The final countdown: The lessons learnt, the memories made and the relationships that will never be broken

This was it, we were coming to the end of one of the most daunting projects I have ever achieved. Tshego and myself believed that now we had gone through the motions we were going to do this episode as efficiently and entertaining as possible. We even picked up the kids on the Saturday afternoon for an editorial setting. Once again both the boys Werner and Olwethu could not make it...

Our Second show: Almost absolute chaos

I seriously thought the first show was daunting, but I was not expecting the pressure that came with our second edition. Whoever said producing gets easier once you've found your feet spoke utter rubbish. I have realised that each week a brand new challenge rears its ugly head, how to deal with these, as well as the rate of doing so is important. I can safely say this week was chaotic, but never the less Tshego and myself walked out of it in one piece.

Crunch Time: Finishing and editing our first show, along with a Marketing surprise.

This was it! After more than seven weeks of training and preparation the last week before our big show had arrived! Problem was, we had yet to finally finish the jingle, our outro was not done, and our ‘hero of the week’ had not pitched up in over a week now. Things were looking interesting.

Thrid week of term, the week of realisation.

In the previous blog I was worried about how Werner will be incorperated into the team now that he was relieved of his DJ duty. After much talk Tsegho and I have realised that he needs to be a DJ as RMR has two DJ's on air at one time. This therefore worked out perfectly for Werner who doesnt feel left out now, and we do not have any tension within our group.

On Tuesday we held an editorial meeting for next weeks show. This very meeting became a bench mark for the shows.

Third Blog. A discussion of the first initial stories brought back.

In the first workshop we ran an informal think tank on how our show will be produced. This included the hot clock as well as the various themes. From the start of this meeting the different upbringings could be seen. When the women wanted to talk about abuse the only white male wanted to talk about his friends who self mutilate. However all agreed on the various issues we want to cover and how.

During the prior week we asked the members to go back and interview any of their peers on respective issues which they chose. The results we obtained were beyond what we expected. To start off with obviously there were many technical issues on every interview, this will however diminish with practice. One member managed to interview his 14 year old friend on the drugs that he has taken. This 14 year old spoke in an informal, almost boastful voice and illustrated he has tried marijuana and even mushrooms. He also said that one must not do drugs "Untill they are 21".

Week two/three - Teaching Upstart how to interview

Throughout the course of this week we taught the scholars certain interviewing techniques and how to operate and record with the Olympuses.

To start off the workshops we introduced the game of thirty seconds as an icebreaker. This brought very interesting results, as, despite the fact that the members really enjoyed the competitiveness and excitement of the game in general, not many knew the names they had to try and guess. To elaborate, "thirty seconds" involves a certain boardgame where one member has to describe as many items on a card within thirty seconds. These items range from places to celebrities to sports. What interested me was how diverse the level of knoweldge in this respect was. Those that I thought were obvious people were not for the younger generation, and vice verse. This showed me that not only are we different in our backgrounds, but even in generation.

My First workshop with the Upstart team

The Upstart group consists of six members, one black male, one white male and four black females. These members range from the range of sxteen to eighteen years of age. They have been chosen from certain schools within Grahamstown such as Nombulelo High School and PJ Olivier. These schools vary in language and income level.

At half past two my colleague and I travelled seperate cars to fetch the pupils. Once we picked them up from their individual schools we took the pupils to the Journ department. What I noticed from the start was how shy the new pupils were, and I realised I would have to make a constnt effort to make the workshops as relaxed and fun as possible. In the beginning we let each person say their name and how old they were and tell a "random fact" about themselves, this slightly hlped to make the members relax. We wanted to get more interaction between the team so we started playig an nformal game to set the mood. Ths helped dramatically.

One characteristic I learnt in the next excersize changed my way to approach issues for the futre. We asked the team to write down the idividual things they loved and hated. Their social backgrouns became very obvious here. For example the boys mentioned loving rugby while some of the girls illustrated they loved helping their mothers or cooking. There was a definate diverge in interests in other aspects to, and I realise this may be an aspect we will have to tackle in the future.

After this excersize we asked all the members to write down as many aspects they feel affects their immediate society, the following aspects came up often:

Substance abuse: mainly smoking and alcohol.
Teenage pregnancy
Crime in and out of the schooling sphere
Hiv and AIDS


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