Last week Friday Gino Shelile, a former TV student in the Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies, went to New York to attend the UNAOC-EF Summer School in Tarrytown from 24 to 31 August. Shelile (23) was selected from more than 12 000 applicants globally to be one of 100 young adults coming together to discuss pressing global issues. The summer school is a partnership between United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) and Education First (EF).
Shelile graduated from Rhodes University in 2011 with a BA degree in journalism and industrial psychology. Since then he has worked as a production assistant at eNews Channel Africa (eNCA) and he has helped set up a multimedia wing at the South African Press Association (SAPA) where he worked as an online producer for five months. More recently Shelile has been a broadcast journalist for Vuselela Media and a community journalism trainer for Vuselela Media’s flagship ‘B Media Ys’ project that developed in partnership with the European Journalism Centre (EJC) and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF-SA).
Shelile is eager to come back to South Africa and share the knowledge he will gain in New York. “I want to learn,” he said. “My belief is knowledge gained is knowledge shared. I will absorb everything like a sponge and come back and use that knowledge.” The summer school organisers identified people who are making a change around the world and these young adults will discuss ways to enable ‘up-skilling’ to equip the youth as a driving force for positive social change.
Shelile first met Vuselela Media, a non-profit company that provides media education and acts as a youth media network, in his third year at Rhodes. He was working with Upstart, a youth development programme in Grahamstown, as part of his TV3 course, helping young people document issues in their personal lives and in their communities. At the time Vuselela Media was looking for a presenter, and they asked him to work for them on a part time basis. After varsity Vuselela saw the videos he made for SAPA, and approached him to do their media wise training.
Shelile and his team train schools from previously disadvantaged areas in South Africa’s nine provinces in citizen journalism. They show the students how to use their cell phones to produce stories, and how to distribute their stories through social media. Shelile said they are trying to break away from to top down traditional media, and their work with schools is driven not only by issues, but also by solutions. Students are encouraged to come up with their own solutions to their problems. The project also works with NGOs like Love Life and the Women’s Leadership Training Programme (WLTP) in Pietermaritzburg.
When Shelile is not on the road showing kids how to be media wise he is a content producer for the SABC community stations partnered with World Kids News and the European Journalism Centre. He produces content for the youth, current affairs and news, as well as the syllabus based educational programme Geleza Nathi on SABC 1.
Shelile said his goal is to give a meaningful voice to the youth of South Africa. His advice to young journalists in South Africa is to approach companies that best represent their sense of self. He has been lucky to find a company that shares his ideals.
Shelile is excited to see the United Nations headquarters, the General Assembly, and the raising of the flag. He will also get the opportunity to meet media guru and author Erik Qualman and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Shelile said his worst fear is to lose relevance. His career tips include building a fantastic portfolio and networking. See what other people have to say about him in his visual CV on Youtube, or visit his Facebook page, “Just Gino”.
By Annetjie van Wynegaard
Photographs 1 to 3 supplied by Just Gino Images
Photo 1: Shelile reports on president Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address.
Photo 2: Shelile on the streets gathering tributes to former president Nelson Mandela for Nelson Mandela day.
Photo 3: Shelile presenting on Nelson Mandela day.
Photo 4: Shelile in action at Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies. Photograph by Sophie Marcus