By Musa Maud Motso Mkalipi
Living in the moment
In my twenty four years of existence I would like to think that I am a step closer to being the person that I have always wanted to be.
Born and raised in the Eastern Cape Port Elizabeth, to Xoliswa and Mphumeleli Mkalipi I did not have much when I was growing up but my parents ensured that I had all that I needed and that was alright with me. One could describe my journey of growing up as one that was not easy however through all the hurdles I have come across, I am grateful to have the family that I have as without them I would not be a working journalist. I am a step closer to making my mark in the media industry.
The best moments of my existence did not just happen in one event but have spanned over periods of months. I live the best moments of my life each and every day that I wake up.
Currently working as an online journalist at Big Media Publishers, my time here has opened my eyes to a world that I previously never new about. My thoughts of being a journalist before studying in the field was that all journalists had the most easiest job of just searching for gossip and news that does not somehow make a difference in anyone’s life.
It was only after I decided to put aside that stereotype did I further feed my knowledge of what it really means to be a good writer. I also learned that being a journalist requires not a one track mind. It requires versatility, hunger to learn and knowledge of everything around you. Being a journalist is not simply putting pen to paper. Most people want to instinctively tell others what they know and what they have been through. Journalism has allowed me to do just that and has managed to broaden my ways of thinking as well as behave.
Being chosen as an intern here came at a time where I was starting to wonder if I was even good enough. I had sent so many applications to so many news agencies but it all seemed in vain. Once I was called for the interview (after numerous attempts). I realised that it was up to me to make an impression. Being hired was probably one of the most exhilarating moments I have ever had. I realised that this would be my time to shine and that things will only get better from now onwards.
I moved to Pretoria in 2007 where I then enrolled in the Tshwane University of Technology. At the time journalism was just a second option to the course I wanted to do. After just a few weeks of enrolling the course I realised that there was absolutely nothing else in this world that I would rather be doing.
Through the few months that I have spent at Big Media, I have learned so much more than I thought I ever would. I have travelled and met people from different walks of life, from the high and mighty bourgeoisie to those living off just their basic necessities. Journalism has aroused my curiosity of understanding how the world and the people living in it work.
I recently travelled to my home province where I was tasked to profile schools in disadvantaged areas. Upon my arrival I saw a whole new side of the place that I never knew existed. As I spoke to some of the students in these schools my heart was in limber.
These students had little means to get by and yet their dedication to their education kept them going. Suddenly the daily complaints I had everyday about my shower water being too cold or walking to work for thirty minutes seemed meaningless. These were people who walk to school for hours on end just so they can better their future existence. Working as a journalist has removed me from my shell, made me less oblivious to many things. There is no greater feeling than talking and meeting people who have stories to tell. Stories that might seem futile to them but in turn become an inspiration to the rest of the world.
I have been fortunate to work with a team that has been in the journalism field for decades on end. Through their wisdom and knowledge, they work every day to groom me in order to reach my full potential. Through the people I have interviewed I have learned that even people in situations that seem hopeless are able to motivate me and push me beyond my limits.
My parents have been supportive in all that I do. They encourage me every day to live by the “you reap what you sow” statement. It is a cliché line however one that speaks the truth. Nothing was ever achieved through laziness and procrastinating. Your future begins now so one needs to make the most of it. Working and working some more is the way to go! My parents have been my role models my pillars of strength and my inspiration and I try to emulate them in all that I do.