“We need to tell our community that we are still here and we are still fighting”, declares Isherene Siebritz, while describing the role of Bush radio in promoting women’s rights. Find below an audio highlighting eight exciting stories of women of different ages and backgrounds who came together on Bush Radio to make a difference in the lives of their community members.
To know more about Bush Radio visit the web site of the project: https://en.unesco.org/radioict/radios/bush-radio
Lusanda Bill (News Editor): Working at Bush Radio has given me confidence as a woman. I was appointed as a news editor at the age of 24, and that was something that few of my peers in my age have ever achieved. Media as a whole told me to speak up and remember that my view points are also important.
Imogen Vollenhoven (News Reader): I’m Imogen and I’m woman. I’m woman because even through my tears I smile. I’m woman because even though life kills my spirit, I rise. I’m woman, because even through all the burdens, I see the smile of my child. I’m woman, because even after all the hurt I still see love. I’m woman, because even after all the pain I still stand, and working at a community radio such as Bush Radio has told me the value of selfless service.
Danielle Buise (Morning Cruise Presenter): I think the most important thing that I’ve learnt is that radio gives you an opportunity to speak with other women. For example, like Annie Lennox, who is obviously a world renowned philanthropist and I quite admire that. It is that you have a voice. I think that we take that for granted, because the masses in general, while they have voices, they don’t have the opportunity to have their voices heard. So I realized that you are saying something on this platform, and you need to be conscious of what it is that you are saying, simply because you have a wider audience and your voice is heard by more people. So you have an opportunity to make a greater impact, and I think that’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learnt while I’ve been here. It makes me more conscious of what I’m saying and the message that my listeners receive during the show.
Busisiwe Mtabane (Sakhisizwe Presenter): For me, being at Bush Radio has been a very empowering experience. As a South African young black woman I have had an opportunity to engage with some of the powerful women. Some of them have been involved in the fight against apartheid; some are currently working towards women’s empowerment, women like Mama Delina, Cheryl Roberts and others. So I think, Bush Radio is the best place to learn, firstly, and also it gives you this opportunity to express yourself as an individual.
Yugendree Naidoo (Sakhisizwe Producer): Being a producer at Bush Radio has really been a great opportunity because it’s afforded be the ability to be an equal to my male counterparts in media. We’re given the same opportunities as our male counterparts in the sense that we produce, we get to present, we learn to use the disks as well in terms of engineering skills. So they don’t discriminate against women, here we are given the same opportunities as our male counterparts. We are seen as equal, which is I think so important.
Isherene Siebritz (Marketing): I work for Bush Radio in the Marketing Department, and my role in the media at the moment is advertising Bush Radio, getting the branding out there for the community to know what is going on. Sometimes it has some hardships and challenges, and other times it is exciting and thrilling. Especially with Bush Radio because it’s a community radio station, we need to tell our community that we are still here and we are still fighting.
Brenda Leonard (Managing Director): Bush Radio has taught me everything I know about radio and media. When I first started 19 years ago at Bush Radio, I was an anti-apartheid activist and worked in the struggle organizations. The first day, I remember, when I came to Bush Radio, everybody was very excited about the disk that arrived. I was thinking: “Why are people going on about a disk, it’s just a piece of wood and you use it just to write on”, and eventually people said: “Aren’t you going to see the disk?”, and I went and I looked at the disk, and it was a mixing disk! And that actually showed that I knew absolutely nothing about radio. I think, over the years I have made a point of knowing each piece of equipment and in that way developed my radio and media skills. So thank you to Bush Radio.
Natalie Malgas (Everyday People Co-Presenter): Co-hosting Everyday People on Bush Radio has allowed me to experience the media industry in South Africa for what it is, and not just in theory as we were taught at university. I’m encouraged to ask the tough questions, find the facts and wrestle with reality. As a young woman of color today, I realize that I was afforded opportunities because of the sacrifices made by many before my time. Some I may never have the opportunity of meeting and thanking personally. But by being my best self I pay tribute and thank all the women who came before me.