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Radio station steps in to save youth's life

By Mhlaba Memela | Jan 13, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

THE iGagasi FM has saved the future and life of a young man who was planning to commit suicide.

The station offered a bursary to Philani Nyawo, 21, after receiving a shocking call from his aunt about his plight.

Nyawo, of Umlazi, south of Durban, had warned his aunt that he would take an overdose of tablets to end his life because he could not get money to pursue his dream at university.

The station's programmes manager, Patrick Bogatsu, intervened after he received information about Nyawo's plan to commit suicide.

The station had been calling pupils to apply for bursaries if their families could not afford to pay for their studies.

Yesterday more than 20 impoverished children from the province received vouchers to buy uniforms, while their school fees were deposited into their schools' accounts.

The station invested more than R100000 in the education of the poor children.

Nyawo was among those who received assistance from the station in the form of school fees and a bursary.

He will pursue his studies in mechanical engineering at Mangosuthu University of Technology.

Nyawo said were not it for iGagasi FM's intervention he would have ended his life.

"My grandmother has been struggling to give me a better life and I was tired of seeing her struggling for me. The only option was to kill myself because she could not afford to send me to university," he said.

Nyawo said getting a bursary had brought hope to his life.

"It's a beginning of new things in my life. They paid R8000 for the semester at university. I'm hoping to get a bursary."

Nyawo's grandmother, Thelma Nyawo, could not hold back her tears.

"Philani is my hope but I had been worried that he would die because I could see that something was bothering him," she said.

Phumla Ngcobo, a Grade 12 pupil at Mlokotho High School in Nongoma, also received a voucher to buy a uniform and pay her school fees of R7900 was paid.

Phumla said she had applied for a bursary after hearing promotions on the radio.

"I thought I should apply to help my father because he was battling to pay our school fees," she said.

Phumla's father, a police officer attached to King Zwelithini's security detail, is the only breadwinner in the family of eight.

"My mother is sick and my father had to borrow money to pay our school fees and medical bills for my mother. I'm grateful for what iGagasi FM have done for me," she said.

Bogatsu said it was important for the station to invest in the education of the poor.

"We know the plight of our listeners and it is a good gesture that we saved someone's future and life too.

"But it was not important for us to single out Nyawo, all we wanted to do is help the poor children with this education programme," Bogatsu said.


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