Q&A with Thokozane Dyosi

Thokozane Dyosi, a PhD student and associate lecturer in the Foundation Phase Studies Department of the Wits Education Campus, is the youngest in her department. Having struggled to graduate, she started a motivation campaign called #SeeYouAtGraduation to encourage higher education students of all ages in all disciplines to push through to the end and graduate.

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Q&A with Marco Zacchino

Marco Zacchino, 25, is a Master of Law graduate from Wits University who is currently doing articles at Allen and Overy. Not only has he balanced doing his masters and his work, but he is also a part-time blogger, a lover of fashion and has a passion for food.

What do you do?
I did a BA at Wits and majored in Law. Following that I did my LLB and have just received confirmation that I have passed my masters last week. I work for a firm in Sandton, currently doing my articles and it has been keeping me busy for the past six months. When I was in varsity, I was very heavily into blogging and now I want to get back into it.

What inspires your blogging?
Predominantly I have just been fashion blogging, but I want to branch into doing legal blogging. I want to offer legal help to students who are becoming lawyers and to allow people to follow my journey as “a day in the life of a candidate attorney”. It is something that I’m going to enjoy doing. I’m keen to get into that and start blogging my fashion like I did when I was at varsity.

How did you balance working and studying?
The transition from university life to work life cannot be underestimated. Nothing can get you ready for that, no matter what field you work in. I already knew what my hours were going to be like and now I usually work 12-hour days. It just means making sure that if you’ve got to come in early and get something out because you know you have to leave early to get to class to finish your degree, it isn’t about skill, you just learn it when you are forced into the situation. The transition is just a learning experience.

Did you always want to be a lawyer?
Funny enough, I always wanted to be a lawyer when it came to choosing my career in grade 11. When I was 15 I wanted to become a chef, but I was always very argumentative, and I wanted to do the opposite of what everyone else was doing and I was good at it, so Law just stuck.

What would be your one tip to a student currently studying law?
I think job wise, law students need to apply early. The sooner you get a grasp of getting your articles and you know what you want to do, you can get vacation work and start working on it. Do not leave applying for articles in your third or fourth years. Attention to detail is so important as a practical skill. At work, everything is important, each full stop and comma is important.

What are some of your downtime activities?
I think my fashion, blogging and Instagram keeps me busy. I also play a lot of soccer during the week. I think when you are at varsity you don’t appreciate how much you get to socialise and when you start working, socialising is such a luxury and it is something you really learn to appreciate.

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Q&A with Sindile Bongela

Triple threat, Sindile Bongela is an academic, magazine producer and conversation maker. Bongela is currently pursuing an MA in African Literature doing research on the visibility of black gay men and black women in literature and the similarities/differences between them. He is also the co-founder of Big Gay Debate and associate editor of Grandeur Magazine, an online magazine for black gay men.


What are you currently researching?
My research is a work in progress. As a gay man, I spend a lot of time with women and effeminate gay men. I noticed a lot of similarities between the way in which we interact with each other and the patriarchal society. So that’s what I’m doing my research on.

How did you come about your research?
I read a lot of women’s literature and I kept finding myself in the way in which women navigate their spaces. Once again, I’ve always been around women so it’s heavily influenced my research.

What impact do you want your research to have on the LGBTQ+ community?
I want my research to continue to open and broaden the honest conversations about the relationship that effeminate gay men and women have, and about the relationship they foster in a culturally patriarchal environment that is not conducive for our existence. I also want my research to explore and strengthen the relationships we can build.

What is The Big Gay Debate?
It’s a conversational space for gay men that seeks to deepen and broaden knowledge about being gay in Africa. The conversations at the debates have been insightful. The gays are finding the space to be safe enough to express themselves fully. They’ve found the space to be validating and educational.

How did Big Gay Debate come about?
I noticed that gay identities in South Africa were heavily influenced by African-American gay culture. Big Gay Debate is trying to remedy that by merging the influence of African-American gay culture with African gay culture. It is about ensuring that the African context is the dominant one in gay culture, but also creating an intellectual hub trying to create writing on African gayness from an African perspective.

What’s your contribution to Grandeur Magazine?
As an associate editor, I’m looking at producing content about black gayness, and showing that we’re a multidimensional people. I’m all about producing content about gay people travelling, starting businesses and creating partnerships. Basically building black intelligencia. The magazine is also focused on the LGBTQ+ community and writing about our experiences.

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Q&A with Farai Mubaiwa

Farai Mubaiwa is a leader, activist and African feminist. She is currently pursuing an MSc in the Political Economy of Emerging Markets at King’s College London. Farai has also co-founded the NGO Africa Matters which aims at changing the narrative of Africa in the eyes of the youth. In 2017, Farai was a recipient of the Queens Young Leader Award. 

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