Monthly Archives: January 2014

MECS Student to Attend Top Journalism School

MECS student, Riante Naidoo.

MECS student, Riante Naidoo.

For the first semester of 2014, Media and Cultural Studies (MECS) student, Riante Naidoo will be embarking on an overseas exchange at Drake University in the United States.  Ranked as one of the top ten mid-sized universities in America by the Chronicle of Higher Education, Drake University boasts one of the most prestigious journalism programmes in the world.  

Naidoo, an aspiring journalist herself, remarked that while MECS had given her the necessary critical and theoretical tools for a career in journalism, Drake had the facilities to extend that knowledge with more practical experience.  “The modules I intend to do require me to work a certain number of hours at Drake’s campus magazine [and] there is also a training course held at their on-campus radio station”, said Naidoo.

While Drake University boasts an extensive practice-based journalism programme, Naidoo has opted to compliment her MECS degree by specialising in news broadcasting, radio and television producing, as well as exploring the option of magazine editorial business.

When asked about attending an American university Naidoo stated that she was interested “to see how their media theory is applied on a massive scale; [and because] America [is] more established, it will be interesting to note their media objectives and values, as well as to explore the efficiencies of their systems and technologies”. 

She also remarked that she wanted to go to the United States because “they have created an image in the mind of millions that it is something spectacular to be an American. I’d like to see for myself the reasons which make them feel that way”.

Naidoo already has a job waiting for her as a junior journalist when she returns to South Africa in July, but has confirmed that she will be coming back to UKZN in 2015 to complete her Honours degree in Media and Cultural Studies to help add to her already extensive skill set.


Media Graduate Plays Presidential Chess

President Zuma expounds on the importance of chess.

President Zuma expounds on the importance of chess.

On 23 December UKZN and Media & Cultural Studies alumnus Zarha Sayed led the Sisonke (Harry Gwala) district in their first appearance at the annual Jacob Zuma Nkandla chess tournament.  The tournament, which is run strictly by invitation, is hosted by President Zuma and the Nkandla Municipality to help showcase the talent of chess players from rural schools from around South Africa.

As district chairperson, Sayed was invited to bring ten children with her to play in the tournament.  She describes it as one of the most important chess tournaments in the country because it is given national coverage which helps to exhibit the development of rural chess players.

The tournament began with a speech by President Zuma who emphasised how important chess is in the development of strategic thinking as well as concentration, analytical skills and problem solving. 

Once the tournament had begun, the President demonstrated his own skills by playing with ten children simultaneously, including Sayed, who commented, that playing against President Zuma “was honestly the highlight of [her] chess journey”.

Zarha Sayed smiles as the President makes his move.

Zarha Sayed smiles as the President makes his move.

While the President was unable to finish all his matches due to time constraints, Sayed said that the entire experience was a privilege.  She was also particularly impressed by some of the younger players whose powers of concentration and strategic play gave the President quite a challenge.

While the Sisonke district did not win any prizes, Sayed exclaimed that “everyone played really well.  It was a really good opportunity [and] hopefully we will get something next year”.

This is an edited version of the original article



%d bloggers like this: