We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
Phindile Mthombeni currently works at a community radio station Emalahleni FM as a Production Assistant, stand-in presenter and a CRF Youth Mentor/Facilitator. This is her story of being part of the CRF team.
Location: Emalahleni, South Africa
I’m a 28 year old young woman born in the far East Rand of Johannesburg. I have one older sister. I was raised by my late grandparents in a very small town in Nigel until I completed my Matric while my mom was still studying. I later moved to Witbank in 2011 after completing my Diploma in Media Studies and Journalism.
How did you get involved with the CRF?
I was approached my Programmes Manager, Mr. Dumisani Matsimbi after Vendaboy, the previous mentor requested to be released from his duties due to his commitments. My name then came up seeing how I related to the youth, and that I would assist them whenever they needed any assistance. At first I was very skeptical about it, was not sure if I would be able to manage but surprisingly I am managing very well.
How was the experience?
Well, I come across as a person with a very strong character who is always eager to learn more all the time, and I must say that the experience has been a roller coaster ride. When I came I realised that the youth needed assistance with improving their presenting skills and conducting research. There were times when I felt like we were just not cracking it but we kept on pushing. I’ve also had amazing times which overshadows the bad times. I’ve also gained so much experience and insight in working with young people.
What was the best part of the training?
I got exposed to learning about the different personalities in each one of the youth and understanding the backgrounds that they come from which, for some of them has really brought out the best in their characters and life experiences. I also feel and believe that they are big dreamers and passionate about being part of this initiative that will make them better people in the society. As for me I have equipped leadership skills, handling conflicts and being open to new ideas.
What was the highlight of your service?
It was when we produced a show about DRUG ABUSE which was based on dealing and living with a drug addict within the family. The show really went deeper into the part of revealing how the use of this substance affected not only the users of it individually but the families and the community at large. Statistics also show that Mpumalanga is the second highest in the country, and much as we can try and eradicate the usage of drugs around us the community also has a big role to play.
What difference do you think the programme has made?
It has created opportunities for young people where they were able to voice out opinions about issues that could not have been simply discussed with the elderly people. It also helped the group of trainees to identify their capabilities and the skills they acquire more. The station was impressed with the feedback that they received from the programme as a whole.
Where do you see yourself in the next decade?
It’s really difficult to say at this point, however working with people is my passion and bringing out the best in them. Studying towards a degree would be an achievement and working for a commercial radio station having to manage productions team.
What’s your word power?
“In Him I live, I move and have my being. Never stop trying until you find your purpose…”
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