We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives
The Children’s Radio Foundation’s “Ghetto Genius” youth reporters at Aganang FM in Potchefstroom took to the airwaves recently, following the murder of openly gay 17 year-old learner Lesley Makousa in their community.
Makousa was strangled to death with a shoelace, and his body was found in an abandoned area in Promosa Township. A 32 year-old suspect has since been arrested. His murder and other attacks against the LGBTI community are a reminder of the intense stigma and homophobia that punctuate the lives of LGBTI youth across South Africa. The youth reporters produced their hour-long show to get the community speaking about the challenges local LGBTI youth face.
In their show, they interviewed Thabiso Mogapi wa Tsotetsi, Chairperson of Action For Social Justice International, who noted that there was still a lot that needed to be done, and that schools had an important role to play: not just targeting learners, but also teachers and religious institutions. “We need to start emphasizing awareness. We need to start teaching people about these issues, about gender diversity.”
Aganang FM youth reporter Moleboheng Mohale (17) was proud of their show, and their ability to push the conversation forward. “Some people don’t treat the LGBTI members well. And the show encouraged people to start treating the LGBTI members well, and to accept what they are. Not to judge them. The feedback from the listeners was that the LGBTI members are going to be treated and loved just like any other person.”
Their bravery and sensitivity in tackling LGBTI issues should be applauded, reminding us of the important role young people can play in defending human rights and challenging inequality within their communities. Listen to the excerpt from the show, or you can listen to the full show in English and Setswana here.
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