Media Exacts Toll on the Aged [opinion]

HAVING lived for four decades and then suddenly become exposed to a totally new environment, the initial results were a mixture of drama, failure and humour. And that is how the new chapter in my life started when I joined the employ of New Era Publication Corporation.

I am the person responsible for tender information that appears in New Era and in the weekly Kundana newspaper.

Joining the media fraternity at such an aanced age, such as mine, has been a daunting task for an ordinary person who comes from the pre-independence dispensation. Whereas I was used to browsing newspapers and criticising journalists before, I suddenly became part of the team responsible for daily putting the newspaper together. I assure you that this is a world totally different from the rest, loaded with fun, excitement and pressure.

I can still remember vividly my very first day at Daniumlel Tjongarero House, the home of New Era Publication Corporation. After being introduced to the staff I settled down at my desk and was given my very first assignment.

The reporter who was previously responsible for my current task just showed me the basics on what to do and left me on my own.

Here I was, left alone on an isolated island as everybody surrounding me was busy with their own daily tasks. It was here that I conceptualised the true meaning of the word deadline.

I nearly had a heart attack when my supervisor reminded me that I needed to compile a full Tender Information page with the information available for the next day. It was then that I realised that you need to give two hundred percent commitment if you want to succeed and survive in the media industry.

I would have quit that very same day, were it not for the support and encouragement from my predecessor and colleagues in the Production Department. When I attended the first tender opening for the purpose of gathering information another surprise awaited me.

Company names and tender amounts were read out at lightning speed and reporters were supposed to take down all this information accurately.

What counted in my favour was that in my previous job I had the responsibility of taking minutes. After the second time I worked out ways and means to master yet another skill!

At one of these meetings I mistakenly jotted down “aitsa” as a company name, only to realise later on that announcers use the word when they cannot pronounce a strange company name.

On a lighter note I have to admit that I will always preserve the good memories of my stay with Dr Fes and the rest of the Marketingroduction family, especially the jokes and the “kom ons cover vir chips and broumltchens” moments. Well, time has moved on and so have I. Very soon I will be joining the Newsroom in the Editorial Department to be groomed as a journalist for the future. And after so many years I am in classroom, upgrading myself to have a qualification beyond Grade 12. Yep, I am studying to be a journalist.

It is indeed a mammoth experience to be placed in one classroom with born- frees and their peculiar attributes. Life at the Polytechnic of Namibia is an enjoyable venture thus far although it was a bit difficult to adapt in the beginning. The first day during introductions I was sitting beside one young man. As soon as I had introduced myself he suddenly stood up, saying “Dankie Tate”. My first thought was here it comes, my first day and I am already called “Tate”, what else will follow?

What a big surprise to find out only later that this young man’s name is actually “Dankie Tate”! Till next time.

Source : New Era