IN-DEPTH: Day 6, Monday 6 October 2014

Today was video pitches. For a woman, I’m terrible at multi-tasking [NOTE: angry feminists, please leave complaints of stereotyping and sexism in the comment section below. And make sure to point out this blog to all your angry friends – I’ll suffer emotional abuse and trolling if it raises the number of viewers on my blog], I’ve been mostly working on the bigger picture of traders in Yeoville to use in my feature, and have sort of ignored my needs for the multimedia aspect of the project.

So today’s video meeting was a kick in the arse. I have my conflict (hawkers that have to go outside the law to trade because, for whatever reason, they cannot be part of the official market), and I have my journey – the hawker who takes us through how they avoid being caught and prosecuted by the police for illegal trading. I am missing the most important part – my character, someone to tell that story and be interesting to the audience. It is rather worrying, because I could shift the other aspects around if I had someone, but basically right now I’m sitting with bugger all.

Now, the most obvious thing to do would for me to walk up to one of the hundreds of informal traders we walk past everyday in Yeoville, and simply ask if I could do a video on their experiences. And why don’t I you ask? Well, if you provide me with an email address, I shall send through the answer in the form of the detailed file my therapist has on me… Basically I’m too nervous to actually just do that. It’s something that happens with me – I’ll form a mental block against a particular task, and so will put it off until there is no other option. I know I’m shooting myself in the foot, but I’ve been doing that for years and haven’t actually died yet so what’s one more time?

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but one thing I keep on thinking during this project is that it’s at once both necessary and very inconvenient being in a group. On one hand, my group is great at helping one another and coming up with ideas when one of us (me) blanks. On the other, it means that there never does seem to be enough time to do everything everyone needs to do. I really need to go see Edmund, he’s a great source for information on the struggles of illegal traders and a possible way in with those same traders, but time is just not on my side here. Either we’re busy with something else in Yeoville when he’s around his trading spot in Braamfontein, or we arrive there when he’s off doing something else.

We’re handing in our first drafts of the feature to Ruth tomorrow. Besides the fair amount of information missing from mine, I’m also worried that mine won’t be a compelling enough read – why should people care about this issue if I don’t write it well enough? I’m glad our work is being edited so many times by so many people, hopefully they’ll help me create something worthwhile.


About robykirk

Robyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, still isn't dead and despises writing in the third person. She received her undergraduate degree at Rhodes University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, History and Journalism at the end of 2013 and completed her Honours in Journalism (career entry) at Wits University in Johannesburg during 2014. From April 2015 until March 2016 she worked as the Communications Intern for the MRC/Wits Agincourt Research unit in rural Mpumalanga. This blog is a collection of the work produced: - for the Wits University student newspaper and website Wits Vuvuzela during 2014 - during her internship at MRC/WIts Agincourt Research Unit (2015/2016) and independent blogging (2014-present). Robyn is interested in everything besides sports and mean people. In the past she has specialised in photojournalism and television journalism, and considers visual media to be one of her strongest skills. She decided to become a journalist because learning about other people’s lives was more fun than putting on pants and having her own. Follow her on Twitter: @RobyKirk

Posted on October 6, 2014, in In-depth blog, Uncategorized, Wits Vuvuzela and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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