Youth in South Africa Bond with Radio

Youth in South Africa Bond with Radio

Research PaperScholarly Research

Youth in South Africa Bond with Radio

Maurice Odine: Department of Radio Television and Film, School of Communications, Texas Southern University


South Africa’s youth have found voices through radio as a result of liberalization laws enacted during the post-apartheiddemocratic period under Nelson Mandela. Today, youth communicate their concerns thanks to the dynamic duo withradio, a medium that penetrates the hinterland and is received in rural areas. To youth, radio is a companion they trust.They listen to radio programs that are produced and presented by children from the children’s perspective. Partnershipssuch as the Children’s Radio Foundation (CRF), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), German-South African partnership, and government and local entitiessupport youth radio through training and by providing necessary resources. Community and college radio stations, too,have been pivotal in embracing youth radio. Additionally, youth radio participates in simultaneous international live broadcasts with stations in Accra (Ghana), Nairobi (Kenya), and Chicago (United States). Youth radio success is further exemplified by 2009 and 2010 UNICEF Children’s Radio Broadcasting Award. The drama, “Shuga Radio,” leads in thecategory, while discussion groups express youth interests. Meanwhile, youth radio-motivated Kwaito music has won theminds of listeners.

If humans can sail or fly, and if birds can fly amidst airwaves, then youth (including South Africa’s) can use radio waves in the form of youth radio.

1. Introduction

When humans take sail or to the air, they are propelled by wind in the atmosphere. Likewise, when birds take to fly,they are aided by wind that cuts through the atmosphere. In the atmosphere, therefore, are airwaves that, incidentally,are associated with radio waves. So, if humans can sail or fly, and if birds can fly amidst airwaves, then youth (including South Africa’s) can use radio waves in the form of youth radio. To the curious youth, radio waves are free because they are celestial. Thus, denying genuine, good-natured use of radio waves would be an affront on youth. It is these celestial radio waves that have given voices to South Africa’s youth. Denying youth the use and exploitation of radio waves is akin to denying them nature’s free oxygen.

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Journal of Media and Communication Studies

Studies in Media and Communication

Vol. 2, No. 2; December 2014

ISSN 2325-8071 E-ISSN 2325-808X

Published by Redfame Publishing


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