RX Radio celebrates two years on air

2019-06-04 06:00
Mujahid Wiener (right) plays with Shark with another presenter . PHOTOS: tiyese jeranji

Mujahid Wiener (right) plays with Shark with another presenter . PHOTOS: tiyese jeranji

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Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital radio station, RX Radio celebrated two years of officially hitting the airwaves.

The station is housed at the hospital in Rondebosch and the celebrations took place there on Saturday 25 May.

The day was fun-filled and visitors together with patients enjoyed the treats as presenters took to the airwaves one after the other. Presenters, with their scripts in hand, paced down the corridor getting ready for their slots.

The station has been in planning for years and it is a radio for children by children.

The station is the brainchild of Doctor Gabriel Urgoiti.

As it stands, 87 patients have been trained With 11 trained at Paarl Hospital inclusive.

Urgoiti says the idea of the radio station came from the experience of working with children. They started training children aged between seven and 12 from Khayelitsha and it grew from there.

These are children suffering from chronic illnesses and some with burns. “The idea was to get children to talk about their experiences. We wanted to give children a safe platform to talk about issues important to them. Children are our very important clients and through listening to them we wanted the health services to be improved. Also, we wanted to contribute to the healing process as we used radio as a tool to improve communication,” he says.

Urgoiti adds the plan is to train five other hospitals and later on venture into every hospital with a paediatric unit. “The process of healing and opening up from the children we have worked with has been amazing and we want to share that with other children. We have started with Paarl Hospital and we will be going into other hospitals,” he says

One of the presenters, Mujahid Wiener, says radio is his life. He is a sports presenter at the station. He is one of the three patients that were trained when the concept was initialised. “I’m a talkative person so radio has become a part of me. I started with the training because I saw a platform to talk about what I was going through, share my pain and how I turned that pain into something amazing,” he says.

Another presenter Kuthair Salie (18) has her own show called Koachella’s Music Show.

Salie says she enjoys the show because she is able to talk about things that she likes. “I talk about everything in my show. My school experiences, my everyday life and during the month of Ramadan I spoke about it; what we do and our traditions. My show is just about everything that I like,” she says.

The station is run by patients, but it is open for friends and siblings of patients. This was done because some patients wanted to bring someone with, and others were comfortable with people they know who are close to them.

Parents also took part in the celebrations.

One parent attending the event was Nadierah Pienaar from Steenberg. All three of her children work at the station. Her second eldest daughter had Leukaemia and they came to the hospital. A colleague told her about the station and her child attended. Seeing what the one was up to, the other two joined in.

For her children, presenting has been a journey of healing and growth. “The station has opened them up in so many ways and it has made it easy for us as a family to talk about things. I never knew how they felt and what was going on inside them but now we talk. They have grown and become confident and independent. Now the eldest daughter and the youngest will co-host a show,” she says.

Pienaar admits that coming to the hospital was scary. “Every time we came to the hospital, we were scared that something bad will happen. But since the girls joined the radio station it changed our perception of the hospital and we have positive feelings each time we come here,” Pienaar says.

V To listen to RX Radio visit www.rxradio.co.za.

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