We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
Monde Ndelu was a reporter for two years with Vibrant Youth Young Reporters from Vibe FM in Kwazulu-Natal. He feels honoured to have had the opportunity to work with CRF in making South Africa a better country for its youth.
Location: KwaMashu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
What is your background: My name is Monde Ndelu. I was a young reporter for the Children’s Radio Foundation based in Durban. I grew up in Kwamashu in Durban, living with my father’s family. I went to Roseland Primary School, and Huntroad Secondary School. I have a certificate in Supply Chain Management.
How did you get involved with CRF: I got involved with CRF after being invited to participate in a focus group discussion, where we were discussing issues that affect the community. A friend of mine, who was already a young reporter, asked me to participate in the workshop. At the workshop I was approached by Bongs (the facilitator) and Andile (the regional trainer), and they asked me if I was interested in being part of the youth radio program. That was an opportunity I did not want to miss, and the rest was history.
How was the experience: The program has made me a different person. I learnt so much and it changed my perception about a lot of things. It also made me aware of issues and dangers that I always hear or experience from a distance; issues that actually affect me. I am very grateful to CRF because the program has grown me in so many levels.
The best part of the training: The best part of the training has to be the part where we learnt about HIV and AIDS. We had CRF reporters from other sites including reporters from outside the country, and trainers from CRF were part of the training too. We talked about the intersections of HIV and AIDS including solutions, prevention etc. I learnt a lot that day. During that period, my group went to a panel discussion where we met the artist, Common. That experience was amazing for me because I learnt a lot of things and I had fun. It was important because we were speaking about something that affects everyone. We, as young reporters use trainings/workshops to get to know each other well because we spend the whole time interacting, problem solving and debating. That creates a bond and we learn a lot about each other. I enjoy the challenging tasks that we do during the trainings. They force you to think on your feet. It is all nice. I really enjoy being in the program.
What was the highlight of your service? I cannot exactly stipulate the effect of our service, but my highlight of our service was when we went to Polly Clinic. We asked to do a mobile clinic outreach for breast cancer awareness and cancer in general. We invited a mobile clinic and invited community members to come test for cancer. We asked them to share their emotions after testing, and if comfortable, speak about their results. It was good to see the members of the community that listen to our shows and call in. Another highlight would be when we went to the US Embassy and did an outreach on xenophobia. We hosted a debate there and the former president, Thabo Mbeki was present.
What difference do you think the programme has made? Even though it would be hard to measure it, the program has made a huge difference in my life. I have mastered the skill of producing and broadcasting shows. I have learnt how to conduct outreaches. The program has equipped me with leadership skills. I have gained a lot of confidence, I am no longer afraid of standing and addressing a crowd of people. I am no longer afraid to voice out my opinion. I am used to finding solutions easily and think critically and out of the box. My awareness on issues that affects young people have increased. Trainings play a big role in helping us understand young people’s issues. Topics I have learnt about include Sexual and Reproductive Health of teenagers. Being a young reporter has provided me with plenty pf opportunities. I traveled on an airplane for the first time when I went to the Youth Radio Awards in Cape Town. And I attended an AIDS conference in Kwaxulu-Natal and had a lot of fun.
What are you doing since you graduated? Ever since I graduated I have been helping the new youth with producing, planning of their shows, outreaches and other programs needs. I am also studying Engineering and doing music on the side.
Did your skills as a young reporter help in achieving what you are doing now? I noticed last year that the skills that I acquired when I was a young reporter can help me anywhere in life. For instance, when I was looking for a job, I got called for an interview and I noticed how I was good at talking in front of people. I was not nervous because I was used to it then. I knew the relevant tone, choice of words, ways to answer and analyse questions. It is easy for me to interact with anyone at any given moment. I look forward to being interviewed because I know I am equipped.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade? I see myself every where. I am aiming high. I do not want to be average. I want the big house and nice cars. I want to be a person who talks to people. A person who reaches out to his community. A person who is a living proof that anyone can make it. Everyone who knows me witnesses my background and my upbringing and they know where I started.
What is your power word? My power word is ‘be realistic’.
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