We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
Omphemetse Matabane was a reporter for one year with our ‘Bigger than Life’ Young Reporters at Alex FM. She feels proud to have been part of an initiative that created a platform to influence young people.
Location: Alexandra, South Africa
I grew up in the North West province in a village called Jericho. I am an only child raised by a single mother. I did my Matric in 2010 at Bethel Girls High. I studied Journalism at Jeppe College and have a National certificate in Journalism. I’ve always loved interacting with people, and I am glad that I was bold enough to take a step of doing what I love and believed to be called for.
How did you get involved with CRF:
I’ve been with CRF for 12 months. I was approached by Sammy Ramodike who saw potential in me and believed in me. As someone who has been running teenage programmes I was delighted and I saw it as an opportunity to advance my skills, to acquire more knowledge and to have a platform to influence young people.
How was the experience?
The experience has been good. I’ve learned a lot of things and my hope for South Africa continues to be revived. I’ve learned to give young people a voice and to let them come up with solutions. I’ve learned to listen to fresh ideas and never to look down on anyone because of their age.
What was the best of part of the training?
The best part was engaging in topics that still needs to be dealt with, like HIV/AIDS and violence in our community and South Africa. Ive identified and I’ve learned to come with solutions. Our society has a messed up perspective and there is a lot brokenness, but there is still hope. I’ve learned to spot talent and potential and embrace it. To look at matters both ways.
The Ubuntu topic taught us to look at people and see beyond what the eye can see but to respect and love everyone. To give an African child a message of hope and also encourage them to have humanity. To love and respect the LGBT community.
I also learned to deal with issues of sexual abuse without personalizing it but encouraging the victims to seek help and rise above the situation. In the same breath I hope that perpetrators will be rehabilitated.
What was the highlight of your service?
The highlight for me was the ubuntu school outreaches where we donated hygiene products to pupils; sanitary towels, roll-on deodorant and soap. But most of all giving a message of hope to pupils and encouraging them to respect their bodies, their teachers and parents and value education.
What difference do you think the programme has made?
We have built relationships with young people and we are able to mentor and assist them in their areas of need. We are able to engage in conversations that impact our young people and give them platforms to debate and discuss issues that affect them. But mostly we have tried to make young people see that they are the future of this country, and that every good and bad decision taken now could negatively and positively affect South Africa.
What are you doing since you graduated?
I am currently a sports news reader and a publicist.
Did your skills as a young reporter help in achieving what you are doing now?
I’ve learned to be more confident and find my style, and be authentic.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade?
I wish the picture was clear but I still see myself in radio, especially talk radio, impacting peoples lives. I also have a passion for PR and young people.
What is your power word?
We all have the potential to do or become something great.
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