Homecoming, civic engagement, and journalism assemblies
Homecoming is an annual tradition my family has participated in for ages and usually, all roads lead to Africa as my siblings and mother’s siblings troop in from the United States and the UK during the course of the year. This 4th quarter, I have been blessed to come home to another family on the continent, in my other country affectionately called Mzansi — South Africa.
With Angel Jones (CEO of Homecoming Revolution/HomecomingEx) on our first reunion post-COVID; her senior executive’s recruitment company featured me for returning to Ghana during my hunt as YouTube country manager almost a decade ago in 2014.
Since 2014, Homecoming Revolution (rebranded to HomecomingEx) has been an amazing executive search and recruitment opportunity with the company’s CEO, Angel leading the charge to attract and retain Africa’s best and brightest for almost two decades now. It was a privilege to share my updated competencies as an innovation orchestrator, digital strategist, educator, and new media journalist.
Meeting Sally Cruickshanks, and her sister, and learning about the growth of the organization, corporate roles in South Africa to the world & the potential of hosting a Social Media for Professional series collaboration within our collective networks. #Socials4Professionals
Our amazing host and acting director of The Wits Centre for Journalism Prof. Dinesh Balliah was the consummate host, Prof Herman Wasserman, Khadijah Patel, and Prof. Iginio Gagliardone with Emmanuel Agbeko Gamor on the panel.
Jamfest 2022, hosted by the University of Witwatersrand School of Journalism was a series of deep distinctive dialogues about the future of journalism by journalism professionals and journalism educators. From the month-long virtual engagement sessions to the culmination of intentional exchanges and my masterclass on Socials for Civic Engagement professionals, I left our sessions challenged about the future of free media and equitable news sharing, inspired by the brilliance of many who push the professional from academic institutions to corporates and civic organizations across Africa.
In fast order was the Civic Tech Innovation Forum #CTIF22 sister conference hosted by the Civic Technology Innovation Network, also in Johannesburg the following week. After leaving Meta (Facebook) #MetaMates #MetaLayoffs, I shared with one of my lecturers, Dr. Geci at the Wits Business School during my time there for innovation in management program, that the next frontier battlefield for market-share in our industry would be influenced, embroiled in, or enabled by nuanced policy and that conversation led to the bread crumbs that became my participation with the Wits School of Governance’s Tayarisha, Center of Excellence in African Digital Governance.
The icing on the cake for me was during this year’s 18th African Investigative Journalism conference #AIJC and the final of my trio back-to-back-to-back events at Wits University in Jozi, South Africa. This was a special moment to connect with Ghana’s own Anas Aremeyaw Anas, the award-winning investigative journalist who spoke about the numerous personal and professional risks he and his team have to constantly evaluate when embarking on their much-needed investigative journalism work on the continent. It was eye-opening and the honest conversation of him using his own child as a decoy during a human trafficking incident was alarming, and revealing and spoke to his bravery in ethical dilemmas and personal sacrifice on behalf of his incredibly dangerous professional field.
Anas Aremeyaw Anas, 🇬🇭 Under Cover Journalist — Tiger Eye at 18th African Investigative Journalism conference #AIJC Wits University, Johannesburg, South Africa #Mzansi 🇿🇦
It’s been a blessing to have my tribe of avengers assemble in the South of the continent with love and learning from each other during this season.
Be well, be safe, and be loved.
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Originally published to Unpacking Africa newsletter’s 15,000 + subscribers on November 23rd, 2022.