*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.
The new week started with the multimedia pitch, which set a dismal tone for the day. I originally planned to transcribe my recordings and start writing up. But the mentors wanted me to drop the “church” aspect and head back to Yeoville to “explore” my character better.
I met up with Rookshana Visagie, one of the new members at Cornerstone Yeoville. I couldn’t stay with her long because she was off to work for her call-centre job in Braamfontein. She has an interesting story, born a Muslim, but converted to Christianity through marriage. Her sister also married a Christian man, who pastors a church.
Visagie has searched for churches all over Yeoville and has attended a number of them. She found Cornerstone by chance when Joe Muthee and his wife Kathy were handing out pamphlets in Shoprite.
Sometimes I think STAT 4013 is easier than whatever it is we’re doing in Yeoville.
Although she goes to the group meetings on Thursdays, her family is not enthusiastic about participating in her church activities. I spoke to one of her daughters, who goes to church with her friend. Her husband doesn’t go to church and neither do her sons. She says it’s because they have been disappointed by churches in the past. Also, her Muslim family in Riverlea refuse to see her because she converted.
It’s strange. Why give up family by changing religions and still be disappointed by places of worship? She has created a new Christian identity for herself, being baptised in the Greek Orthodox church and getting a new name, Maria.
I think it’s compelling enough, but I don’t know how I’m going to show this visually. So I’m looking up documentaries about Christian converts. It’s so overdone.
The good news is, every second person I talk to in Yeoville about the churches, don’t have positive experiences. Visagie represents a broader issue. It will flow well in my feature too, if I use the right words.
Also this change has also thrown out our equipment schedule, I hope my group members are flexible. Tomorrow we help Percy shoot. I’m going to go and also get a few stills from the women’s ministry of the other church I’m covering.
Sometimes I think STAT 4013 is easier than whatever it is we’re doing in Yeoville. No, there’s no question, it is easier.