We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
A 16 year old youth reporter from the rural town of Cala in South Africa shares her beautiful story of being given the opportunity to host a music chat show for her community radio station, Vukani FM. With the money she earns, she can help provide for her family.
‘My name is Siphosethu Adam, I am a 16 year old youth reporter in Cala. I represent iSkeem Somthombo Wolwazi for the best community radio station in the cool Eastern Cape province. I have been in the project for 2 years now, and my roles in the show are to host and research for the show.
These roles have helped in shaping who I am today, because before the project I had no self-confidence and mostly I was afraid to let my voice out. There were times I felt too little, like I did not belong in the world and I could not let my opinions be heard by others at school. But now I can proudly stand in the crowd and stand for what I feel is right and also I can help other young people in my community by encouraging them to let their voices be heard. I do this because I cannot let other young people go through what I went through.
One outstanding moment for me with the Children’s Radio Foundation was getting nominated for the 2015 Youth Radio Awards. The experience showed me that all our hard work did not go to waste. But the biggest highlight was going to Cape Town in an airplane for the first time in my life. I met other young reporters. I had a nice time and I also learnt so much. I will never forget the experience because I did not think it would come so soon at the age of 15.
The next big thing was getting my own show. I remember it was on a Friday when I volunteered myself to do the show and I presented it on Saturday. On Monday the following week I received a call from the programs manager asking to see me, when I got there he told me to take over the Chats Show. At first I could not believe that eventually I would be contributing financially at home, as we were not financially stable.
I was so excited that I ran out of words to say. I thought to myself that finally I have been compensated, which taught me that after all the hard work, the benefits are good. The programs manager told me that they had always seen my potential in my presenting skills. And that is how I became a permanent radio show presenter. I love it so much that I would not miss the show for anything in the world. I always tell myself that each time I go to studio I am going to do my best and work so that I exceed my expectations and help my team to shine.
If it was not for the Young Reporters Network I would not have had the opportunity because before the project came along I had nothing to do with the station. I can say the YRN had opened doors for me I never knew existed.
Today I know exactly how it feels to be your own responsibility; I can take care of myself financially and get what I want without having to ask for money from my parents. I assist at home as well with what we need. To the youth out there I can say your future is in your hands. Take control of it and never lose hope until you get what you want. And in order to get what you want it goes with the sacrifices, for you to see If you are going somewhere do whatever it takes to get what you want because I know for a fact that after all the hard work there is a reward for it’.
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