As anyone with empirical fieldwork experience knows, even best laid data collection plans rarely go off without a hitch. There is often rich learning from these challenges, although we seldom reflect on them in the literature. This interview asks UCT’s Safety and Violence Initiative (SaVI) Director, Guy Lamb, and Study Coordinator Ncedo Ntsasa Mnquibisa about their experiences carrying out the Gugulethu component of a randomised household survey project that took place in Gugulethu and Manenberg in Cape Town in 2017. Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 years old, and one of their caregivers, were interviewed using a detailed (structured) questionnaire. This project was a partnership between SaVI, Amandla EduFootball and Dr Ian Edelstein (who was based at the Human Sciences Research Council), which focused on youth resilience, deviance and development. The project was funded by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport in the Western Cape Provincial Government.