Learners talk radio with funders

2018-02-22 06:00
EU and Polish ambassadors to SA, Dr Marcus Cornaro and Andrzej Kanthak in the booth with Cosat’s radio projects’s Zanele Molo and Zizo Gxowa at the school on Monday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

EU and Polish ambassadors to SA, Dr Marcus Cornaro and Andrzej Kanthak in the booth with Cosat’s radio projects’s Zanele Molo and Zizo Gxowa at the school on Monday. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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The Youth Radio programme at Khayelitsha’s Cosat High School is proving to be a great tool against social ills in the community and skills development for its youngsters.

On Monday 19 February, at 3:45pm the European Union’s(EU) ambassador to South Africa, Dr. Marcus Cornaro along with Poland’s ambassador to South Africa, Andrzej Kanthak, visited the school too see how the project was going.

The initiative is run by the Children’s Radio Foundation(CRF), funded by the EU and run by the learners from the school, is streamed live over the internet.

On the day, young people talked about the impact on them, showed of their studio equipment as well as interviewed the delegates. There was also video and audio exhibitions of past students who reported for the project, as well as a recent broadcast that looked into gun violence in the townships.

The visit was to assess the project as well as its impact on the youngsters and how they, in turn, impacted on their communities.

In the interview, anchored by Grade 10 pupils Zanele Molo and Zizo Gxowa, they quizzed both ambassadors about their history, perception on the country and how they figured the future looked like.

Dr Cornaro said that he had worked in various positions at the EU before taking over as an ambassador for the EU in South Africa in 2015 while Kanthak told the learners that he had been a businessman for years until he took on the post 11 months ago.

Kanthak said that tourism was a big attraction and that the changing political landscape could change things for the better.

“There is a new mood in the country with the new president; there are no disruptions in parliament and no fighting. This could in fact lead to a growth in the tourism industry of the country,” he said.

Cornaro, asked about the perception of corruption in the country, said that the independent voices and use of such platforms as radio can help discourage the misuse of funds.

“The temptation to misuse(funds) can be reined in by independent voices. South Africa has a strong constitution as well as a strong political landscape which leads to a strong democracy,” he said.

Both ambassadors were impressed by the project, with Carnaro stating that community education was pivotal.

“The hope is for the good outcome for these youngsters, the community as well as a legacy for the children that will follow them in the school,” he said after the interview.

Molo, who resides in Ekuphumleni, said that she had been in the project since last year and that it has sparked an interest in radio.

“Before getting into the initiative, I wanted to study medicine, I still do, but I have started to become curious about radio. I have learnt a lot about my community as well as good skills for radio and some for sound engineering, so I am even considering applying for an internship at CRF after my matric,” she said.

A dotting Phadiela Cooper, the principal, said she was proud to see her learners going through the programme and gaining important skills.

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