COLUMN: A scribe, prescribed, at times proscribed, its fun

2016-02-04 06:00
laughing lunga adam

laughing lunga adam

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We all are journalists.

Before you accuse me of being a pathological liar or having gone bonkers, let me explain myself.

What I mean here is that there is a journalist in all of us. For some time I have noticed how people tend to be negative about the journalism profession or pass remarks like: “Oh bayazithanda izinto zabantu abo.”

Trust me, I have had people in my social circle trying to keep their distance, because of the fear that I will watch them like a hawk and go on to report on their misdemeanours.

I have often found this baffling. News is all around us and journalists, just like people in general, are always keen to know what’s happening so as to report and talk about it and bring the truth to the people.

Have you noticed that when there is a car accident, everyone stops whatever they are doing and check what’s going on? This, even in the heat of the night! Why? Because we love news. It’s a natural thing. We love seeing it first hand, so as to tell those who may not have seen it the next morning.

It also scores one a nice cup of coffee from the neighbour, who is often overeager to hear the details of it all.

Sometimes our people, in their propensity to tell it the best way they can, even put a little act, as if to spice it up, if you catch my drift.

That’s tantamount to coming up with a crazy headline for a somewhat lukewarm story. See? Told you, we all are journos. Folks often accuse journalists of being curious–whatever that means. But who isn’t.

I know of several people in the community who, had they gone on to study journalism and went on to make a career of it, would do so well that they’d be up for major awards.

These are the masters story-tellers, to the extent that if anyone missed some happenings, they are the to-go-to-people.

They are so good at looking at others’ lives through their self-made magnifying glasses, that I’m sure they could even tell you how many times you went to the loo on a particular day.

Theirs is to bask in the sun all day long and have eyes wide open. These are scribes with no by-lines in newspapers.

Social media is probably the best place to show us that we all have some journalistic instincts. This is where people openly gossip and at times rejoice over the misfortunes of others. It is also a battleground for ‘unqualified’ political analysts to come out to play.

Social networks enthusiasts are also in the habit of taking pictures wherever they go.

These could be of an old man wearing a dissimilar pair of socks, a person with a strangely shaped head or a disfigured woman, and the intention is to post these on their Facebook walls for a good dose of laughter.

How is that any different to a journalist going out to collect news and coming back to present thus to readers?

Public transport also harbours some good members of the fourth estate, if you think about it.

In case you think I’m lying through my teeth, just take a seat in a bus or taxi and listen to old women sharing the latest umgosi and offering their expert views on these. It’s fascinating stuff.

With such valuable and enlightening info, who needs to buy a newspaper? Somehow, these gossipers seem to know who has been dumped lately and the cause of the breakup. They know who has lost weight, as well as the diagnosis.

I’m proud to be part of a profession that prides itself on harbouring such a large population. I’m also quite chuffed that I still remain your favourite columnist, even with all manner of columnists mushrooming in the public transport and social media spaces.

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