Imagine the shock of getting a call at work. I should probably point out that no one would ever call me at work if they know me personally. The caller was a woman from Communiversity in Vrygrond, Cape Town.
Communiversity is an organisation aimed at helping young people complete their schooling and potentially furthering their studies and getting them into university. They also try and get adolescents into the job market so that they can learn to support themselves and their families’.
I was so confused and shocked as to why she would want to talk to me and not someone else from the FunDza team. I answered her as best as I could, hoping that my voice didn’t give away how nervous and stunned I was.
Turns out she wanted me to be a guest speaker for some of her students, sharing my journalism experience. I gladly agreed even though I had never spoken to a group of people as guest speaker before.
I thought that it would be a great opportunity to make people aware of what they’re getting themselves into, both the good and the bad, when deciding whether or not they would like to pursue journalism as their career.
I decided that I wasn’t going to write anything down beforehand and just speak from my head and heart. The talk itself was very new to me, so I was a bit nervous in the beginning. But once I got into the talk I became really comfortable and felt at ease with the learners. I spoke for about an hour but it felt more like ten minutes.
My talk highlighted why I became a journalist, the possible fields to venture into within journalism like TV, radio and the online sector. I spoke about the importance of language within the journalism sphere and what is fun and interesting about journalism.
I also touched on my work as an intern at FunDza and how my experience here has really helped me grow as a writer and as an editor. I now have the ability to tell what makes a good story and what story has real potential and give the necessary feedback, which I realise is really helpful when one is a writer.
I mentioned that reading and writing is especially crucial in the journalism field and that Fundza is a great platform to showcase their talent or even simply just to read. I informed them about my aspirations to become a travel journalist someday and that I went to Thailand for a holiday. The students were in awe about this and were keen to hear more about my adventure in Thailand.
The whole experience was funny and something new to me. I enjoyed it, especially when the students asked if you get a lot of money as a journalist. I laughed out loud and simply stated that like all jobs, you start at a relatively low starting salary but once you gain more experience and work your way up the ladder, only then will you see the real outcome.
I shared all the stories that I could think of with regards to my own personal experience with the hope that I was at least able to influence one person to not necessarily become a journalist but more so to further their studies in any chosen field.