Contributing to development and social justice in your community, in your country, or in the world.

Coming back to school was a difficult decision for me but by far the best decision I have made in a long while. As a mature student with 7 years of work experience under my belt, I believe I am more aware of the importance of listening to the other side of the story than I was as a young 20 year old undergaduate student. Also life has taught me that in the end everything will be fine and so I don’t worry as much as I feel my peers do. I appreciate where they are in their journey of life but if I could give them one piece of advice it would be to not neglect our social responsibility while pursuing our academics. What is a Deans merit list if you cannot smile at your fellow mankind and assist where need be? So as a mature student I felt that the onus was on me to not forget what the real world is like, where its not just the jobs and roles we take up to earn a living but also the compassion and consideration that we have for others. And opportunities to serve are in abundance!

mature student

I took a Global Citizen course this semester, something I would encourage all students to do. So often we restrict ourselves to exist in many microcosms that we treat as if they MUST exist in isolation. Which in hindsight is so ridiculous. The world we live in is overlapping in so many ways! I first heard about the Global Citizen course from Assistant Dean Tessa Minter at the beginning of the year. During a commerce representatives meeting she highlighted that being a university student is not merely about academic achievement but attaining good grades whilst progressing socially amidst our peers and in the community at large.

I decided to participate in the course and I have no regrets that I embarked on this journey. I believe that being a global citizen is an ongoing journey with no ultimate destination and we will all continue to learn as life goes on. However, it is not often that one is privileged with the opportunity to learn about the ways in which, and in which not to, serve others, in an academic environment. Initially I was a bit sceptical about this form of learning simply because I felt that service is best learned from experienced. It was very interesting to ‘unlearn’ this behaviour, and pleasant to realise that I was not the only one who had preconceptions of how service should be conducted. The practical application of our learnings at Mother’s Unite, a centre for underprivileged children in Lavendar Hill was crucial in cementing what we were learning, and thoroughly enjoyable to spend time recycling and playing with the children, listening to their cries for help, developing plans on how to improve their establishment, feeding them, and learning from children.

  MU1    Mu2     mu4    Mu3                                                              mu6

Thanks to the GC course, now when I think of paradigms of service, I am cemented in my initial hunch that indeed we should give of ourselves whenever possible. I think that I would work for the Gender Justice in future. I think there is something important in service which is organizational and structured as opposed to service which is merely random acts of kindness. I say this because when I look at the Sonke Gender Justice website I saw tweeted pictures of their birthday celebrations in what appears to be a makeshift boardroom. The fact that they have offices from where to operate signifies that this is a full time job to some people and that the organization does not cease to exist because some/all members didn’t feel like giving of themselves on a particular day.

mu8

Admittedly, I prefer to serve as and when I see the need. I feel that if it was mandatory I may easily develop some inhibitions to my work. I say this from a place of experience, especially my Rotary group in Lusaka. We meet every Thursday at lunch and initially I was very keen to sit on several committees but as time went on, not to say I didn’t think we were doing good work / making a difference but the excitement to be a part of the change dwindled as I started to feel like the compulsory nature of the service took away from the authenticity of it. However, since I have been in Cape Town I realize that I would rather be serving fellow humans with a slight grudge than not serving at all. The opportunity cost of not giving of myself is far outweighed by the joy I experience when I do give. I believe we have an obligation to all humanity to serve one another by giving of our time, lending our ears to listen, giving of our physical strength, giving monetarily or giving of whichever gift we are most abundantly blessed with. I BELIEVE IN GIVING. Not only do I give because the recipient will be blessed but also for the selfish reason that it feels good and good deeds are returned by more good deeds.

Vis-à-vis identity and privilege I believe my identity and sense of privilege adjust depending on what kind of space I am in: Closed, Invited or Created/Claimed. Just like my accent changes when I am talking to an American on the telephone I feel that when it comes to the privilege I feel or lack thereof, this is influenced by the space in which I am found. So if I am partaking in a GC course where almost everyone has done voluntary work, any service I may have done is rendered normal and required. However if I found myself in a rural area alone, I imagine my sense of identity would be mellowed to accommodate that of the people I am serving. I do however feel that I should have one attitude regarding identity and privilege and it should be true and grounded and only adaptable so as not to offend people.

mu7

During my GC2 course I looked at contexts of inequality and at poverty and privilege, at paradigms of service and the ‘danger of a single story’. In our group, we discussed some of the complexities in working for organizations that try to mediate and intervene in situations where they can help. We explored the complexities inherent in development and looked at ourselves and constantly asking the question ‘What makes a good citizen?’ Through all of this we learnt what knowledge, skills and values are needed to make a positive contribution to the lives of the people around us. I have been reminded that we all have different paths and we need not be directors of NGOs or work in the public sector in order to make a difference. I feel that this lesson has been cemented in my spirit by GC theory and practical lessons but I will set a reminder in my phone to prompt me once a day that says ‘Be weary of a single story’, and endeavour to be the best I can be not just for myself but for all mankind.

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Connecting to students in times of crisis

I think this is a brilliant suggestion and I urge educators all over the country to use innovative methods of teaching and supporting. Business was quick to meet customers where they were most active; learners need to be met where they are active too. The approach is vital!

Nicola Pallitt

The #feesmustfall protests are happening across universities in SA. As I write this, UCT academics are preparing to march to parliament to urge government to provide additional funds to sustain higher education. As many lecturers may be feeling out of touch with teaching and learning at this point, it is highly likely that students are feeling disconnected too. So what can lecturers do?

You could try sending students a voice message usingVocarooor even making a short narrated presentation usingScreencast-o-maticBoth of these are free tools which allow you to create an mp3 or video which can then be added to an announcement on an LMS like Sakai (Vula at UCT) or Moodle. Or even shared via social media, WhatsApp or email. Send a few words that acknowledge diverse perspectives and updates on the current situation. Keep your communication neutral and supportive. If you have assignments due for…

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Picture of the Day: The Temple Cave of Batu

I can’t wait to travel again

TwistedSifter

THE TEMPLE CAVE OF BATU

cathedral-temple-cave-batu-caves-malaysia-borneo

Batu Caves is a limestone hill which has a series of caves and cave temples in the Gombak district, 13 kilometers (8 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill.

The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and is the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.

Rising almost 100 meters above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest (shown above) is referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, and has a very high ceiling featuring ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must…

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Lets go to the polls

To whom it may concern:

I have completed my assignment blogs for BUS4074S and my lecturers and/or teaching staff will soon be grading my eportfolio.

I would like to invite them, as well as my peers, to kindly fill out this poll in addition to feedback given along with the final grade.

From a focus group hosted by Dr. Nicolla Pallitt, I was reminded that true learning happens in retrospect and a thorough reflection should include obtaining feedback and applying the learnings to improve on my blogs.

With thanks,

Kiki

It is not compulsory but you may fill out this contact card if you wish:

bPortfolio in retrospect

 This is a reflective blog on what I have learned about Digital Marketing through BUS4074S.

According to Henry Dixon, Reflection is a mental process. Unlike reflection in the sunglasses above he defines reflection as:

“an interpretation of what is going on between learning and thinking”

If you had asked me at the commencement of the course, on that joyous day that I raised my hand and volunteered to be class rep, what my expectations were for the course, I would probably have said something to the effect of ‘learning how to create a fantastic website’ among a few other things.

Unbeknownst to me Steph Houslay, Dr. Nicola Palitt, Tim Mitchell & Hanna had so much more in store for us. This course has been like a walk through Universal studios horror walk (click to watch the video, if you feel like a good laugh), only all the surprises were pleasant ones but they were numerous. Just when we thought mundane lectures would resume, we would be visited by an emarketing Guru or briefed by Rian Carstens. I commend the emarketing staff for successfully developing, implementing and coordinating a brilliant interactive course.

So what have I learned? I have learned that digital is the way, the truth and the light. If I went into depth of digital jargon such as SEOs, curation, context, efriction, tactics etc. this blog would end up being exam prep notes. However my blog on infographics does delve into some terminology. Instead I would like to take the stance of how I feel the course was administered effectively in order to facilitate my learning.

Firstly, a huge commendation to Steph Houslay for negotiating with the gurus in the local digital industry and convincing them to come and give us guest lectures. I particularly enjoyed listening to one of Steph’s mentors Di Charton, the handsome Nick Knuppe from Hellocomputer and the glamorous Melody Maker. Each guest lecturer reiterated the pertinent role of staying abreast with the dynamic, ever-changing digital world. Also, Dr. Pallitt the effort you put into providing with a treasure chest of resources has not gone unnoticed and will continue to be used going forward to develop a more professional online presence 🙂

I often questioned if UCT truly deserves the ranking as Number 1 university in Africa but in retrospect, courses such as eMarketing definitely conform to the UCT ethos demonstrating world class learning through:

  • You have the opportunity to take a course where the lecturers, namely Steph and Nicola, are the perfect picks to do the job and bring with them a wealth of knowledge and opportunities to connect.
  • You are privy to information and insights from brilliant guest lecturers.
  • You are required to apply your learnings. For instance by designing infographics and videos for existing companies such as Hellocomputer….wait for it, with an opportunity for the top students to win internships. How is that for an incentive?
  • names of top students in all assignments are rewarded with recognition inspiring students to continue to work hard and encouraging other students to find out what it takes to get the top marks. Yet another great initiative!
  • You work on projects with students from a compulsory diverse background and in conjunction with existing companies such as C6 consulting to produce a report, as one would do in the ‘real world’. And in so doing you are subject to what it is like to be forced to work with people from diverse backgrounds, as we inevitably will next year.
  • Your prescribed textbook is available FOR FREE (You know students love freebies – Both heirs to fortunes and bursuray students alike) from Red&Yellow.
  • Your peers mark your weekly tutorials so that the learning process is an ongoing process, and you learn from 3 others, on any given topic. GENIUS!
  • Your tutors have admirable knowledge of the industry and lead by example. In particular I would like to shout out to my tutor Tim. I thoroughly enjoy following your blog and reading your blogs and tweets on headphase. Fortunately I also got to attend a makeup lecture with Hanna, and you absolutely deserve the head tutor role. 3 cheers for your coordination & compassion. Inspiration guaranteed!
  • You have awesome class representatives like Kiki Mudenda who go out of their way to help students like Victor find a group when they find themselves in a last minute quandary.
  • The real magic exists in the seamless integration of all of the above. A round of applause for all who made this the best learning experience within the confines of a classroom. My eportfolio will continue to exist in the virtual realm although my intention is to change it to my professional blog where these etivities will remain as my first steps or baby digital footprints in blogging.
  • My final point of reflection: I should have printed a mug for Steph to remind my peers that I was at their disposal.

mug

Continue reading

Graphic information = Infographic

My second assignment for BUS4074S is to create either an infographic or a video for Hellocomputer. Admittedly I am no Picasso and normally I avoid creative design but this year is all about pushing myself beyond limits so I proudly present to you Inforgraphic a la Kiki. Click here for my infographic etivity2!

With the advances in technology, infographics have rapidly become an integral aspect of digital marketing. Infographics can be as simple as maps, charts or a myriad of icons which are easily understood by the average person. To contextualize the importance of an infographic one could consider the global citizen who is in and out of airports, curious to learn about the wonderful world we live in through cultural exposure. This global citizen might only speak English, so what happens when she travels to Brazil to watch Fifa World Cup 2014 and all airport staff speak Portugese and she is trying to locate an ATM machine? This was the case for me last month and thank goodness for the airport infographics without which I would have been stranded for a while.

airport picture

A good business report is encouraged to include a key graphic in the executive summary of the report. In a similar vein it is crucial for a full service digital marketing company like Hellocomputer to make use of infographics, which can be eaily understood by the average person. Hellocomputer has a lot of information which may not easily be disseminated by all members of their target audience if it is not summarised. If we recall our childhood, we can agree that the use of images has been known for time immemorial to be the simplest way of communication. So it follows that to bombard all the content Hellocomputer wishes to communicate would not be a wise idea; an infographic is more entertaining and thus might drive the key points home in a more effective way.

This infographic demonstrates the context in which the business operates by providing key statistics which relate to the business operations. Hopefully the infographic will result in a value exchange between Hellocomputer and their clients. Ideally the infographic will serve as a tactic that will be curated by viewers on the social media sites mentioned. Hellocomputer has goals and objectives which the infographic must achieve and the curation of the infographic will assist the company in determining whether these goals have been met and if not amendments can be quickly be made to maximize optimization.

Before and after Thanks to Infographics I made it GRU airport

& I have a new skill to add to my resume.

Kiki’s Digital Footprint

digital footprint

I got 3 960 hits when I googled my name. A large number, but I am not sure how astonished I am by that. I did scroll through a bit and after page 4 or 5 on Google, all those hits and links stopped being relevant. However, 5 google pages worth of Kiki Mudenda still means that there is a lot of information on the internet about me. This self-googling has not been a purely random exercise. I am studying marketing and my course requires for me to establish my digital footprint and this blog post is about what I discovered.

Most of what I found about myself on the web was from Facebook. I was not surprised by this as I am an avid Facebook poster. Pictures and status updates coupled with lax privacy settings has meant that the general public has access to my Facebook account. This is a little worrying. What face am I projecting to the outside world about who Kiki is?

One thing that has pleased me about this exercise though is that the topmost hit on Google when you search for my name is my LinkedIn profile. Having a professional presence online is valuable and I am glad that mine is not dwarfed by the more casual references and social networks. On this same professional note there’s also another link that relates to my professional experience. It is an interview I did that relates to one of my former jobs and I think it helps in showing my knowledge of the working world.

Then there is the more accidental hits that pop up. An old Twitter account can be found which I last tweeted on a full year ago – August 2013. I think it is time I deleted this account as it serves no purpose being active. I was also completely unaware of a brief mention of myself in someone else’s interview. I think this underscores the connectedness that the internet provides us. It is not after all, only about what you put out there, but also what others say about you. Here’s a positive of building up a good network.

On the fun side, if you do ever google me and search hard enough, you just might find a video or two of me acting in music videos. Those were absolutely fun to do and the experience adds to who I am as a holistic individual. 

So at the end of the day the internet has shown me two things. There’s the professional Kiki – hardworking and industrious. And there’s also the fun Kiki who loves her family, friends, travel and enjoying all the beauty in life. These two Kiki’s are not mutually exclusive. They are simply the two different sides of the same coin.