Youth use airwaves to reach out to peers

Tremaine van Aardt

KWANOBUHLE’S youth have taken it upon themselves to educate their peers through launching the township’s first community radio station based on the principles of the loveLife campaign.

Station manager of Radio L2K (loveLife radio), Sandisiwe Sakrowa, 24 said the station originated after a group of peer educators realised addressing the community schools individually was not effective.

“We simply weren’t reaching enough of the community to be making a difference. After the loveLife youth centre was built in Kwano [KwaNobuhle] it was decided to launch the radio station and broadcast from the building.

“Although we only have a 2km radio radius the response has been great. We now have interactive debates about issues affecting the youth – issues such as crime, peer pressure, drugs and sex,” Sakrowa said.

Although already airing since October last year the radio station ran into several problems along the way to their official launch at the weekend, including financial issues, venue availability and transmission errors.

The resident DJs include four Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University students – Zukhanya Mqolomba, 23, Qhamani Zendile, 21, Kedibone Adams and Sithokazi Ndidimba, both 22 – and several other DJs who share a common goal of educating the youth through interactive discussions.

The student DJs are the only resident DJs who play music on the station during their slots, as the station’s primary objective is to be an interactive talk show discussing issues affecting the youth.

“Every day we allow an individual from the community into the studio.

“The individual then chooses the topic of the day and sets the tone for the slot – essentially they are in control. And because it’s a show by the youth for the youth, people have received it well,” Adams said.

The station also aims to provide a platform for the youth to showcase their talent and build on their dreams.

“QB [Zendile] and I created TheZoneOuts last year because we realised not a lot was being done by Uitenhage DJs to promote other local artists,” Mqolomba said.

Radio L2K can be found at 99.5fm.

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