Team vuvu 2013 started off as a class of 17 strangers all anticipating the start of their journalism honours year. Being interviewed by the Jesus of Journalism Anton Harber, renowned author Jo-Anne Richards and social media guru, Dinesh Balliah was no easy task but we made it. We knew we had been chosen from over 100 applicants and to me that meant each one of us was really something special.
I have not enjoyed any of my university years as much as I enjoyed this one. Not because we drank free wine at events and ate canapes for days, but because it felt like I was finally part of something bigger. Team Vuvu represented the future of journalism in South Africa and the vigour and tenacity of our class was something I could not have foreseen going in.
We fought with our mentors when we were not happy and challenged them to rethink some firm decisions. Anton always said journalists need to be disruptive and boy did we disrupt (Kimmi Kool voice). There were times when the legal office, the vice-chancellor’s office and the SRC at Wits wanted our heads chopped off but even then we did not let up.
We cried together, laughed together, drank together, danced together and sang together (much to the dismay of some on the 11th floor). There were times we wanted to kill each other and in a class with 15 girls and two guys the cat claws inevitably came out from time to time.
We spent many nights slaving away at the department bursting into song and dance every time things got a little too hectic. I don’t think anyone would have foreseen the nights during in-depth when some of us slept at the department to finish our work but even through all of that we came out smiling and vuvu victorious because we knew we were pursuing our passions and nothing in the world could compare.
They say journalism is a calling and perhaps not all of us will go into the industry because we see ourselves doing better elsewhere.
To those who feel that way I say pursue your dream and do not allow anyone to make you feel bad for it. There is nothing worse than being stuck in a career you care nothing about. You will be miserable. Trust me I know.
As for the rest who know that journalism is the dream, I wish you my fellow team vuvu members all the best. I know that I learned from every single one of you and I cannot wait till we are running the newsrooms we so openly criticise. I hope that we will be the change we want to see and avoid offramping onto sellout road. We are going into this knowing that we, like many others before us, have been called and wow I am amped to see where each of you will make your mark.
We could never have gone through this year without our lecturers and mentors. They taught us to believe in our writing and trust that what we were doing was for a purpose. They taught us to remember the spirit of journalism, they taught us when and how to pursue a story and when to pump our breaks (as my classmate Liesl Frankson would say)
Team Vuvu I LUH YOU! You will always be a part of my life that I will never forget. The year 2013 will be entrenched in my heart and soul forever and it’s because of all of you.