South Africa’s Violent Legacy

On 16th June we celebrate Youth Day – one of the biggest historical events that changed South Africa.

Youth Day commemorates a protest which resulted in a wave of protests across the country known as the Soweto uprising of 1976, also recognizing the young people of South Africa and how violence played a big role in transforming the country.

The grounds of the movement in the Soweto uprising, was because of the official order that Afrikaans (seen as the language of the oppressor) be made compulsory in schools. All of these resulted in anger and hate in students and teachers, leading up to protests – violent protests.

Young people now are still experiencing violence in different forms. Young people are being denied to meet their basic needs; the #FeesMustFall movement is proof of that. Students asked for free education; they were denied, which is a form of structural violence and things got out of hand. In both movements, it was intended that it would be peaceful protests. It started off as peaceful protest rallies, until violence was needed to voice what they feel.

The result of our history and the role of violence in transforming most of our country’s history have left more of a violent legacy behind, our country cannot shake off. According to, violence cuts across social status at home or among friends and violence in our communities has gotten out of control. Community members are killing each other, because of the anger and bitterness that lives inside them. ‘Individuals aged 15–34 years contributed the highest percentage of assault offenders, where the motive is usually because of anger or jealousy amongst family and friends; about 35, 1% of murder incidents in urban metros and 38,2% in rural areas were perpetrated by people aged 35–54 years, all causes of jealousy and financial problems’. [Bremund, D; 2016]

Speaking to a student who lives in the Kraaifontein community where violence in all forms happens daily. She says that youngsters kill each other for drugs, money and territory and it has become unsafe for anyone trying to build a home in the community. She adds that being a young woman in her community can be hard, because of the sexual remarks you often hear from boys and it makes you afraid of not knowing what could happen after that. “For what I saw in my community is that I don’t think anyone is doing anything in my community to change the situation; all I try to do is be a positive role model to young people and the children of my community, especially my little sister, because I think my community lack that” she explained.

Our history has left us an unfortunate legacy, yes! But it does not mean the future of South Africa and its people should live with it; having a day set out for remembering the lives of the youth that fought for freedom in the past, then we already one step ahead for transformation to happen.




  1. Bremund, D; May 06; 2016. Saferspaces; GIZ South Africa; StatsSA: Violent crime remains high and occurs at home and among friends.

Big-league Blogging

download.jpgBlogging has become a worldwide trend for citizens who loves writing, for student journalists, freelancers and even professional journalists. Blogging is a more creative and freely way of expressing your taught and opinions, that is why it is so popular amongst many writers.

People follow blogs or websites that covers their level of interests, so if you’re a specialist in your specific field blogging would be a good way of engaging with the right type of people; a platform where research for new ideas can be gained and sharing can take place. Sharing the same interests as other people, helps you built an audience for yourself.


Most importantly, blogging is a necessity for student journalist. This is where you practice your writing, building a community of audiences and getting use to the discussions on anything happening in the world. Blogging would be your main platform to practice on and to promote yourself – making yourself known to the public and constantly writing and updating content to keep your writing and blog fresh and new, for job-seeking purposes.

“Discovery happened when I started my blog”

“Blogging would be your profile for your career started, when looking for a job.”


Even if you are not a journalist or freelancer, blogging helps you connect with people and gives you the ability to establish your own fan base – a place where people can see your blog as a source for information on a specific topic. A place where debate and discussion can take place.






Roeland Street: Creativity and originality, lives here.


Photo taken by Robyn Lucas

Roeland Street is where you can find anything, from designing shops to business ranging from motor vehicle services, to cafe’s that sells the best coffee, you can find.


The street has been around since Cape Town’s earliest days. It is seen as the main gateway from the city centre onto De Waal Drive, and it is how travel bloggers describes it. This street is situated on the east side of town and starts right in front of Parliament where St. John’s Road and Plein Street meet.

Parliament is one of the most visited places in Cape Town, which makes it a perfect introduction for Roeland Street. The South African flags at the entrance to Parliament greet the locals and attract the tourist along with the statue of Louis Botha, a boer war hero during the second world war who became the first Prime Minister to the Union of South Africa.


Roeland Street is a place of learning…

On the opposite side of the road between St. John’s Road and Hope Street lies St. Mary’s Cathedral built in 1841 and completed in 1851, which is open to go and visit. In the pictures on the right, is the two tertiary institutions, where creativity takes its roll at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, and City Varsity College.


Roeland Street is where local business owners feel at home, because this is where they are almost every day, which they never get bored of;

“something new and interesting happens here, on this street and we meet new people and hear new stories every day” says Carpenter’s Shop owner.

The Carpenter’s Shop provide food, employment, clothing, accommodation and training in carpentry, panel beating and handicraft skills.

The popular corner of Roeland Street and Buitenkant Street gives way to Kimberley Hotel. The Kimberley Hotel, more known for its genuine and typical olden day pub that was once the starting point for horse-drawn carriages leaving the mother city for Kimberley. Further on, the Kimberley Hotel and Backpackers offers 11 bedrooms, the large and famous sunset balcony.

The last business before reaching Harrington Street on the left is Mike Hopkins Motorcycles; agent, Kawasaki and Aeon. Between Harrington and Canterbury Street on your left, stands SAHRA South African Heritage Resources Agency (021 4624502). SAHRA is an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture and is the body responsible to protect South Africa’s cultural heritage.20170328_135346

The early morning delicious smell of coffee, when you walk pass is, crossing Roeland to the right, Vida e Caffe at no.62 Roeland Street, it is one of the successful string of coffee shop franchises found throughout South Africa. Striving to capture an original and cosy feel to it, and creating their own culture. Vida e Caffe is a simple and modern take on a quick coffee pit stop. A place for chilling, working and most importantly to get great food.


To get your perfect shot, Orms Print Room is situated at no.66 Roeland Street and specializes in professional fine art printing, décor and business print solutions, customised photo gifts, high res scanning and instagram art.O.jpg

To get a quick bite, on the opposite side of the road across Roeland Square, Fruit&Veg City is situated between Canterbury and Drury Street. Accompanied by a large parking area for a quick pop in and out, whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. F.jpg

At no.103 Roeland Street and find Harold Cressy High School, with sports fields and school buildings and situated on the right hand side of Roeland Street at no.72.


Cape Archived

The perfect place for digging up your past, is the Western Cape records and archive services. Originally the site was where the old Roeland Street Prison used to operate, this building was constructed for the Cape Town Archives Source that moved into the new building in 1990. Access to the archives is free and after signing a register one can view archives in the reading room. The records involve maps, photographs, microfilms, books, pamphlets and official publications. The holdings consist of 33 thousand metres of archives and date back as far as 1651.

Fre.jpgFurther up the street named De Villiers only breaks out to the left, taking one to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and then finally the street ends of with the Cape Town Fire station, with a great view of Table Mountain behind it.


Journalism Equals Math?


Data Journalism – A new approach of storytelling and another look at the future.

The words “Data Journalism” may sound like it is something new and different, but it is actually a way of describing journalism, a shift that is becoming stronger and making ready for what the future holds.

This is not only predictions, but looking at the history and current state of the media industry, news organizations and companies, like The Guardian are doing good in this specialty called data journalism, they have adapt to these new approaches; seeing it as new ways of gathering information and delivering news.

With automated journalism and data journalism on the horizon, it makes things even more interesting for a journalist in training, seeing what the digital future has in store for them. Organizations like Panama Papers, one of The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) projects, are proof of how powerful data journalism is and will become.


Data Journalism makes reporting easier, in a way where the only thing a journalist needs to do, is to take what the data has collected, analyse it and tell the story in a captivating manner, for the reader to understand what the development means.

The fact that numbers are being added in journalism, it keeps journalists on their toes and actually makes them more eager to keep on building and improving their journalistic skills. Becoming more knowledgeable in the profession of information gathering, and hitting that transformation mark in the media industry. Data journalism has a great effect on journalism as a whole, Mirko Lorenz, a contributor to the data journalism handbook, describes the process as “Less looking for quotes and less guessing”.


Data journalism helps getting the finer detail of a story, without getting the facts wrong or taking a long time to get the full story. “This is why data journalism is so important. Gathering, filtering and visualizing what is happening beyond what the eye can see has a growing value. The language of this network is data: little points of information that are often not relevant in a single instance, but massively important when viewed from the right angle.” [Lorenz, M; Deutsche Welle]

Personally, I think this is an excellent way of transformation, and I am a big fan of transformation, in all aspects, but this actually makes me less interested in being a journalist in a digital future. The whole point of seeing myself as an investigative journalist, is being free and in the field with a note pad and camera, collecting powerful stories to share with others. Looking at the process of the FeesMustFall campaign protests, where the journalists’ risk getting hurt to get the story, the adrenaline and the action in front of the camera, that excites me the most, but does it seem that it will all be over soon? While machines are taking over the media industry and organizations end up with, only needing a handful of people working for them.

Today news stories are coming in from multiple sources, such as blogs, ordinary citizens and social connections being used for sharing and delivering information faster and as it happens. This shows that society has already experienced and accepted the big transformation in the media landscape. Transformation is key, and if adding numbers to where numbers are not used to be, then I am all in, it makes the ordinary journalism, extraordinary.

Although this field is still a work in progress, but journalists should see this evolving field as an opportunity to become multi-talented journalists and the advantage of getting a big pay check behind this transformation, but not forgetting the roots of journalism; where it all started, how it is evolving each day, and making ourselves ready for what’s ahead.

The questions still remain, am I really studying journalism to do maths, or is it a question to consider; when the future of journalism looks a lot more digital?




Is automated journalism taking away the art of writing?

Automation is what we looking at for the future of journalism. This could only mean good things for the industry of journalism, but what does it mean for future journalists?


Automated journalism is defined as algorithmic processes that converts data into a story news, where there is no human intervention outside the original programming
Automated journalism has been there for a long time, and has recently made its way into newsrooms. The implementation of this type of journalism was mostly because solutions for in-house problems, like help to increase both the speed and exposure of news coverage.

Automated journalism gives basic facts and necessary details people are looking for, where journalists just add more additional info into the story. Even though this could mean that less work for journalists, but many journalists were actually open minded towards the automation process; accepting that this process is not necessarily replacing reporters, but actually enhancing the role of reporters, meaning that crime reporters uses the automatically generated stories, that is “written” by the automated journalist, as opening leads for exploring a particular case in more detail, for example by adding information about the victim’s life and family.

Andreas Graefe says that automated news already developed almost half a century ago, in terms of weather forecasting, where the outputs of weather forecasting models the different elements, like the wind, speed and temperature, and organizes them by importance. She also said that the software is freeing meteorologist for the more challenging roles of meteorological consultants and specialists on high-impact weather situation. What I see is that this software is actually creating an interpersonal relationship between the meteorologist and his job; taking away a part of a meteorologist’s work, the passion and the role behind their jobs.




“You can’t compete, if you don’t automate”

I would understand that this software will work perfectly, and where this software is a necessity is where people seek financial news, but want the details quick and short as possible; the software will make it easier to understand. Economic benefits include the increases the quality of news coverage, as well as how quick the readers get their news.

The future of journalism would also mean that the readers get exactly what they want; which is quick news, in an accurate and most importantly in an objective way and in the language the reader prefers. This will lead to people having their own views and opinions on a story, without someone else giving them a direct idea of what to make of it.

For journalists, this will mean that they would understand big amounts of data, and would know how to make it more detailed and interesting for their audiences, also getting the chance to tell their story in an improved way.


Even though automation has its perks, it also has its disadvantages, like for instance algorithms follows a set of rules for generating news, and that means the software cannot originate or transform. Because of the challenge to implement this program many newsrooms have, like the necessary resources and skills to develop automated journalism, media organizations have started to come up with ways to develop a technology that will help with the natural language, like automatically adding human language (Humour, sarcasm and metaphors) in.

The number of media organizations that automated journalism providers currently report as customers are small, it still stays an open question. This is the best time to experiment or to be an early-market phase. While it is, it can also find ways for journalists to accept and find creativity within the program.




Has South African media made space for Citizen Journalism?

8574947358_c06cb74c65_bBarriers has finally been broken between the media and the public, in the form of citizen journalism.

“Collecting, analyzing, reporting and publishing news and information has become more independent. Ordinary citizens, have the opportunity to play a crucial role in being the voice for the voiceless, in their community. Citizen journalists deliver their own footage of news and events taken with their camera or camera phone on the scene of an incident that is newsworthy, which makes it a form of ‘we media’ – news for the people and by the people” [Van Noort, 2006]

When we say that citizen journalists provide their own footage of news and events, is that when we look at the terrible events of the 7/7 London bombings , which became an essential moment in citizen journalism, especially journalism as a whole. The information and pictures that came out of the event was initially provided by the public.

Through citizen journalism, people can actually voice their own opinion, and it may be that the government for example can listen to what the problems in our communities are, and what actually troubles people. Citizen journalism is more active; that type of journalism that listens before reporting, in a more personal way, which makes it more powerful.

Even though they are labelled as citizen journalists, but it still means that they are doing the same processes that a professional journalist is doing when collecting news. What that means is that they also face the risks involved when covering a story. It may be that the ordinary person, wants to cover a natural disaster, like getting the perfect shot of a tornado or a flood, it actually means that they are putting themselves at harm. Citizen journalists can also get arrested in political riots when they did something illegal, like taking videos of something, that is not supposed to be shown to the public, that creates conflict between the journalist and authorities.

So I say that South African media is making, and/or can make space for citizen journalism, because we see that the role citizen journalists play, is that they play it well. Many organizations has adapt to the fact that citizen journalism exists and feels that the role the public plays, when it comes to eye witness news, is powerful and attention grabbing.

Organizations like, has made it possible for ordinary citizens with internet access, to create and publish their own stories. This creates a platform for people to share their stories with others, without being dependent on an editor. Also making the gap between journalists and the public smaller, according to Professor Peter Verweij, lecturer in new media at the School of Journalism in The Netherlands, when he was speaking to the Mail & Guardian Online. He also says that “It could give a voice to many people living in townships and making themselves open to public debate and discussion, through and with the media. The new website is therefore an important creativity and It is an encouragement to journalism and a democratic society.”

Another organization OurHealth, a citizen and journalist-based project reporting on health issues in their communities, issues that are not covered by mainstream media journalists. This is just another platform and space created for the ordinary person, to share what they think and what they have to say.

Citizen journalism has been acknowledged and has opened public discussions and debates, so why are we not embracing their creativity and journalistic ability and giving citizens the space and opportunity to be storytellers.