fraycollege recently held a thrilling graduation ceremony for its Occupational Journalist Certificate students.

fraycollege recently celebrated the success of its Occupational Journalist certificate (OJ) course with a thrilling graduation ceremony. Among the graduates are individuals who have since embarked on exciting career paths, demonstrating the efficacy of their training and the profound impact of their education.

Celaai Mntambo, one of the graduates, says that the ceremony was “wonderful”. “As the first person to graduate in my family, I made my dad proud. He really enjoyed seeing me on stage, receiving my certificate.” Mntambo says she is inspired to further her studies after completing this qualification. She is currently working as a community liaison and communications officer.

Tsbabalira Lebakeng, who won the “Most Resilient” award at the ceremony, says that being part of the graduating class filled him with pride. Moreover, he believes that having the OJ certificate gives him a great advantage in the journalism job market.

“The graduation ceremony was a great mini-reunion for me and my classmates. My family had a great time. It meant a lot for me to graduate infront of them, as doing the course as a working mother was not easy for me,” says Ntsiki Mthethwa, who received the student of the year award.

The journeys of the OJ graduates offer a glimpse into the possibilities of a journalism career.

Upon graduation, Kgopotso Seth Chawane embarked on a multifaceted journey that epitomises versatility and ambition. From joining the Media Relations, Communications, and Marketing team at Stats SA and participating in the team who organised the launch of 2023 Census Results, to assuming the role of Editor-in-Chief at TUT FM and acting in Skeem Saam, Chewane has embraced various roles with enthusiasm and dedication.

Olebogeng Molale, a OJ graduate who works at Revival FM, says that a key take away from his time at fraycollege is the responsibility to report ethically and with integrity. He says that this has been especially helpful in understanding the laws and regulations when dealing with victims of violence and children, which are often the stories he deals with.

For these graduates, journalism transcends a mere profession- it is a calling driven by a desire to effect positive change and uphold the principles of truth and accountability. “As a journalist, I can take those who are in power to account,” Molale says.

Another fraycollege graduate’s journey, that of Gontse Sello, is testament to the idea that journalism is a tool that shapes our communities and the work that journalists do matters.

Sello, who worked as a content producer for a local edutainment podcast, says the OC course inspired her to “make a contribution and tell stories that mirror our society.” She is proud to have produced a story of a Mamelodi woman who dropped out of school as a teenager but went on to become a successful businesswoman. Sello calls this “a truly township story of overcoming hardships and learning from past mistakes”.

The testimonies of these graduates reflect how fraycollege played a pivotal role in nurturing an ethos of the power of journalism to shape communities and inspire change. As they embark on their diverse paths, these graduates serve as beacons of inspiration, shaping communities and telling stories that resonate with the heartbeat of society.

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