THE SKY IS THE LIMIT FOR FIRST YEAR JOURNALISM STUDENT
Written by: Venal Naidu
Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) first year Journalism student, Mduduzi Dawud Phungula (22) shun at the KwaZulu-Natal Young Achiever’s award, as he brought home the award for the best youth radio initiator.
The criteria of the award looked at the challenges the nominees had faced whilst in the radio industry and how they came through it.
After being rejected many times, Phungula finally landed his first job at Inchanga FM. He moved to Inanda FM and then Mpumalanga’s Ligwalagwala FM as an entertainment contributor.
Hardwork Phungula put in over the years has paid off.
“Dealing with rejection was one of the big challenges for me, there were many times that I thought that this will be the end of the road for me. I felt like being a radio presenter will never come true,” said Phungula.
Upon his return to KwaZulu-Natal, Phungula secured a job at Radio Al Ansaar as a presenter as well as a presenter at Radio DUT.
Growing up in a small village called Inchanga, Phungula had a dream of becoming a television presenter but decided to change due to lack of scope.
“I loved to be a TV presenter, however due to the fact that we don’t have much opportunities when it comes to TV here in KZN, I decided to choose radio presenting,” said Phungula.
Phungula’s choice of radio was due to his love for people.
“I wanted to engage with the masses and give young people the opportunity to share their thoughts with me,” explained Phungula.
Phungula decided to study journalism because of his love for the media.
“I did not imagine myself studying anything else which is not media-related. I chose journalism because most of the things which are learnt when doing journalism are the things that I have a passion for; from behind the scenes to in front of the camera,” Phungula added.
Phungula was thrilled to be receiving the award but insists he is not in it for the fame.
“I’m not in radio for the fame but receiving the award means a lot to me, and I guess there is nothing more exciting than being recognised for your hard work,” Phungula ended.
He currently still works as a presenter on Radio Al Ansaar as well as Radio DUT. He is grateful to his current employers for giving him the opportunity to be himself on radio and insists that without them the award wouldn’t be possible.
Fellow journalism student, Nkosenhle Sibisi, said that Phungula is a great role model for other students to follow.
“Dawud has shown us that anything is possible even, he is shown us that you can still win awards even if you are still a student,” said Sibisi.
Level One Coordinator and Lecturer, Advocate Robin Sewlal, explained that he was surprised at the award that Phungula received and is also pleased that he puts on similar efforts towards his academic work.
“I was surprised, but it’s not like it wasn’t expected,” said Sewlal. “It is a good indicator that a student does not necessarily have to be very vocal and an extrovert in the class but perhaps it gives me the impression that he is very much committed to his work and he’s silently absorbing and understanding the power and beauty of how radio works.”
*Caption: KwaZulu-Natal’s Young Achiever’s Awardee, Mduduzi Dawud Phungula.