Local DJ’s mission to help youth through music

2013-10-31 00:00

FRESH from winning the 2013/2014 Pfizer Mental Health Journalism Award, local Durban DJ and South African musician Lloyd Paul is taking the next step to empower the youth.

Paul, who is SA’s first Indian Kwaito musician, won the accolade for his radio talk show Lotus Lounge on Lotus FM, in which he appeals to people suffering from mental health issues and depression to speak out and engage with professionals on the show.

In the midst of the matric final exams, Paul has placed special emphasis on those writing by sending a message of how pupils could cope with the stress during exams.

“My motto is ‘never say die’. No matter what happens and whatever the outcome of the exams are, pupils have to remain positive because it’s not the end of the world, there’s always another opportunity to excel at something,” he said.

Paul not only mentioned this in light of the high suicide rate due to exam stress, but also due to the stigma attached to people facing mental health issues and the consequences of not speaking out about it.

“Due to the lack of not speaking out about depression and suicidal thoughts, the high rate of suicides can be explained. People need to realise that there are people out there who are experiencing the same issues. People who are facing these kinds of issues need to be more open about it and seek help from professionals,” Paul said.

Being an SA musician signed to major record labels, Paul said that he also uses music as a medium to reach out to youth through anti-drug campaigns and other projects to empower the youth.

“Music really does break boundaries, whether it’s racial or language barriers. Music is a tool that can be used to interact with anyone. I don’t see myself as an Indian, I see myself as a South African. I use my music as a tool to influence young minds. People don’t expect me to be making the music I do, but I feel the music I make represents our country,” he said.

Paul described his music style as a combination of Tsotsi Taal, dancehall, reggae and hip hop. Paul is on air from Monday to Thursday from 8 pm to 10 pm.

• @KyleVenktess on Twitter.

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