ITM: What are you currently studying?
VN: Honours degree in Media Studies.
ITM: What motivated you to go back to school?
VN: I obtained my degree in Journalism and Mass Communications some 10 years ago, in 1999 to be precise. I have worked since then. Going back to school was a means of filling a vacuum that was created by not studying further than a BA degree. You know a degree in the workplace today is compared to matric some few years back
ITM: How did you find it? I mean embarking on studies again after working for 10 years?
VN: Very challenging. A lot has changed. Lectures have become more interactive and also everyone in my class was so young. I expected to be treated differently you know, given that I was the only worker-turned-student in my class. I felt very old but again proud of myself that I could give up all the luxury in working life to be confined to lectures, assignments and exams.
ITM: What is your research topic?
VN: “Diasporic voices of opposition: Virtual pursuits for identity and secession on AMBASOS, a Yahoo group discussion forum by Southern Cameroonians”.
ITM: Why did you chose that topic?
VN: A difficult question but to cut things short, I am in the diaspora myself and would like to find out how the issue of identity comes to the fore when diasporic communities decide to challenge their governments.
ITM: What have been the challenges that you have so far faced in your research?
VN: My supervisor is wonderful in giving me support. At the beginning, I had no schedule and working without one made it difficult to accomplish tasks (that were most often unknown).
ITM: You are a parent, house wife, business woman and a student. That’s a lot. How do you cope?
VN: Support structure is very important in life. As a parent, my husband is very supportive and a good listener and in business my staff members are standing by me. In school, my lecturers alongside my course mates have helped in guiding me. Above all to God be the glory.
ITM: What advice do you have for emerging researchers?
VN: I am also an emerging researcher. Hahaha. However, all I can tell anyone studying is that goal setting is the ultimate. No one can make life better for you than yourself.
ITM: Do you have any tips about managing your relationship with your supervisor?
VN: Meeting deadlines, giving more than expected, honesty and most importantly not thinking that you know more than s/he.
ITM: What is your view on Julius Malema’s refusal to pay fines for the statement he made denouncing the victim of the alleged rape case by President Jacob Zuma?
VN: I would not like to comment on this particular issue but would want to assure readers that your future begins today. If we teach respect, that is what we shall get. Should the legal system be flexible enough to let Malema go free, consequences must be borne by South Africa as a nation.
ITM: What are your future plans?
VN: Studying further is my immediate objective. In my life I hope to touch many people and possibly nations by advocating the fact that educating a girl child fast-tracks development.
ITM: What is your favourite quote:
VN: “Knowledge is the new currency. Acquire it, and it is yours forever” (my own quote).