IN-DEPTH: Day 7, Tuesday October 7 2014
Today felt like a pretty successful one, although I say that now and jinx it, and tomorrow
get hit by a stray bullet walking down Rockey Street in Yeoville or something… So
a rather un-unpleasant day I say timidly, willing the Universe not to take that as a
Started with another meeting about video with Zaheer, but it was a short meeting that
went basically along the lines of him asking “so how’s you video going?” and me
replying with “my video? Ah….” I’m not going to talk anymore about my video in this
post, but hopefully I will tomorrow, and amaze you all with my broadcast genius!
On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know how one enters into a deal with the
devil to trade in one’s soul? I mean, this particular soul is slightly tarnished (and second,
third or even fifth hand, if theories surrounding reincarnation turn out to be true), but Mr
Oh-Just-Come-Over-To-The-Dark-Side-You-Like-Warm-Climates-Anyway is just going
to have to take what he can get.
Please leave info in comments section below, as well as lists of required materials and the
contact details of anyone willing to lend me a black cat.
Went into town and helped my group members with their stuff. After a while we went
to the Market once more to see Sabatha, its manager. I need him to talk to me about the
structure and organisation of the market so I can compare it to street trading, and Tendai
wants to make him the subject (or one of the subjects) of her multimedia.
A number of journalists have warned us not to wait once we find a source. They
encourage us to interview and use them as quickly as possible, before they have the
chance to think things through and change their mind. Today I witnessed an example
of that in action – last week he was incredibly friendly and chatty, and gave us lots of
information around the space. Towards the end he mentioned that we needed to contact
the Head Office and get permission to film him, but he was happy enough to do it if
we did. Today, however, he seemed a little more on edge. He reiterated the need for
permission, and got somewhat agitated by any questions we asked him. At one point
we asked him something unrelated to the market, where he was from or something. He
started to answer, he seems the sort of person who likes to talk with people and opens
up fairly easily. At one point though, he stopped himself and said something along the
lines of “ah! But now you’re interviewing me! Go get permission first!”. I get it, this is
his livelihood at stake and its perfectly reasonable for him not to want to do anything that
could get him in to trouble.
We tried calling the Head Office a number of times, but the woman we needed to talk
to (Fezeka Madamase) wasn’t available whenever Tendai called. Finally we decided to
be the annoying journalists that we are in our hearts, and figured we’d door stop. ‘Door
stop’ is a journalistic term, where you show up at someone’s door unannounced and ask
to speak to them. If they refuse to and try to close the door in your face, you shove your
foot in the gap so they can’t close you out and talk to them some more. It’s a great phrase,
it basically captures the mosquito-like annoyingness, cat-like stubborness and politician-
like hardheadedness of the journalistic profession.
We went to her offices, and Tendai managed to get in to see her and convince her to grant
us permission! I didn’t help at all, I was sitting in the car with Zel doing a crossword
puzzle, but I choose to consider it a group victory.
And finally got to speak to Edmund today! We stopped by his stall in Braamfontein,
and he very kindly agreed to let me interview him. I had wanted to speak to him for
a while, because I felt like my story really needed a voice detailing the problems
with the management of traders, and who could offer some possible solutions. As the
spokesperson of SANTRA (the South African National Traders Retail Alliance), I felt
he would know a lot about all this, and could speak with authority. He answered all my
questions, and even managed to arrange for me to meet and speak to Jeff Nemakonde,
the Deputy-Chair of SANTRA today as well. They said some fascinating things, and Jeff
in particular was a truly interesting person. I actually wish I’d had my camera with me,
because he he had the most interesting face: these deepset, dark eyes and a face that was
made up of the strong angles. Actually, thinking about it now, if we have the time I think
I would like to go back and actually photograph him for possible use in my project.
Finally – got some feedback from Ruth about my rough (like basically notes) first draft.
I’m deadly petrified of producing something dull and clished, but her comments were
positive and helpful, so I feel some hope (again universe: NOT a challenge).