DUBE OWED IT TO HIMSELF TO MAKE SOMETHING OUT OF HIS LIFE
The Durban University of Technology’s (DUTs) Information and Communications Officer from the Faculty of Arts and Design, Andile Dube graduated with his Degree of Master of Journalism at the DUT 2022 Spring Graduation ceremony held at the Durban Exhibition Centre, Durban on Friday, 30 September 2022.
Dube’s topic is titled: A Cultural Studies Project: Exploring the perceptions of undergraduate media university students on the representations of black gay men in two of South Africa’s leading telenovelas, Uzalo and The Queen.
Dube chose the topic because of his love for the media, particularly television.
“I started watching soap operas from a very young age. There is no storyline from the 90s or early 2000s from Days of Our Lives, Bold and The Beautiful, All My Children, As The World Turns, Passions, Generations, Isidingo, etc., that I do not know. So, soap operas have always fascinated me. In fact, I improved my English through watching soap operas. So, when telenovelas became popular in South Africa, like many people, I became enthralled in the storylines. And as a gay man, I became fascinated by the increased images of gay men in these telenovelas,” he said.
Dube relayed further that because he is a journalist and a black gay man in South Africa, he understands the importance of representations of marginalised people.
“So, I wanted to find out the impact of representations of black gay men. If these representations have a negative or positive influence in the viewers’ attitudes towards homosexual people. We live in a society that is very homophobic and the surge in the killings of homosexual people in this country proves that. My stance is that television is a tool that can be used to educate people about sexual orientation and diversity,” he commented.
Dube conveyed that his academic journey came with challenges like balancing his time. Also, being a writer by profession, he realised that academic writing and journalism writing are different things.
“I think I went into this thinking because I write for a living it would be easy but I was wrong. Having to read something over and over again or write the same thing multiple times was a bit of a challenge- maybe this is because I have a short attention span and I am not the sharpest tool in the box but I was determined to do this, so I just had to do it,” he remarked. At some point he became depressed and had to go for therapy. Dube confessed that he was struggling to sleep and became slightly addicted to over the counter sleeping tablets.
“Aside from that I did not really have any other challenges. I was just overwhelmed by having to balance working full time and studying. After knocking off from work I had to work on my research and my weekends were for working on my research as well. My supervisors, Tarryn Frankish and Professor Jean Philippe Wade were amazing and supported me every step of the way,” he said.
For Dube, the interesting findings from the data are that gay people should be included in the writing process, and there needs to be varied representations of gay people, and casting gay actors to play gay roles.
Dube would love to continue with his studies, and is contemplating pursuing a PhD next year.
Pictured: Andile Dube.
Photographer: Vusi Dlamini.