Monday, April 18, 2011

So close, yet far...

Not much action took place this past week; instead it was all about the preparation for our 1st mock radio show, which will take place next Friday. We have planned to hold a workshop with all the team members on Thursday, in which we will take the preparations a step further. I just hope that all the team members show up.

So far, I have really enjoyed working with the Umthathi project members. They all have such dedication to their jobs; they are extremely knowledgeable and show a genuine interest in the creation and sustainability of the Masakhane show. It is truly inspiring to listen to Xoliswa and her dreams for the Umthathi project and her dedication to the success of the show. She simply wishes to pass on the knowledge and message that Umthathi gives to the community. So as to help create a better community and way of life for all those who live within it. She believes that healthy living and eating, sustainability and business opportunities are key to such a success; especially within her community, where diseases and sickness is rife. It is for these reasons that I also aim for the show to be the success the community needs. I would feel that I had accomplished something other than just a University project assignment.

My will for the project to succeed has allowed me to go the extra mile in my interactions with the show team members. But I do get disappointed when the same enthusiasm is not shared by Radio Grahamstown, the very team members who form the heart of the show, as the anchor and producer. I say this because, for two of the workshops which we have held so far, it was only either Mary or Thenjiwe who showed up, never the two of them together. Furthermore, on the day of the presentations of our Term 2 plan (involving all the show team members), no one from Radio G turned up, not even the Station manager Phumlani Wayi! Even though I have gone out of my way to arranged transport and have continuously sent reminders. It is simply disappointing, that Grahamstown’s own community radio station cannot see the very importance and great benefit that the Masakhane radio show will have for the community to which they broadcast. And not only that, they neglect to recognise the great opportunity the show has for the station as a whole, by bringing quality content, training and a much needed structured show to the stations broadcasting.

Ultimately I seek reassurance in the fact that I am gaining a great learning experience, as I am sure that this will not be the first time in my career that I will face such difficulties. It is now just up to Litha and I to work around the annoying snags we come across.

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