Change the world


Eleven third-year and honours Media, Communication and Culture (BA: MCC) students had the opportunity to engage with the horseracing community and produce films to be showcased locally and alongside the international television broadcasting of horseracing on the DSTV Tellytrack channel.

Earlier, Fairview Racecourse in Port Elizabeth engaged with the School of Language, Media and Communication to discuss a collaborative project to create a docu-narrative set at Fairview Racecourse. The focus had to be on what happens behind the scenes in the run-up to racing.

The idea was to engage students in the racing community and view the racecourse through the eyes of a younger generation while opening opportunities for work experience.

The brief given to the students was to focus on “a day in the life of a thoroughbred racehorse”, giving the viewer insight into the work and effort that goes into caring for and training these animals.

The students had to get up early and follow the horses around to capture the perfect shot. Trainers and grooms on course allowed the students a sneak peek into the daily routines of their yards and the way in which they interact with their horses.

The students also attended a race day, a first for most of them.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to get industry experience while studying. The students had to deal with every possible scenario involving film-making,” said lecturers Dr Subeshini Moodley and Francois du Plessis.

The students’ films were shown at the Racing Association Awards evening on 1 September. Sugarbird Productions, consisting of students Melandri Koekemoer, Maryka Momberg, Vuyolwethu Mpongwana, Similile Qinel and Brendan Smit, won first prize for their work featuring the grey horse Stormy Eclipse, winner of the listed Memorial Mile race and trained by Tara Laing.

Prizes were contributed by Racing - It’s A Rush, Fairview Racecourse, The Racing Association and the National Horseracing Authority. The department’s top two students, Maryke Momberg and Ziyanda Bam, won an internship at Tellytrack, and will spend a week at the Johannesburg studios in Rivonia. Here they, together with Mr Du Plessis, will experience the production and coordination of live broadcasting, and televised feeds of horseracing, whereas Mr Du Plessis will share the knowledge with future students. 

WINNERS … Lecturer Francois du Plessis, students Vuyolwethu Mpongwana, Maryke Momberg, Melandri Koekemoer, lecturer Dr Subeshini Moodley, and student Brendan Smit at the Racing Association Awards evening.

Contact information
Mr Francois Du Plessis
Digital Video Technician
Tel: 0415044526