As our deadline approached and the #Witsfeesmustfall protest gained momentum, the tension in the newsroom grew.
The class was split between those who wanted to get their work done as soon as possible and those who wanted to be part of the protest.
I was somewhere in-between.
I supported the cause for lower fees and was against the proposed increase as I have watched the increases double since my sister started at wits eight years ago. I have received financial aid and applied for loans for my entire academic career and am now a number in the system of student debtors. The fee increase and the cut in the number of financial aid beneficiaries and bursary meant I came very close to not continuing my studies this year. So I have come very close to financial exclusion but I have also fought to much to be here this year to let my degree slip out of reach with the finish line two weeks away. I chose to continue working because coming back next year was and is not an option for me but I fully supported and understood why so many chose to physically join the cause.
And so with messages of caution and worry from my mother I made my way to Wits. The news reports made claims of utter chaos and violence ensuing on campus but when I arrived it was quiet.
I met with my group, checked the equipment as usual and we made our way to Fordsburg.
The same routine happened over two days as we shot at Islamic Relief and SANZAF in Mint Street.
The shoots went smoothly as I had already spent a number of days there during interviewing for my written piece.
As usual Usama kept us talking and gave interesting perspectives on how welfare organisations run and what poverty really is. At Islamic Relief we were welcomed in given a great overview of what IR Worldwide does. I am really grateful to both organisation for their hospitality and help throughout this project.