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Things Fall Apart: Rebuilding Through Radio

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When violence swept across Kwamashu, South Africa, Sibonelo Sithole was one of the only youth radio presenters that could make it to the station, Vibe FM. When he opened up the lines for callers, Sibonelo learned that division runs deep within his community. Months later, he is still trying to understand both sides of the story.

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Sibonelo: Soon as you put on those headphones, the only thing you should think about is the information you have and how you’re going to deliver it. And the interaction you want to get from your listeners.

Lesedi (narration): Sibonelo Sithole just celebrated his second year in radio. He’s part of the Vibrant Youth Reporters, one of the Children’s Radio Foundation’s 41 projects across 5 African countries.

[SIBONELO ON AIR]

Sibonelo: I really enjoy the reporting side because it tackles the problems of the community, like we know that when we’re doing shows as the youth reporters, we have to do shows that will help the community in terms of the information that you bring and we do research, we go out, we ask people questions and they get to know us when we go out to get their insights and the topics we’ll be covering for the shows.

[SIBONELO ON AIR]

Lesedi (narration): Once a week they broadcast a show for youth on Vibe FM. It’s a community radio station in KwaMashu, on the outskirts of Durban, South Africa.

Sibonelo: KwaMashu [LAUGHS]  it’s a beautiful place. There’s a lot of good about KwaMashu, you know? We’ve produced some really iconic people around here, from KwaMashu, in terms of politics, entertainment industry, you know. KwaMashu is a very complicated township, you know.

[MUSIC]

Sibonelo: It has a lot of downfalls because it’s very backwards in terms of development. Most parts of the area are living under some very poor circumstances, you know, so that’s another issue we are facing as a township.

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