal yet universal issues relating to all spheres of human life from my relationship with my parents to my sexuality, reproductive health, work, vocation and  motherhood in an effort to emerge with an identity which is uniquely mine and not informed by others – though it is – from others that I can define myself. I found myself to be a textbook case of a woman in all the respects which de Beauvoir analyses.  Yes I did think to myself that why hadn’t I read the book before? Maybe I could have “avoided” some unfortunate decisions and situations that I put myself in over the years. But I also realized that it is all those experiences that have shaped  who I am, and made me very receptive to  the heady reality  being a woman.

My life experiences have helped me understand the book  – to see myself, read of me and my personal development  in black and white. I am her – the woman she rips apart who “pretends to work, who is looking for prince charming, who still yearns to be loved, to be found sexy, intelligent, extraordinary, a little girl searching for her father’s approval, who lacks focus, who keeps looking back”, ” a good reporter, a person who can do “honourable” but not enough work to change the world in any pulitzer prize winning way, the woman who can’t lose herself in her projects, a self-obsessed woman, emotional, irrational and impetuous, the weakling”.  It was sobering to view myself in men’s eyes.  For a book that was written decades ago it’s quite an accomplishment. I would recommend it as a Bible for Women, a reference  to understanding yourself  and the world you occupy, which regardless of time  and advances in women empowerment throughout history still remains the same.

“SHE is not READY”

 I was recently in conversation with a woman political editor for a leading daily newspaper in the country whose identity I will not reveal as she spoke to me off the record. The conversation was about a documentary I am making on Women Journalist in South Africa and beyond. She was more than ready to speak her mind and share her experiences.  Just as I had to be “ready”  to read “The second Sex” one has to be ready to hear the truth in order for it to be of any value to the individual and society in general. She told me that men are still the “custodians” of women empowerment in newsrooms across the country. “ I am where I am today because of men” she said. “Men are the ones who promote women to positions of authority, men are the ones who decide  on who is ready  to  move up and assume more responsibilities in the newsrooms.”

“I am lucky that I have had men in my life who had confidence in my abilities as a journalist, who groomed me and gave me the space to grow and be where I am today. But its the same is not true for many women journalists in South Africa.” “Men in editorial positions have no interest in empowering women or transferring skills to others more especially women, it is all about them and they look after their own interests” She added.

As for me I can’t count the many times I was told I was “not ready” until I began believing that I could never be  ready for anything. Until one day I couldn’t keep this woman inside me locked up in the cages defined by other men and women. Until I decided that I was going to do it whether (I) they believed it or not. I have paid dearly for that  bravery. Still paying.

There are many misconceptions (rumours-murmurs) in the media about  how women political journalist especially get their stories.  Many people think and often assume as fact that when a woman journalists breaks a political story or has access to a particular politician they must have slept their way (had sex with a man) to the”top”. Women are often accused of using their femininity (in dress or behavior) to get stories, information or get ahead in their profession, or inversely, they are accused of being too manly, too angry, and too stubborn to justify why they have not been promoted or why they have been overlooked.

“I’ve never exchanged sex for a story or money” She said passionately. “We get our stories the same way as men do. We call and are persistent, until we get the answers” But  patriarchal attitudes runs so deep, that even when male politicians or media personalities get calls late at night from female journalists  they often make comments such as “ it’s late I am at home, with my wife and children, what i you doing calling me at night? do you “want” me” She says that makes  their job harder. “If it’s a male journalist calling they answer regardless of the hour of the night but if its a woman suddenly it becomes  about sex and not about the job”.

“I think we should have a roundtable to discuss this. We as women political editors and journalist must talk frankly about what goes on in the newsroom.

Women generally have to work twice as hard as men to get the same level of respect and recognition and pay as men in similar positions. ” Men look out for each other support each other” she said. I asked her if she as a political editor is doing anything to empower younger women journalist. She answered that she tries, but she’s too busy doing her job and her senior bosses’ job, who regularly drops the ball and expects her to pick up his work in addition to her own daily responsibilities  as a political editor of the paper, and a journalist. “As you know as a journalist you’re only as good as your last story, so I have to keep writing” she added, glancing at her phone and asking for the bill to move to her next appointment.  But she emphasized before leaving that “we need a skills audit” to assess who is better qualified between male and female journalists in South Africa. “Yes, let’s call for national skills audit and see who is better (more) qualified to hold higher positions in the media that should clear things up”

The last time a national skills Audit in Journalism was done in the country was in 2002. The report was commissioned by the South African National Editors Forum, SANEF, which is still made up largely of male editors.  The bottom line there was – it was still harder for women to break-through the proverbial glass ceiling and more work needs to be done to “empower women” to higher positions. Basically women or women journalist in this case lack self-esteem, and will use “trickery’ or their sexuality to go up the ladder when all else fails.

That conversation left me wondering – will SHE ever be READY?

The Second Sex – Read it.

Moving On with The Brother

The Brother

It all started as a joke, all those years ago. I laughed really hard. What? I asked,  Siya is in a band? I gotta to see this I said.  Then a fortunate event happened back when I was a science journalist.  I was assigned to the Science Festival in GrahamsTown the famously infamous town where the educational  institution called  Rhodes University – The Ivy league of journalism in my-popular opinion –   stands tall.  Siya Mthembu, the face of The brother Moves On, was there  reading for his  Journalism /Political Science  degree and as I heard also  starting a band.  We had become good  friends (like family really)  through his cousin who pulled me  out of my shell into the  wise-crack-jozi chick I had become. In short, he is a brother.  So I ended up watching movies, hanging out on cliffs and getting up to no-good-student activities  in between  barely doing interviews with scientists and school children. It was a great assignment, but I never saw him perform with the band. Or did he?

Anyway years later,  one day I saw him in a shiny-gold-spandex-out-fit, running around the streets of Johannesburg  as Mr Gold, crazed and shouting something about someone going somewhere. I didn’t know he could be that crazy too! Later I went to their first live-recording of their album, which also served as Mr Gold’s funeral, and that’s when I realized it was not a Joke.  He had followed his dream despite everybody’s mis-givings, criticism, encouragements or misgivings, raised eye-brows, despite having and not having money or support, together they made it possible – Siya is in a band and it’s no Joke.

At first I didn’t understand their music, at first it didn’t make sense, at times I wondered if the math adds up.  But at the studio-recording I heard a call, from deep calling unto deep, for us to all wake up to the truth of who we are. That rhythmic beat sychronized in perfect harmony with the  the  duff-duff – duff -duff  of my heart. In it I found the courage to dance to my own rhythm in perfect harmony…..

Moving on with the Brother in Johannesburg

The Brother Moves On will be At it again,  GO find your own rhythm if You can on Saturday the 27 of October,  DRILL HALL, Johannesburg. 

Mr GOLD

WHO IS THE BROTHER- In their own words:

The Brother moves on is an art and music collective that celebrates the transient nature of music and art in Johannesburg. Based in the East Rand the collective uses a variety of contemporary genres to celebrate their specific traditional sound as homage to music as a social tool of evolution. . This six piece “bands” current subject is urban youth with tribal roots who are relating to the idea of having a calling, whether this be a traditional calling or a contemporary calling as a nation. Musically this translates to a noise band that echo’s ideas of ethnic South African jazz infused with urban rhythms and melodic rock. Fused with performance art and visual material as storytelling this makes for an enthralling take on a contemporary griot tradition. Positive Energy Activates Constant Elevation…P E A C E

YOU ARE INVITED

We’re at it again, last year saw us host one of the wickedest parties on the Drill Hall rooftop with the Fridge. Mme Tseleng and Ms Buttons. This time we are on the square and we’ve invited some friends whom we haven’t shared a stage with(LoveGlori and Travellin’ Blak from Pretoria). Beyond serving as the digital launch of our EP ETA this double header of a gig is a home and away gig meaning you pay once and can attend both shows in Jhb(Drill Hall) and PTA(+27 Cafe Hatfield). Yes you heard right pay R60 aNd you can come to Hatfield on Friday the 26th and then Drill Hall on Saturday the 27th.

Line up:(JHB)

**20:00**

=======
LOVEGLORI
=======

Melodies melodies melodies….soul.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOzvAAAjQLk&feature=plcp

**21:15**

==========
TRAVELLIN BLAK
==========

yES i am a travellist.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Travellin-Blak/224703347546226

**22:20**

========
THE FRIDGE
========

A love for music and labantwana bayathanducash!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82LYTducdTA

**23:30**

================
THE BROTHER MOVES ON
================

Launching their radio singles under the title E.T.A the Brother will have merchandise for you to sample, and ladies yes that means tights will be on sale.

So R60 bucks get you in unless you are a friend of the bands and send an email to one of these four bands. First 20 to email per band get in for R40.

Remember you pay once and you get into both gigs.

Spread the word about the Brother Moves On ETA tour

http://www.facebook.com/events/496020743742612/

 

 

The Foreignness of HOME

Today the 19th of October. 1977.

How strange.

I have never really lived in any other country other than South Africa.  Yet I feel distinctly alien to it.

It’s been four months now since I have been back from  a six-month-working holiday in the West African city of Dakar,  in Senegal the land of the Lion and the Baobab.

And still I cannot make sense of this, my home, South Africa.

What happened to me? To them. To us. Am I once again lost in my country’s constant transitions.

A constant foreigner?

In the desert-sands of my Senegal, there lay somewhere beneath my despair a hope…

That there is a place called home. For me.

I thought I found it.  One day. On the 25 of December  between the Atlantic Ocean, and the River Senegal.

On a strip of Sand.

For a moment, I was at peace and swam  among  sea creatures and crabs.

This morning as I joined thousands upon thousands of the country’s working massive, labourers, maids, garden boys, mamas, gogos, aunties, uncles, tellers, cleaners, students, struggling artists, myself.   I wondered how one could find peace in a place where each morning one is greeted with headlines  such as this one:

Child Hacked with Axe.

and still remain.

SANE.