Rural radio wins top award

ALL SMILES: Maputoland Community Radio's Simon Ntsele (centre) receives a Unicef award in New York. He is
flanked by Unicef's Karen Cirillo (left) and Andrew Stima from NGO Zisize Trust (right). Pic: Stephen Cassidy. © Sowetan.
ALL SMILES: Maputoland Community Radio's Simon Ntsele (centre) receives a Unicef award in New York. He is flanked by Unicef's Karen Cirillo (left) and Andrew Stima from NGO Zisize Trust (right). Pic: Stephen Cassidy. © Sowetan.

KWAZULU-NATAL rural community radio station - Maputoland Community Radio - has put the country, region and community radio on the world map after winning an international award for its contributions to children's programming.

KWAZULU-NATAL rural community radio station - Maputoland Community Radio - has put the country, region and community radio on the world map after winning an international award for its contributions to children's programming.

The Unicef award is granted to stations in the southern hemisphere for their contribution to International Children's Day for Broadcasting, which is held annually on the first Sunday in March.

The awards are announced in November in the United States.

"On the day we dedicated our programming for and about children," said station manager Simon Ntsele.

"We allowed children to be part of the programming where they talked about their hopes and dreams and shares information with their peers.

"This year 77 stations competed," he said.

Ntsele made the trip to New York last week where he received the award at a glittering gala dinner.

"I was proud to represent SA in the United States. It certainly proved that community radio, especially one like ours, is vital to the development of the rural communities we serve.

"The programme broadcast by children spoke about the challenges faced by children infected and affected by HIV-Aids.

"It also highlighted the reality faced by children forced to head households after their parents died.

"The children offered each other advice and were aided by a local NGO working in the area."

The station is based in north-east Kwazulu-Natal in the uMkhanyakude district and broadcasts to 119000 listeners.

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