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).


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 7, 2014, in In-depth blog, Wits Vuvuzela. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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