Tourism KwaZulu-Natal (TKZN) in conjunction with the Durban University of Technology’s Journalism Department, enabled 10 final year students to explore the Freedom Route and produce stories according to their media specialisation, this week.

“We use media across all channels in marketing KZN as a tourism destination. Therefore, it makes sense that we also assist in developing tourism awareness among aspirant young journalists. In this way we ensure that there is a pipeline of writers and broadcasters that have an interest in and understand the tourism sector in KZN,” said Pinky Radebe Senior PR and Communications Manager, TKZN.

“It is also important that these students have some insight into how their careers can develop. Therefore, we arranged a panel discussion in which senior media specialists, including newspaper editors, radio and television content producers, who started their careers as journalists, unpacked the various career path options available for journalists.”

Adv. Thembelihle Mapipa Corporate Services Executive, Moses Kotane Institute presented findings of research into the gaps in the media space, undertaken by the Institute.

The largest gaps were in drone operating, film producing, language translators and sing language specialists, she said.

The students travelled the Freedom Route from the Old Pietermaritzburg Prison and the Manaye Hall in iMbali, Pietermaritzburg, where Nelson Mandela gave his last public speech as a free man in 1961, to the Nelson Mandela Capture site.

The students will produce a 10-minute documentary covering the historical and lifestyle aspects of the Freedom Route which will showcase at a student film festival in  Germany later this year.

Anrisa Subroyan, a third year DUT journalism student, summed it up and said: “To be able to travel with friends to new places, stay in a great hotel and eat in different restaurants was a wonderful experience.” The students also agreed that the educational part of their tour was eye-opening as they walked in the footsteps of struggle great’s Mahatma Ghandi, Harry Gwala, and Nelson Mandela.

The seminar was rated as outstanding as they were able to interact with senior people in the media industry. “I was so inspired. I was able to share my idea for my career and received good advice from the seminar guests and my notebook is full,” said Spheshile Buthelezi, who is majoring in film and video production.

Whitney Essay, who is majoring in television, said she was so grateful that she was able to go on the Freedom Route Journey. “I have learnt so many things that I didn’t know, and I think it is so crucial that we know these things as South African’s. We couldn’t possibly walk in their shoes, but to get a little glimpse of it has been phenomenal.”

This youth development initiative followed TKZN’s launch of its first annual Youth in Tourism Seminar late in June 2023  as Tourism KZN endeavours to reach a broad range of youth exploring careers in the tourism sector.

Stemming from the Enterprise Development Programme the Youth in Tourism seminar provided information on assistance available to start-up businesses from Tourism KZN, Ithala, Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) and the Small Enterprise Finance Agency(SEFA)

During the seminar 10 aspirant emerging tourism entrepreneurs from across KwaZulu-Natal presented their businesses and outlined the assistance they needed. Of these five were selected to receive concrete and valuable assistance from TKZN, SEDA, SEFA and Ithala.

The emerging entrepreneurial business that will receive assistance are Monate Outdoor Activities from the south coast Ugu District, Hikeobicss in Newcastle, Amajuba  District, Belz Boutique Hotel in Ixopo Harry Gwala District, Mahwaqa Hiking Club from Bulwer, Harry Gwala District, The Harvest Lavender Farm in the Midlands Umgungungdlovu District.


For media interviews and more information, please contact:

Nhlanhla Ngwenya – Communications Coordinator

Tourism KZN – 063 698 7455 (mobile)