Yeoville Day 5: Context is everything

CLUED UP:  PhD candidate, Simbarashe nyuke from the Wits department of Anthropology is working on research based on the fear of violence and the Pentecostalisation of everyday life among migrants who are in Johannesburg.  Photo: Lameez Omarjee

CLUED UP: PhD candidate, Simbarashe Nyuke from the Wits Department of Anthropology is researching Pentecostalism. Photo: Lameez Omarjee

*As part of the in-depth research project, one of the requirements of the BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies degree at Wits University, students are required to write daily blog entries to show the progress of their projects. This year the theme is Yeoville and students have to take on a topic that tells a story that is Yeoville specific

This was rather a slow day.  I first met up with Simbarashe Nyuke, the PhD candidate from the Wits Department of Anthropology.  Boy was I glad I spoke to him. His research involves Pentecostal churches in migrant communities- that’s Yeoville through and through.

Much of what I discovered in Yeoville linked up with the research he has done in Johannesburg CBD and Yeoville.  He gave me a few explanations for some of the questions I had about foreign national communities and their church preferences (great information which I’m saving for the feature).

All his information tied up and confirmed what I have heard from the other sources (ward councillor, city council, residents and the pastor).  So my facts are indeed the truth.

I went back to Jo’burg City council to get a better understanding about the application process to start churches.  I spoke to a town planner at the Development Planning Department.  He explained the different rights building owners have- which is important when considering the buildings you find churches in these days.

It’s going to be really odd taking pictures while people are worshipping.

As it turns out, a building originally intended for residential purposes can be rezoned as place of worship.  This explains why there are so many churches in seemingly odd places.  Not all of them are informal.

Now that I have a better understanding of how things should work, I can work on the framework of my feature.  I’m glad I covered the “boring” details first, beause it’s really influencing the way I am thinking and the questions I am asking.  Now I can go into the churches purposefully.

Tomorrow I will be shooting some stills around Yeoville churches.

I’m a little stressed out about Sunday.   It’s going to be really odd taking pictures while people are worshipping.


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