Youth in South Africa Bond with Radio

Maurice Odine


South Africa’s youth have found voices through radio as a result of liberalization laws enacted during the post-apartheid democratic period under Nelson Mandela. Today, youth communicate their concerns thanks to the dynamic duo with radio, 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. Partnerships such 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 entities support 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 the category, while discussion groups express youth interests. Meanwhile, youth radio-motivated Kwaito music has won the minds of listeners.

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Studies in Media and Communication      ISSN 2325-8071 (Print)   ISSN 2325-808X (Online)

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