Friday, April 13, 2007


It was a good reunion. On Wednesday 11 April I was invited for lunch by the World of Work Internship staff. They were hosting their new batch of interns for 2007. I felt exhilarated at the thought of meeting my friends (Celeste, Rand Merchant Bank, Zanele De Beers and Cyrille from CG) and former colleagues and the new interns. More interesting is the fact that they (2006 interns) are all doing well in their prospective employment environments.

Zanele is slowly edging towards her dream career in Community Tourism. She says she is still working in the PR department of De Beers. (God I wish I could be in that PR department)! Celeste is having a ball assessing risk and political environments for her bank and Cyrille is thinking of getting into partnership with someone interested in Gold mines. I looked at him in admiration and started thinking that these definitely must be the fruits of the WOW programme. He is already thinking of going independent hardly a year later

Before coming for the lunch I remember thinking to myself that if given the chance to say something at the luncheon to the interns I was going to tell them that the World of Work is really two fold. Sometimes it is cracked up to be what it is supposed to be and sometimes its not. It just depends on one’s attitude. I came to Nedlac as a communications intern hoping to advance up the larder to be a communications coordinator but it didn’t turn up that way. According to the Executive Director I couldn’t land this post because firstly I am a foreigner and secondly my qualifications (BSc Hons Media and Society Studies and MA Forced Migration Studies) are so common place in South Africa that the Government (Department of Foreign Affairs or is it Labour?) would be upset if they were told that I am in permanent employ. So he told me that that is the dilemma that he is facing but that he is willing to help me with anything to find a job. (So you employers out there who do not mind employing foreigners I am still available and searching!)

I am now doing administrative work like my compatriot Takwana Makaya in Nedlac under the Community Constituency. I am enjoying it as it has managed to tighten up my previous administrative skills, albeit on a small scale because I don’t feel that it is challenging. I crave for something challenging that will get all my nerves worked up in anticipation of far reaching consequences. Mr Mkhize really appreciates the work that administrators do in Nedlac. This was made evident at the New Year’s welcome presentation of Nedlac staff. He reiterates all the time that everyone in ANY organisation is an administration. He terms himself is an administrator. The only difference according to him is that “we are administrators at a different level.” What do you think guys? I am not going to say anything about it right now save to say that his words gave me encouragement.

One other person who keeps encouraging me is Lesley she asked me whether I now understood and appreciated why she had placed me at Nedlac. I told her that yes I did. It was going to be a nightmare to get me a placement anywhere else given my foreignness. Nedlac was the answer since they had taken foreign interns before. After all has been said and done, I really appreciate the time and space that have been accorded to me by Nedlac. I am on the road after all. It’s just that my walk will be much longer than everybody else’s but I am on the same road with them nonetheless.

So to my fellow foreign interns. There is light at the end of the tunnel. The big break may be instant like in Cyrille’s case or it may take longer like in my case so keep up the spirit.


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