As the Sinelizwi games master, Food For Mzansi journalist Duncan Masiwa actively works with the 62 selected candidates on our citizen journalism programme. Every day from 13:00 to 14:00, during the Sinelizwi hour, he engages with programme members from across South Africa. He is the go-to guy, readily available for all those awkward questions.
But beware… not only will Duncan help you to dip your toes in the world of citizen reporting, he will also crack the whip where necessary. We’ll start out slow, though, but if you play along nicely, you’ll be a trained Sinelizwi citizen journalist by the end of the programme.
If you’re a fan of Food For Mzansi, you will know that Duncan is a well-known features and news writer who also does not hesitate to speak truth to power. In other words, he gives a voice to the voiceless, and holds the powerful to account.
What’s your biggest tip for those on the Sinelizwi programme?
Make sure you understand what is expected from you in every assignment or task. Trust me, there is nothing worse than submitting your labour of love, something that made you sweat, only to be told by your editor that you completely misunderstood the brief and have to re-do it. Apart from that, have fun while you are learning and do not be afraid to ask questions.
How do you see the future role of citizen journalists in South Africa?
Mzansi is home to countless communities, some more remote than others. Communities that house thousands upon thousands of people. These people all have unique stories to share, but it is never told because often the media simply is not there to share it with the rest of the country. It is for that reason that I believe citizen journalists trained by Food For Mzansi’s Sinelizwi programme will be the ones to stand in that gap, and set about promoting news and stories from “off-the-map” areas that are underserved by mainstream media.
When you’re not being a super cool journalist, what do you do for fun?
That’s not a question you ask a workaholic, but hey, I’ll give it a shot. Most of my days away from the laptop are spent running or hiking. Then, every now and then, I get to share my gift of poetry on cool stages or put music to it at a friend’s home studio.
How to contact the Sinelizwi games master:
- WhatsApp line: +27 81 889 9032
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure to follow all the Food For Mzansi channels:
- Facebook: facebook.com/foodformzansi
- Twitter: @FoodForMzansi
- Instagram: @FoodForMzansi