Imbali woman makes her mark in media industry

2015-08-13 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Nqobile Sibisi was recently listed among the top 200 young people who are making a mark in the media industry.

PHOTO: supplied Nqobile Sibisi was recently listed among the top 200 young people who are making a mark in the media industry.

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BEING listed in the top 200 young people in the Mail andamp; Guardian recently, Pietermaritzburg-born Nqobile Sibisi has a bright future ahead of her in the media industry. NOKULUNGA NGOBESE spoke to her.

Born in Imbali Unit 18, the 29-year-old Code for Africa programme manager is also a modern san-goma who is unashamed to encourage Africans to validate and vindicate their ancient practises in order to reclaim their identity. Her current duties at Code for Africa include managing multiple projects and grant programmes and managing continental programmes that marry journalism and technology.

“We marry journalism and technological advancement to assist journalists, ordinary citizens, technologists and civil societies to collaborate on unprecedented open data projects that allow citizens to tell the real stories that affect their communities,” she said.

Sibisi attended Fezokuhle Primary­ before completing her matric­ at Sacred Heart Secondary School in Verulam.

Despite not having had the privilege of attending Model C schools, she taught herself English by watching children’s programmes, reading books from an early age and watching news, which was influenced by her parents.

After completing matric, she studied for a BCom Accounting degree, but realised she was more passionate about the written and creative word.

“I then completed a Bachelor of Social­ Sciences degree majoring in media­ and linguistics. I was intrigued by the creative word, innovation, telling stories, accountability and reflecting on reality and the lived experiences.

“Something seemed off to me, to live in a continent richly endowed with natural resources, but riddled with gravely suffering people.

“I was hungry to find out why things are as they are, and what’s better than understanding current affairs than being in the centre of the media.”

After completing her studies she completed her post-graduate diploma in media studies at Rhodes University through an Atlantic Philanthropies Scholarship for South African students.

Sibisi, a former conference manager at Highway Africa at Rhodes University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies recently returned to South Africa after spending two years in Nairobi, Kenya.

When asked about her recent achievement, she said: “I’m happy to be selected as one of the 200 young South Africans whose careers are worth watching.

“It encourages me to work even harder. There are lot of challenges in our industry, and the projects I manage are interesting, but sometimes challenging to scale in different continents.”

Sibisi attributes much of her success to her father whom she described as “the go to pal” who had no secrets­ and patriarchal agenda.

With her busy life she hopes to become a full-time author one day as she is currently editing a lot of her poetry and essays and is in the middle of writing a book.

Other than her daily job, she finds time to balance her “medium sangoma self” and work during weekends.

“I’m equally more content about my role as a young and modern sangoma.

“I speak the language of the young and as a writer I do not feel compelled, but I am mandated to write our own truth, about African spirituality, God and the balance of the trinity of the African mind.”

With August being Women’s Month, Sibisi said: “Women should believe in themselves and work hard.

“There isn’t anything that a man can do on a professional level that you can’t do as a woman. That notion is just a figment of a patriarchal society’s imagination.”

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