From theory into practice
Show Me (Y)our World Project, a competition organised by Music MayDay at The University of Dar es Salaam- Institute of Journalism & Mass Communication.
I’ve had many a great chances to participate in the Music MayDay’s activities for the past two to three years. During this time I have been in several of its activities directly and indirectly. Here is just a glimpse at my great pleasures and some pressures with the major projects I’ve been involved with.
I first came to know Music MayDay through a competition they held at our University (The University of Dar es Salaam- Institute of Journalism & Mass Communication, now School of Journalism & Mass Communication) in the year 2007. They were looking for four students from our University who would participate in the Show Me (Y)our World Project together with other youths from the Nether Lands. Even being in my first year, I was among the lucky four. We spent two weeks making a documentary in Tanzania and another two weeks in the Netherlands.
All in all, this single chance has opened a lot of doors for my career. Having pursued my degree in Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Advertising I was able to get a field placement with one of the legendary Production Companies in Tanzania, Tripod Media Co. Ltd. The Managing Director of the company noted me in the competition and when I applied for a field placement I was immediately admitted. More over, I have managed to acquire a network with the participants in the project and since then we have been keeping intouch and have developed a beneficial relationship in our field of practice.
However the most important benefit I got was the experience of practicing what I was studying (mostly in theory) at the University. I even got a chance not only to learn that in our home environment but also in a foreign environment. I experienced the excitement and challenges of video production in a way that most students don’t get a chance to. In turn, I continued pursuing TV Production and Production management at the University and now that I have completed my degree programme, I have been retained as program producer and presenter for the University’s Media. (Mlimani Radio and Mlimani TV)
This year again (2009), in May I also participated in another project where this time I was with a different group and we met other students from Fonty’s University, who were also studying on Journalism. This was the most challenging of all projects I had been to. This is because the project was too complex for the little time it was given hence there was a lot of running around and last minutes. Also the arrangement wasn’t very convenient for both parties. Even so, I learnt to work under pressure as well as to be pro-active as a journalist. It was pretty challenging at first but again the teacher from the Dutch group managed to help us a lot in managing our chores as individual journalists but still stay as a team and plan as a team. I even went on an emergency news-reporting in Mbagala during the bomb blasts, that was a first time for me and I managed to learn a lot on such situations.
Most of the things we learn in class is theory and books-related. Learning from a real situation is a rare experience. In my case, the day the blasts occurred I realized the Importance of grasping an opportunity and how sharp a journalist should be ready to sacrifice a lot to get clear, accurate information for the people. To start with, my own family was against me going and I had a clash with my sister when I insisted I was going because she thought it was too dangerous. It was a shock when I got to the location and saw how tragic it was and especially how it felt when asking for information from victims of a tragedy. The Dutch student and teacher I went with seemed more experienced and sharp and I tried my best to step in their pace. They had already called their radio station and did a live program.
All in all, I learnt how effective a journalist can be when certain aspects processes are shortened. In our media houses we have too many processes going by the book and we forget the main objective, which is delivering accurate, precise and timely information to the people.I believe that this project can change to a great extent the future of Video Production in Tanzania, especially since it has now been one of the current hot self-employing fields for most youth. Yet, I believe a lot of talents are going to waste since there’s no sense of professionalism in what they do and hence they can no explore the extent of their great potentiality and that of the market. Universities and colleges are hard and expensive to get enrolled therefore Music Mayday provides the few chances most of the youth may have to make it well in this field.
The movie industry is growing at a very fast pace but unfortunately it is too commercialized that the artistic point of it is being ignored. Documentary filming is also catching up because more and more companies and organizations have realized the importance of visual aids/tools. This applies to visual adverts and such used social institutions and commercial agencies. In this aspect video production is a much demanded profession needing professionals. That is why the companies that can afford out-sourcing to international production companies do so, because Tanzania still hasn’t been able to produce well recognized professionals and the few that are there are not that known.