By Natalia Carvalho
We all hope to achieve something in our lives, to do great things, to be a success. I know I do, that’s why I’m here as a student at Rhodes University. You see journalism is so much more than just a career; it’s a challenge and opportunity to push the boundaries to the point where you should ask yourself, how far are you willing to go? That’s something I look forward to learning and sharing with my readers because I believe the best journalists are a product of shared experiences and knowledge. It takes us beyond the boundaries of a degree where we don’t just find a story; we temporarily become an intrinsic part of someone’s life. Finally I believe before we are journalists we are human and as tempted as we might be, as our journalistic senses tingle, for a story, our humanity dictates the kind of writer we will become. As an aspiring journalist and a young woman I’ve learnt compassion. To be fortunate enough to glance into someone else’s life, even for a moment, has taught me that journalism and our world isn’t just black and white but a colourful array of greys.
So why do I want to be a journalist? I don’t know. In fact there are days when I look at my life, myself and doubt the most influential decision I will ever make. Then there are those days, the ones which inspire, when being a journalist feels like the one thing that would make sense. No on those days, it’s the only reason that existing in a world so imperfect with such suffering is actually worth it. If I’m honest with myself, I didn’t want this in the beginning but as this question loomed closer, I realise why, just why I would want to plunge myself into a life scouring for stories.
September 12 I found myself in a hospital, a photographer and report along side me; that was one of those day were it suddenly all made sense. I remember watching the expression on a little girls face change as we handed her gifts and the photographer snapped shot of her little hands eagerly tearing away the wrapping. She was chronically ill. The next day as she smiled at me from the between the pages of a local newspaper I knew why I wanted this. That moment of happiness we’d captured and eternalised made everything worth it and I realised writing is a lot bigger than we think. It’s about those rare moments when you read your name alongside something profound that you can feel privileged to have been a part of.
That’s why I want I write.