We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
Mr Punch is our facilitator at Mams FM in Mamelodi near Pretoria. He shares his journey from music production into radio, and his highlights of working with the Children’s Radio Foundation.
Location: Mamelodi East, Gauteng, South Africa
Capricorn is my star sign as I was born on the 1st of January at the place called Bushbuckridge, east of Mpumalanga. At the age of five I moved to Mamelodi. I was only 17 when I started a kwaito group called Nice guys and we released our debut album. In 2007 I did my first short film called Karma, which aired on SABC 1, and I also released my first album as a solo artist. In 2012 I joined our local radio station Mams FM.
How did you get involved with the CRF?
I was introduced to the program by my Programs Manager Sipho Malinda, after the previous facilitator retired. My Program Manager chose me because I did work with youth before. Before I came to our radio station I was working at Y.D.O as a youth facilitator, working with first time young offenders and I also produced a radio show called ‘Tholulwazi’, which focused on children and women.
How was the experience?
It has been a great advantage for me to grow my knowledge in radio. Our trips to different radio station with the youth was the best thing I have ever done. Not forgetting our trip to Cape Town; it was amazing on the aeroplane, and meeting other radio practitioners and discussing radio at large.
What was the best part of the training?
The Ubuntu Lab. It may seems like a simple discussion but to me it was a life changing program. The discussion changed the way I see things, now I see things through the eye of ‘ubuntu’. The training does not only benefit the program, you can take a lot from the training and it can work for your personal growth.
What was the highlight of your service?
We did a campaign called ‘anti-stigma’, the aim to eliminate the stigma in our community. We called everyone with disability and those who has stigmatised sickness. Everyone was sharing their experiences and their frustrations. I did have a chance to talk to some people one-on-one: David Skosana, a guy living with HIV; Precious, a lady living with albinism and Jay Matloga representing the LGBTI community. Chatting with them made me realise that many people suffer from been stigmatized.
What difference do you think the programme has made?
The program is empower the youth and also give them a voice. Our young reporters’ communication skills did improve and they now see the point of talking because we are listening. To many people, talking is healing and through talking this program has healed many young people.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade?
Owning my own media company, dealing with outreaches where we focus on issues affecting our community. My company has already started operating.
What’s your word power?
Do anything that’s makes you happy and don’t hurt others.
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