The journalistic process is a grueling one. You are under constant mental strain, trying to figure out how to do justice to the stories of the people you are writing about. You also have to separate yourself, your feelings and beliefs in order to forward an agenda that has already been set. The battle field is already set, the lines are already drawn, you just have to stand at the side lines and watch the war happen.
We have been constantly reminded of how difficult it would be to get access to Somali women and how they don’t speak without the presence of Somali men and one of my colleagues have told me about a similar encounter but this has been for me to process.
I’m starting to think that maybe going into the community with my own preconceived ideas and agendas would be a disservice to the Somali women in Mayfair. Besides, Somali women are not the prototype for Muslim women and the Somali community is a growing one. They don’t feel quite at home but they’ve carved out a space for themselves in Mayfair where they feel comfortable, a place that is their own.
As a journalist, one has to find conflict for a story to be “worth it” a standard that i don’t fully agree with but those are the rules of the game. The conflict iwth Somalis in Johannesburg has been over done. and looking at the rest of my classmates will be explored even further.
Different stories have to be told, that is my purpose as a journalist.