Sunday, April 06, 2008

Concerning Honey Nut Meg Something

Mj's family are back home safe, spiritually uplifted and cranially enhanced ( i think i just made that up). It was a good trip alhumdulillah. I'm generally quite a difficult person to buy for - I try on every clothing item before purchasing, Ive got a very weird unconventional wardrobe taste, and I have everything I could want. So when mum and dad asked MJ what I wanted from Saudi or Dubai, the only thing that came to mind was a new Bottle of perfume. MJ has two trademark scents - Hugo Boss (the original - which for some stupid reason is really hard to find in shops, and Lacoste Grey). Thing is - I think eau de toilettes are ridiculously over priced in South Africa, hence I would never buy one locally.

As I sat last night recalling the past three weeks for mum (dad tapped my head, smiled at me, told me he was glad that the dog had not starved and died and went to bed) I realised that there are so many things I did, and events that I attended, yet I don't blog about any of them, and I should, if only to create an awareness at least (not to show you how cool I am or anything - if I wanted to do that I'd lie in the interest section of my facebook profile). So today I'm going to mention just two in the past week. Maybe later I'll highlight some of the other stuff.

On Monday night I attended the Mail and Guardians Critical Thinking Forum. The topic was 'The New ANC and the Media'. The panel consisted of Prof Guy Berger (a familiar name to any media studies undergrad student) Cyril Madlala, Mary Papayya, Pratas Madlala and South Africas current Press Ombudsman, Joe Thloloe. It was chaired by the animated Dr Ashwin Desai, who is nothing like the character he plays in Eastern Mosaic. For me, what was rather irritating was some of the questions posed to the panel - the way I see it, you are at a media forum, so you don't ask dumb questions that you would expect from a first year journalism student. Here we have a panel of tremendously influential players in South Africas media field, and some nob asks a question, what makes something newsworthy? Its like going to a dentist forum and asking how many teeth does an adult human being have. Polokwane came up, but sadly I think we couldn't seem to move past it. At times it felt like they should have renamed the forum 'How the Sabc screwed Zuma in the lead up to Polokwane'.

Luckily I had amazing company, Sanef member, Africa Perspectives editor and fellow staff member Ayesha Mall, as well as her niece and SAFM producer Spiji Ayesha Wadvalla. (yeah - I know, I'm name dropping, but sometimes its good to highlight some of your friends achievements)

Tons of finger snacks afterwards - the lady assured me that everything was halaal, but you know that feeling when you look at something and it just has that bacon look to it, and you cant possibly believe it was halaal? So yeah - the orange juice and cheese sandwiches were delicious.

On Thursday I attended the Nakba 60 campaigns talk by Moulana Bham - the head of the Jamiatul Ulema of Transvaal. Nakba means 'day of the catastrophe' in Arabic and is a commemoration of the state of Israel. I got into a little flak at the meeting, because this chick told me that even though she has not been to Palestine, she still loves the place. So I told her that that's the same way I feel about DisneyLand. Funny thing is - immediately after the talk, Bham looked at me and said 'MJ, wheres that e-mail you promised me last year? I think he was referring to this day . good memory old chap. While I'm talking about all this stuff I need to do a proper KOTP post. hmmm



Unknown said...

sometimes i used to find media people a little pretentious. i mean not everyone is gifted in the art of thinking. but i think your panel is used to dumb questions. guy berger is my old boss. nice old man. sometimes a little too nice i think.

someone should have asked why the sabc tried to skull fuck sanef last year and how sabc has become a coloured in version of the old south african broadcaster.

Anonymous said...

the 7pm sabc news sound like a propaganda station worthy of stalin- shame on the sabc. and no offense but i think media students these days are uncreative apathtic and lazy -media in this country has gone down the drain ...

M Junaid said...

OH - aah yes - lest we forget Dalis statement.

Anon - none taken. but heres something to ponder over - if media in this country has gone down the drain, which countries media system is working? or rather - how does one gauge which media system is successfull? I think Fikile-Ntsikelelo Moya addresses this conumndrum quite well in last weeks Mail and Guardian - the article is called 'Holding a knife at the wrong end'.

concerning media students - I think the problem lies in the framing of the humanities as a whole - media studies is seen as being a soft option, and anyone with an exemption an pursue it at a University level. Many media students are uncreative, apathetic and lazy, but i can lay this charge at any discipline. I agree with what you are saying about the SABC news, although I wont put it in the same category as Stalinesque influenced media. Whats more worrying is how foreign owned media are kow-towing to the state (possibly because they want relaxed ownership laws etc) We can debate this issue for a while. In fact - why not - I know that many media students read my blog - so come on - lets hear your voices?

Anonymous said...

hmm u make a good point -i cant think of any media system that is truly working. However responding to your media student assurtion , i would ask -dont you think we need doctors lawyers and engineers first ? media studys has its role but its still a rich mans field -not ours. how many intelligent people go into media when they could put their mind to more constructive uses ?

Unknown said...

media studies is an essential towards democracy. it is as essential as lawyers and engineers. but then i am biased towards the humanities.

Waseem said...

People should choose their careers cos they are intelligent and it's more important? So we have dumb people doing stuff like computers and media and in the police force.

People should do stuff they are passionate about else they wont be happy. Who cares about making society happy when you are not happy yourself.

bb_aisha said...

Anon:to answer your q "how many intelligent people go into media when they could put their mind to more constructive uses ?" my answer is 'me' :-)(with tongue firmly in cheek)& saaleha,mj from bloggers
This is such a typical Indian stereotype (ok, I'm assuming you're Indian) that BA careers are fr dumbos. I have friends who had 6 A's & chose to study journalism.
admittedly, we have many mediocre journalists but journalism is not for 'less than intelligent' people
I studied biomedical science but its pure qadr(fate) that i now have a career in journalism.
i present a current affairs show (ahem mj-presenter, not just producer:-p) & it doesn't require just a good voice.I'm judged on my thinking abilities & the questions i ask.
A friend who's a dentist says the sciences teach us to be stupid in that we learn facts & that's it. A BA degree teaches one to think critically & analyse.

btw, mj, it's proteus madlala.
incidentally,i spoke to mary on wed to ask her to be a part of our regular editors forum on Sun AM show. During conversation, she spoke about forum & I mentioned I was there. She immediately asked if I was with Ayesha & was speaking to Imran. She said she noticed me immediately because she was glad to see such a young person there & wanted to speak to me as she loves chatting to young journos (says I look as young as her 14 yr old daughter :-) she also thought at first I'm Ayesha's niece then remembered Ayesh doesn't have a niece (Don't make Ayesh sound old. We refer to each other as cousins through marriage. Easier than me saying my aunt's husband's niece, or her saying my uncle's wife's niece)

Transvaal? In which era are you living?? It's Gauteng!
it's sad how so many Muslims only care for Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan but can't be bothered about Somalia, Sudan, Tibet, Aids,poverty etc