On 5 April #LiveVIPZA visited community radio station, Alex FM based in Alexandra township (it wouldn’t be in Diepsloot now would it?) to sit in on one of their weekend shows called “Bigger than Life”. The presenters, aged between 14 and 18, confidently engaged in the topic “To Vote or Not To Vote” – the same topic the VIP campaign had a youth debate on in March. Many have claimed that the 2014 elections are a special highlight of South Africa’s young democracy due primarily to the many, many born-frees (touted as the the next great generation of the country) that will be voting for the first time. Judging from the confidence, application and energy shown by the young presenters during this radio discussion, that may be very true.
Speaking in a combination of Zulu, Xhosa and Sotho, anchor Andy Masoka and her co-presenters Licious, Mdeva and Refilwe weighed in on the historical significance of voting and how it is an extension of their right to expression today – itself a critical part of living in a democracy. Toward the end of the discussion, Mdeva, a fourteen-year old high-scholar, vowed to make smart a voting decision when he finally goes to the polls in 2019, an opportunity he looks forward to because he was promised free wi-fi by an unnamed party. As a team, they ultimately concluded that voting is one of many significant commitments that a responsible citizen must make in order to live in a prosperous society. The born-frees finally strike y’all! By the end of the discussion it was very exciting to have witnessed young people use a platform like radio to have fun discussing an important issue that included various viewpoints through vox-pops, expert information from an IEC official and the young perspective. It was a Saturday morning well spent.
The Children’s Radio Foundation trains young reporters across Africa in radio broadcasting, giving them the skills to make their voices heard. These young reporters not only gain experience to last a lifetime, but ignite important conversations too. Tune into what the youth of South Africa are thinking and talking about at Young Reporters Network: South Africa on www.soundcloud.com
The story of #Elections2014 continues. Stick with #LiveVIPZA and we’ll give you analysis, debates, comments, polls and all you need to make it through the all-important task of VOTING during the 2014 elections.
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