Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Weekly Archivist interview: acetate restoration in the SABC Radio Archives

Joseph Lobeko
SABC Radio Archives
Joseph Lobeko looks after the sound restoration of our acetate collection. He has been with the SABC Radio Archives for 13 years. Previously he helped with requests for the Radio Programme Sales department at the SABC, as well as looking after the collection of our daily radio feeds for archival storage.

The SABC Radio Archives has archivists who specialize in specific areas/languages of expertise with regards the audio collections being kept in the Archives. There are also archivists who focus on requests, and we have an archivist who focuses on sound restoration. This is part of the weekly interviews that will try to pose the same questions to each of the archivists.

Joseph, please tell us a little bit about your life and work history.

I grew up in a village called Morokweng, some kilometers from Vryburg (North-West). That is where I started my elementary-education up until my matriculation level. With a matric certificate I became involved with the SABC through a studio-production internship course which, I think, formed an exit level for me to the SABC Sound-Archives. Upon arrival here in the Sound Archives I have acquired a Bursary-funded National-Diploma (in archival studies) in 2006, and from there registered for a BA Communication Science (with more focus in Anthropology). It is still in progress and I am busy with the second level.
Please tell us about a normal day in your studio. What material do you give priority to?

I have just moved into a new field of sound restoration, so at the moment I am still trying to settle and make it my home. I am still working in order and not in priority yet (if, at all, there is a contrast between the two).

Tell us more about your collection and the scope of material you need to preserve.

The audio material comprises of a lot of old days dramas recorded in cassettes (stored in closed-movable-steel shelves) dating back to the 40’s and a lot of old days acetate-records dating back to the 30’s (stored in open-grounded-steel shelves)

Do you struggle with technical difficulties, and if so, what?

As I have said, this is a new field for me, technical difficulties will always emerge, but obviously my basic technical-competency that I have gained previously will mitigate that. There is a helpful hand from Marius (sound engineer), who is quite knowledgeable and has been involved in that field.

If you have an anecdote about a specific piece of interesting audio material, please share it with us.

A drama I listened to caught my attention. The drama epitomizes a man from Namibia called Lubbi, who has footed all the way from his own country to come and look for better life in South-African mines. What catches my attention is Lubbi’s courage and determination to work against all odds to reach his personal goals. I can’t relate the whole story but listening to it you pick up a man’s multiple courageous qualities which elevated him from zero to hero. It is a very emotional piece of work. 

Tell us why you enjoy doing the work that you do.

It is educational.

Related posts
The weekly archivist interview: Sound engineer in the Radio Archives
The weekly archivist interview: Ikwekwezi FM
The weekly archivist interview: Music archivist
The weekly archivist interview: News and actuality
The weekly archivist interview: Sport archivist
The weekly archivist interview: Channel Africa collection

Questions and post by Karen du Toit, Afrikaans Archivist in the SABC Radio Archives.

No comments:

Post a Comment

We welcome any feedback and comments!