The Mentors

Dinesh Balliah
Dinesh is a new & social media lecturer in Journalism at Wits University.She is the site manager of, a PhD candidate in Journalism, mum to 2 young girls, an unrealised photographic talent, and has been described as “handy with a pair of scissors”.Her digital self can be traced back to or find her tweeting via @DineshBalliah.She previously taught in Media Studies at Wits, Media & Communications at the University of Johannesburg, Media Law at Boston Media House and wrote a book on the History of the Internet in South Africa.
Kenichi Serino


Kenichi Serino is a journalist and media trainer living in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has been a community reporter, a wire hack and a web editor.

His first photo was published in his community paper in the village of Vanderbilt, Michigan, before he was a teenager. His much less precocious adult journalism career began with student journalism at Wits Vuvuzela in 2006. He later became a journalist at the South African Press Association where he covered refugees, migration, politics and labour.

Kenichi has been a freelance writer for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Business Day and Al-Jazeera, both the Qatar-based one and its American cousin.

Since 2013 he has been the print mentor for the Wits Journalism career-entry students teaching them basic, workaday news skills like getting the facts right, balance and how to make newsroom coffee palatable.

Nechama Brodie
Nechama Brodie is a veteran journalist and best-selling non-fiction author. In a media career spanning 19 years, Nechama has worked as a reporter, radio talk-show host, television director, magazine editor and publisher, and is currently the head of training and research at independent fact-checking organisation Africa Check.Nechama is the editor and co-author of the highly acclaimed urban history, The Joburg Book, and the author of Inside Joburg and The Cape Town Book.She is also the co-author of musician Kabelo Mabalane’s memoir, I Ran For My Life, and a contributing editor/writer to the second edition of Lauren Beukes’s non-fiction work Maverick, about extraordinary South African women.

Nechama is completing her MA in journalism and media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.


Ruth Becker has been a journalist, mostly in South Africa, for close on 30 years. She has worked in print and broadcast media and is interested in combining words, sounds and images.

Ruth has a particular interest in how health information is conveyed to people – especially people with little access to conventional media. She is a consultant to the Anova Health Institute, an HIV and AIDS non-governmental organisation.

Ruth, who is active in teaching and mentoring journalism students, is currently undertaking a PhD at Wits.

In partnership with the AFP Foundation in 2012 Ruth was the first editor of Africa Check, the continent’s first fact-checking website.


TJ has been photojournalism lecturer at Wits Journalism department for the past 3 years.

In 2015 his work was part of the exhibition “Hypersampling Identities, Jozi Style” at FADA gallery, University of Johannesburg, also “A Long Way Home” at Wits Art Museum 2014.

TJ has garnered a number of awards over the years including the World Press Photo winner (Arts and culture essay) 2001, CNN Africa Mohamid Amin award for photojournalism in 2001 and highly commended World Press Photo children’s jury 2000.

He has tried out video-camera work including experimentation with 360 spherical immersion video. His most exciting times were spent as a freelance photographer working wrecklessly in the pre ’94 election period that saw his work being published in European magazines including Der Spiegel, The Independent magazine, Telegraph magazine and Le Monde.


Gus Silber is a journalist, author, scriptwriter, speechwriter and media trainer. He has an extensive background in newspaper and magazine journalism, as a reporter, columnist, feature writer and editor.

He is the author of several books, covering a wide diversity of themes and subjects, from South African sociopolitical satire to innovation in business to entrepreneurship to mobile technology. As a media trainer, he runs workshops and mentorship programmes on social media, mobile journalism, feature writing, and general aspects of journalism, for publishing companies, government and private sector organisations, and special-interest groups.


Zaheer attended the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism in New York and completed his Masters in digital media. After a short stint of working in the big apple, Zaheer was one of two fellows selected to work at Al Jazeera in Doha, Qatar.

On completion of that contract he returned to South Africa, where he started his own production company and continues to freelance for international and local media.