Zinhle Maeko

MHHA: Who you are?

ZM: Zinhle Maeko

MHHA: Please tell us about yourself?

ZM: I am a Social Media and Communications intern and holds a BA in Political Studies and International Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is a Democracy Academy Works Alumna and has previously produced a short documentary on religion and sexuality for Well Sexuality Study.

MHHA: What about your work makes your smile?

ZM: I get to constantly create things that weren’t in existence. I execute the ideas in my mind, using the resources at my disposal and boom there is something new on earth that wasn’t here before.

MHHA: What are the challenges of your work?

ZM: My biggest challenge was getting my foot through the door. I come from a background of Politics and IR so transitioning to media was harder than I anticipated. Now that I have seemingly found my feet my biggest challenge has been trying to make my content more accessible. This year I am trying to make content that is more accessible to people who can’t read and write or have visual and hearing impairments.

MHHA: What are three positive things you/your team has achieved in the last year?

ZM: 1) I was selected from a cohort of 22 fellows from the Democracy Works Academy to be absorbed into the Democracy Works Foundation to do research and writing as well as film and photography for the foundation’s Civil Society Participation in Provincial Legislatures Project. 2) I helped secure a R10000 grocery donation for a charity through twitter. 3) Successfully transitioning to a plant based diet

MHHA: What advice would you give to a mentee aspiring to join your field?

ZM: Always be willing to learn something new, an inquisitive mind will get you further than you think. The University of YouTube is always open for enrolment. Respect yourself, respect your work and respect your colleagues.

MHHA: What do you hope to be doing in 5 years? Where will you be?

ZM: I would love to be the Editor of a really cool magazine, with a Masters Degree in Media Studies and pursuing my second Masters in Anthropology (having a hard time choosing between social and medical anthropology, but I am young I have time to figure it out !) I would also love to have a few documentaries under my name.

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