Welcome to MPONZMAN!A

This is a professional blog of an experimental student journalist. I showcase my work from both the course and vacational work on this blog. I also add a flavour of my own thoughts and observations.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Introduction to Development feature

RADIO PRODUCTION: Development feature

The assignment of producing a development feature was my introduction to the notion of development journalism. Using Banda’s (2007) interpretation of development journalism and its essential use in broadcasting, I obtained the platform I had wished to have, of uncovering a positive story in Grahamstown.

Introduction to News


The importance I set of focusing on the average citizen as a primary source and focal point of a story is revealed in the new stories I produced this year. The first story in the news section, which is on the implications the closure of The Old Gaol Backpackers’ Lodge, would have on its backroom workers, emphasised solely on these workers, and the catalyst of this story was the backroom worker who is the first interviewee in the story. The second story in this section, of the taxi drivers’ dissatisfaction with hitch-hikers who refuse to commute in taxis, is another story which I focused on a concerning issue affecting citizens.

Radio studies


A.)The journalistic philosophy I produced at the beginning of the Radio Studies course was motivated by the societal differences, and the manner in which these differences have been represented through the media. Focusing my philosophy on how I planned to approach radio journalism in Grahamstown, I became aware of the existence of such differences in the city, which proved to be the focal point of my philosophy. I made it a point that through the journalism I produce for radio, I would “aim to engage with the diverse citizens who reside in Grahamstown”, to ensure that the community as whole got to know stories from the various groups which reside in the city, making a contribution, a small one somewhat, in breaking the barrier between the various class and cultural differences that are predominant in the city.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sakhuluntu Cultural Group development piece

Grahamstown hosts one of the largest arts festivals each year. But what happens in the City of Saints when there is no festival taking place? Litha Mpondwana looks at one of the unique arts groups in Grahamstown.

Soil erosion in the Eastern Cape

Soil erosion has become a serious challenge facing the agricultural sector of the Eastern Cape. While there have been measures taken to counter soil erosion, farmers and communal land owners in the inner region of the province are seeing an increase fo this problem. Litha Mpondwana compiled this report.

Back to work! Climate change and development

After the thrill of the National Arts Festival and the Soccer World Cup, it was back to some hard work. The third term of the Radio 3 course introduced my class to reporting on Climate Change and Sustainability,  and producing development journalism. I enjoyed the challenges these assignments brought about, and I am pleased to introduce to the public the respective packages I did on Climate Change and Sustainability; and development journalism

Inxeba Lomphilisi feature

The National Arts Festival is known for showing unique theatre shows. The play, “Inxeba Lomphilisi – The wound of the healer” is no different. It breaks new ground in isiXhosa theatre, and is sure to become a favourite during the festival. Litha Mpondwana compiled this report.

Eastern Cape Cultural Ensemble feature

A feast of local culture was shown at the Eastern Cape Cultural Ensemble’s performance at the Guy Butler Theatre. Featuring dance and song from the different indigenous cultures of the Eastern Cape, the ensemble was well received by the audience. Litha Mpondwana compiled this report.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Politics of FIFA

As the world enjoys the Soccer World Cup, the truths about FIFA were discussed at the National Arts Festival. The Thinkfest programme saw a team of researchers discuss the immense power FIFA has over countries hosting soccer World Cups, and the benefits they enjoy which may harm the progress of the host country. Litha Mpondwana compiled this report.

Innovation hub

The Innovation Hub is a project which has been launched at this year’s National Arts Festival. An effort to spread wealth created by the festival, it sees four budding entrepreneurs from Grahamstown being afforded the opportunity of conducting small businesses during Arts Festival. Litha Mpondwana reports.

Cueing around during Arts Fest

While all of Mzantsi and the rest of the world have been marvelling about the Soccer World Cup currently taking place, I have been busy elsewhere in South Africa.

As It Is podcast episode 2

The second episode of my group podcast, As It Is.

Taxi drivers vs Hitch-hikers

Eastern Cape Taxi-drivers are raging at the growing number of hitch-hikers around the province. But in Grahamstown hitch-hikers are defiant. Litha Mpondwana reports.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Proudly Mzantsi

Never had I been so emotional, as when Simphiwe Tshabalala scored the goal which sparked the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup to life. I guess this emotion was building up. During the week, when I had returned home from varsity, I saw extensive coverage of the event from the major news channels from around the world. CNN had special half-hourly bulletins on the build up to the World Cup, with numerous reporters in settings around South Africa. BBC had the same, while ESPN, the American-based father of sports channels was also on set in the country.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

As It Is podcast pilot episode reflection

The podcast As It Is contains a variety of packages which all share a commonality, in that the stories produced reflect strongly on the community of Grahamstown, and do not depend on higher authority figures as voices which give direction to a package. While initially planning to focus exclusively on stories which represent the concerns of the average citizen in Grahamstown, vast aspects of this were covered in the podcast through the various packages and kind of presenting.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


The audio clips preceding this post are part of the course work I've gone through so far in the third year Radio course at Rhodes University. For the duration of my time as an undergrad student at Rhodes, I'm going to be putting out my audio work on this blog, and also include the work I'll be doing for SABC radio news, as part of the Cue Radio agency. For now, enjoy the material I've produced, I'm about to head off to watch the Bulls vs Sharks Super 14 game!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

As It Is Podcast pilot

Old Gaol cleaning staff faces uncertain future

This is a package I co-produced with Angelique Thorne.

CUE: There has been much hype around the closure of the Old Goal and the implications it has on the Tourism of Grahamstown, but how does this pending closure affect the workers. Angelique Thorne investigates.

Matthews Nontyi profile piece

CUE: While most playwrights aspire for fortune and fame, Matthews Nontyi has treaded a different path. Despite gaining recognition for his work, he chooses to remain in Grahamstown, empowering the rural community through the arts.

My journalistic philosophy for my time in Grahamstown

Journalism is an art in which I want to maximise my talents, while most importantly telling a story of an individual or event that has taken place, to create awareness and interest within the society. I want to maintain strict discipline in my reporting, to maximise the professionalism of my reporting which would hopefully gain the consumer’s respect.