TRAINER PROFILE: Lebo Ntlathi | Children's Radio Foundation

We use radio to amplify youth voices across Africa, giving them the skills and tools to speak about their lives

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Lebo Ntlathi is a local lead facilitator from Kurara FM, mentoring the ‘Cracking It’ young reporter team, which she has done since 2012.

Lebo hails from the rural areas of Kuruman in the Northern Cape of South Africa, and she completed her matric in Mahikeng. Her first experience of radio happened to be when she saw an advert for a new community radio station in her area and applied, only to be introduced to the Children’s Radio Foundation and was then given the opportunity to mentor young reporters. She finds the role of lead facilitator enjoyable and fulfilling. When she auditioned something extraordinary happened and she just knew she belonged in radio. She didn’t realise this until she was given the platform to express her thoughts. She first thought she would be a psychologist or a motivational speaker.

How did you get involved with CRF?

“I started mentoring young reporters when CRF realised that I was mature enough and capable of heading up this project. The station realised that because I was doing a magazine show that looks at women and parenting, and …family, and deals with social issues, that I have potential. This is a platform where I give what I have and what the youth need”.

“I learn radio everyday with CRF and from the young reporters. Facilitating 15 young reporters gives me an honour to see young people speak their minds and not listen to us as parents speaking and telling them what to do from when they were born. In this era it’s important they tell us their feelings, they are also human beings. It’s high time we recognise their ‘being’, and it’s important they get this platform”.

“The young people should have morals and values and be able to stand-up for themselves with a loud voice, without fear. I would like to encourage young people with these words: ‘whatever you do make sure you leave a mark, whatever you do is what is inside of you’.”

What was the best part of the training for you?

Lebo’s highlight of her service is seeing young reporters grow from not knowing anything about radio. “The wow factor is when the station can even trust them. It brings out the best of each person. We take them out of school to the project, and look at them now. We helped them to bring excellence. I smile and know I have a part in this one” Lebo says. She says that being relevant makes the project what it is.

What impact does CRF have on your community?

“History will be known, the world will know I made an impact. Kids have been given a voice, a platform to express who they are. It has come to understanding kids and what they go through. It changes the model of parenting and understanding the uniqueness of the youth. What they show you it is what they are. Their response tells us that we are connected”.

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