March 2020, the Amanzi For Food Programme at Rhodes University in partnership with Media Academy South Africa launched a Mobile Journalism training short course at Mkhubiso Village, Kieskammahoek in Eastern Cape.

Prior to the event, Mama Nosiseko Giake (Ngqika) – wife of the late Chief Ngqika, gave us a warm welcome and shared the background history of the village.

The attendees involved Mkhubiso community members, Imvotho Bubomi Learning Network (IBLN) members, Hamburg Group, MXhumbu Group, Fort Cox student, and Rhodes University students.

Mobile Journalism course consisted of 5 days of practical training boot camp, followed by 4 weeks of group work projects. In the first few days of the training, the participants were introduced to camera handling, phone setting and Smart Phone Apps (Steller, kineMaster and Open Camera). There were also discussions about audio, microphones, interview techniques and storytelling. Therefore, it is well worth pointing out that the training was informative and interactive, it has allowed participants to experience and explore the masterpieces of Mobile Journalism.

Dominique who is a founder of Mojo CapeTown and creative director at the Media Academy SA facilitated the course by opening with a broad discussion of emerging technologies and the inception of media in the world. Furthermore, the training equipped the participant with essential skills to plan, film and edit short films and post casts on the mobile phone. It has introduced interesting and novel methods of sharing knowledge and promoting digital content through different social media channels.

The participants were thoroughly engaged, divided into groups and given a practical exercise which they had to go to the community and find a character, then create a series of sequences using a different camera angles shots. Also, Participants learned about the theory behind filmmaking and some key cinematography tips to help them publish vital stories. The training created a platform where individuals able to work together creatively, forging relationships and connection.

 “We are learning about how the cinema language has changed, instead of using traditional Camera to shoot. The phone is flat, it can go to greater positions and take good images, and we have become directors now, using iPhones to capture moments or document a movie” said Dominique.

In conclusion, Mrs. Peter who is a farmer and an IBLN member expressed her gratitude for the Mojo training saying “The mobile journalism workshop was an eye-opener as a tool for storytelling more especially with us rural almost forgotten community”.  She further stresses that “I feel like we have been given a chance to fill the gap for communities that have much to offer in the line of indigenous knowledge”.

The event went very well and a great thank you goes to both Media Academy South Africa and Amanzi For Food Programme, at Rhodes University for taking on this partnership. Also to the facilitators, Dominique Vandenhoudt, Penny Price who is a freelance research, Pracademic and working on climate change and social justice issues, Luke Metelerkamp who is a Researcher and coordinator of the course, Live Matiwane, Ludwe Majiza for accommodations, IBLN group, who organised this interesting event.