We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
India Baird & Kholofelo Molewa: Co-chair of the South African Board
Cape Town, South Africa
Short bio intro
Kholofelo: I was recently appointed co-chair of the South African CRF board, and also on the international board, as of a month ago. And I studied law at WITS, and Commerce as well. In fact I went to both WITS and UCT [Universities in Johannesburg and Cape Town], after all was said and done. I am in developmental finance, which is combining finance for developmental objectives, whatever that means as well. I live in Cape Town, but I’m originally from Soweto, born and raised. Born in Baragwanath (hospital). I’ve been living in Cape Town for the last 8 years.
India: I am a human rights lawyer. I have been living and working in South Africa for over 20 years, focusing on women and children’ s rights. For the last 5 years, I’ve been working in a community in Manenberg, working with the Children’s Radio Foundation with a group of girls, through Rock Girl.
How did you come to support CRF?
Kholofelo: I used to have office space on the same floor as CRF, and I got to know the guys quite well. The more I learned about what they did, the more interested I became, and the more interested I became, the more engaged I became, until such a point that Mike and Nina asked me to join the board. I was helping with some fundraising here and there. Very ad-hoc. So they’ve just asked me formalize my association with them, and its been a happy marriage ever since.
India: I first learned about the Children’s Radio Foundation through a mutual friend of Mike Rahfaldt, the director, who said that they were doing this fabulous work throughout Africa, empowering youth through radio to talk about issues that were important to them. And then we kept bumping into each other, and we ultimately found that the work that I was doing in Manenberg and the work that they were doing all over Africa coincided with a similar mission that we shared.
What do you love most about the cause?
Kholofelo: Well, you do it efficiently, and that’s always something to love. Just given how many participants there are in the space… And the people who are behind CRF, are…they are married to CRF, and that kind of flows throughout how the organization is run. And what’s not to love about working with kids, and enabling them and empowering them. So I love the fact that it is such a good space, the offices of CRF, and that flows through to the sincerity of what they do on the ground level.
India: What I love most is being with young people and seeing the light in their eyes when they realize that they are in charge of their own destinies. Whether its recording a radio show, whether its figuring out that they can do something in their own community, and realizing that while it may be hard work, and that they are not there to have fun or do a beach trip or whatever, that they actually are in control, and what they say matters and what they do matters.
What has been the highlight of your service?
Kholofelo: The first Children’s Radio Awards, that was great. We were raising cash and it was against the clock, and Nina particularly, was very instrumental in making sure that the money was there. I guess the highlight was being part of that, even if it was in a tangential way.
India: I think I can go back to the Youth Awards last year where we brought some kids who weren’t part of the Children’s Radio Foundation to watch, and seeing the infectious joy of the winners of these Youth Awards, infect them. To say they wanted to be Youth Reporters too, they looked like they were having so much fun! And (when one of the winners) ran up on the stage and jumped up and down, it was sheer joy at winning something that was something that she had worked for. It was really wonderful to see.
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