I arrive at half-past-five at the Graduate School Offices. I am carrying my usual book-case. I am dressed in a white shirt and a black trouser. I am putting on my usual spectacles that add an academic posture. Not many of my colleagues have arrived. I see Bruce, Dr. Minors, and Roy. Roy is carrying assessment forms. He wants to find the blogger-of-the-year. I and Bruce begin to fill the grid with which Roy seeks to select the best one or two bloggers of the year. It was one of the grids that he used during the internship training course. I have forgotten how it works. He takes his time to remind us. The top five bloggers are Temitope, Susan Arthur, Ijeoma, Adam, and Maxwell.
The place begins to breathe life. People are beginning to tickle in. I can see Wanjiku and her friend. Two of my friends arrive. Oh I get a call from my friend who comes from Sandton. As I rush to meet her at the Origins Centre, I meet Jean by the Graduate School entrance. I greet her. I tell her that I am going to fetch one of my friends by the car park. She urges me to rush because the party is about to start! My friend has not yet arrived at the car park. When I am about to leave the park, she phones me that she is about to arrive. She tells me that she can find the Wits Seminar Room (the venue for the party) by herself. I am relieved!
My friend arrives from Sandton. She works for the African Leadership Academy. She brought a gift for me. I am so happy.
All the internship graduands have arrived save for Susan Wangi. The place is now alive. The party has begun!
Chairs have been arranged for the guests, the internship patrons, and the internship graduates. The atmosphere is ballistic. Joy is throbbing in the air. The party has begun.
Dr. Susan van Zyl officially opens the party by making a speech of a profound sort. She relates to the importance of internship and outlines why the World of Work Internship Programme at Wits is one of its kind. She introduces Jean, Roy, Lesley, Wanjiku, and Elspeth. Roy captures attention by his gyrating hands. He is such interesting today!
She turns to us and says-“This has been the most interesting group of interns I have ever met in this programme. I am proud of them.” I say to my heart-“We are also proud of you Sue.”
As she finishes introducing the guest speaker, Professor Lovemore Mbigi, she gets a standing ovation.
Mbigi was one of the keynote speakers during the internship training course. He begins by saying: “Many people are prisoners of disciplines.” As he repeats this, people are already shaken to the edges of their seats. Mbigi bursts in a metallic laughter. “Yes, he continues, “I have two degrees in business economics but… I do not know what to do with them.” He says “Thank you” at the end of his speech. Mbigi. What an interesting Professor.
Now is the time to announce the intern of the year. Lesley takes the stage. She begins by outlining the criteria that was used for selecting the top intern. “The top intern of the year is Ijeoma Uche-Okeke” , Lesley announces. Well done Ijeoma!
Now is the time to announce the-blogger-of-the-year. Here comes Roy. He climbs atop the tables, greets everyone and makes an explanation as to what blogging is all about. He begins peeling down papers of the envelop in a dramatic way. “The two bloggers of the year are Susan Aurthur and Ijeoma!”, he announces. Well done Ijeoma and Susan!
Certificates are handed to all of us. Jean and Lesley also bought us small bags! Thank you so much Jean and Lesley. We are proud of you.
As the party matures, dancing and eating begins. Cameras flash in all directions. Partying has begun. I am dancing with two of my friends and suddenly one of my classmates joins us. I leave them to join Temi, and company. They are being led by Adam in a very interesting dance. You turn your head to the right, to the left and then stretch your neck. You turn your head to the left, to the right and then stretch your neck! “Left-right and stretch”, says Adam. You repeat the same thing until you sweat! Adam is a good dancer.
As the lights turn off, I have sweated, I am tired and happy.
This has been the most enthralling conclusion to the World of Work Internship Programme. But the journey begins. Am I going to get an internship? This question creates a lot of anxiety for me. I am positive that I will get one because I have done the best for myself. I am in the safe hands of Lesley and Jean; I am part of a dynamic group of my colleagues in the internship programme, and I have branded myself in the most strategic way.
This world is good because it never lets down those who work hard. I am one of those who are prepared to expend the last kilo joule to attain the good.