Sunday, May 15, 2011

Returning to service-learning principles

After the high of broadcasting the first edition of Masakhane, this week provided a vital wake-up call. The week served as an important reminder of a challenge my community partnership will have to overcome, to be assured of a prolonged success of the radio show.
From left: The Masakhane crew talking about the benefits of gardening

Masakhane hits the airwaves

As the Masakhane Radio Show jingle played on Radio Grahamstown, on Friday 11 am, I was very nervous. I did not let people see how nervous I was, it is something I kept hidden. Over the past three months, our community partnership has been on a major learning curve, where all stakeholders in the partnership had learnt key aspects of each other’s contribution to the partnership. The playing of the Masakhane Show jingle signalled a new, key stage of this partnership. It had now reached its output stage. There was no turning back from here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Four months of toil and valuable learning will be clear to see this week, as the Masakhane Radio Show has its first broadcast on Friday, 6 May. The public holidays that have come in the past week stalled the progress of the planning of our show, and we even had to delay our first broadcast by a week. But now that our big week has arrived, we have a mini scramble to get things together for the show.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Masakhane Radio Show & future plans

Radio Grahamstown. Our audio partnership enjoyed another milestone, as the name of the show was identified, as being the Masakhane Radio Show. The inspiration for Masakhane, which means “let’s build”, is taken from the show’s aim to build knowledge of gardening and healthy living within the listenership of Radio Grahamstown, and to promote the community-building aspect of the radio show, something which is an aim of Umthathi. In the week after our last workshop with our audio production partners, I had the opportunity to think of the learning I have gained the past months, and how I have applied it in my work. Drawing up the Term Two Plan of the participatory production project with Annie, I saw the opportunity to reflect on this.
Behind the mic: Xoliswa Mbewu-Maaotla, co-anchor of Masakhane.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Strengthening our partnership with Radio Grahamstown

This week, Annie and I worked on strengthening our audio production partnership project by consolidating a set of agreements with  Radio Grahamstown.  This included the allocation of air time to the show, and the identification of a producer and anchor from the station’s volunteer team. We met with the Station Manager, Phumlani Wayi, to talk through these agreements, and in this way laid down another building block  for the project. By the time of our second workshop, which took place on Thursday afternoon, we felt ready to start building on these foundations.  The Radio Grahamstown producer and anchor  were present, and it seemed to us that all we had to do now was to encourage the team to start planning the show and honing their production skills. Things did not, however, begin smoothly in the workshop. Let me take you back two days before this workshop:

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Introductory workshop with UMthathi facilitators

On Friday 11 March, Annie and I conducted our introductory workshop with the Umthathi facilitators.  The aim was, firstly, to foster a stronger relationship with the facilitators, by getting to know them better.  Secondly, we aimed to establish a shared vision for the project, informed by clear understanding of everyone’s roles. Thirdly, we hoped to set the ball rolling with regards to the process of generating ideas for content to include in the show. Our primary aim for this workshop though, was to draw out themes which would be covered in the gardening and healthy living radio show.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

UMthathi's "Masilimeni Day"

On Friday, 4 March Annie and I attended Umthathi’s Masilimeni Day, which was held at the NGO’s headquarters in Extension 7. This was an educational day, where the facilitators of Umthathi  conducted presentations at different ‘gardening stations’, on how to create a certain kind of garden, and how to plant in that particular garden. The presentations included talks such as how to build and plant in a ‘tower garden’, which is usually built in dry environments which have little fertile soil. Some of the most interesting presentations of the day included a talk on: how to plant organic vegetables properly; how to create one’s own solar cooker, and a talk on traditional plants.
Zolani Zondani, UMthathi Africulture nurseyman

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My introduction to UMthathi

In the past two weeks, Annie Polak and I have been in regular contact with the various workers of the Umthathi Training Project. We have had the opportunity of getting to know them, and for them to know us, and so far I believe there is still room for our relationship to improve even more.

Friday, February 18, 2011


Welcome to my participatory project blog. Here, I have showcased my work with the UMthathi Training Project, which operates in Grahamstown and surrounding towns. I have used this blog to reflect on the Community Partnership between Umthathi, Radio Grahamstown, my fourth year Radio classmate Annie Polak and I.  I have detailed experiences on the road I took with the Community Partnership stakeholders to create the weekly food gardening/healthy living radioshow, Masakhane.