School of Arts

Honours study hones in on those who pursue their passion

Mr Thando Masiko
Mr Thando Masiko

He also created a short film with his peers, in the mould of reality TV, titled “The Passion Project” which introduces viewers to three people (a dog walker, musician and real estate photographer) who developed a passion for their work and serve as a source of inspiration for people to follow their dreams.

‘Putting together this film taught me the value of teamwork but also allowed me to learn new skills. I never realised how much hard work goes into filmmaking. It’s never as simple as picking up a camera and shooting. There’s a lot of planning and preparation,’ he said.

One of the key findings was that the ‘teaching and schooling system; society and the systems we live under continue to prepare us for a life in the future using methods of the past. We’re not the same, we’re different so stop teaching me the same way you taught my grandfather. Today specialisation and diversity are key. What this current society needs to do is observe and recognise one’s strengths ask questions the former did not ask: what is that you would like to do? Only then can teaching actually become effective and relevant.’

One of the major challenges Masiko had to endure during his studies was wrongful arrest during the #FeesMustFall protests.

‘This 72 hours Westville prison experience did something to me that words alone can’t explain. That is where bitter souls are forged. That was the most traumatic experience of my life, especially when you’re innocent and all you were trying to do was film the events of the student protest. That is singularly the one moment in my life where I saw nothing but darkness when I tried to envisage my future,’ he said.

However, this did not deter him from continuing his studies and he graduated top of his class. ‘I learnt the necessity of having a strong and supportive family and true friends. I honestly wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for them.’

His advice to other students is, ‘Whatever your research topic, let it be something you have really invested in, something close to your heart because in that way you’re bound to produce a paper that will actually make a visible and significant difference.’

Masiko plans to pursue his Masters degree, but for now, is content to gain work experience. He is off to the Mission Point Resort in Michigan in the US for a yearlong hospitality internship.

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