Voices of the Youth

Last week, Project 90 Club members were taking part in an exciting workshop run by Lee Middleton, an American journalist based in Africa for the past five years, and Mbali Vilakazi, an award winning performance poet and radio host, from the Children’s Radio Foundation based in Cape Town. The club members were in the process of creating three podcasts which will be broadcast on SAFM in December on the issue of climate change, coinciding with the COP16 meeting in Cancun, Mexico. The aim of the project was to give youth the opportunity to speak up about their concerns on this very important topic.

 In addition to gaining more knowledge on the subject of climate change and it’s impacts, Nkosinathi and Thulisa from Rhodes High School and Brandon, Nadine and Kimico from South Peninsula High School learnt some valuable radio interview techniques; asking open questions, using the recording equipment correctly and speaking confidently into the mic and to the interviewee.

 Their task for the afternoon was to interview the public. Armed with the question ‘Do you think you are contributing to climate change and why?’ the club members set out to achieve their objective. It was interesting to see the different responses from the range of people they spoke to. One person admitted he’d never heard of climate change, another knew they were contributing to it but didn’t know how to lessen their impact.

 One of the most fascinating things we learnt that day was in Xhosa, there is no word for ‘Climate Change’. In order to communicate this clearly, one must describe exactly what it is. I certainly know in English it’s a very difficult concept to have to explain. Now that’s a challenge for the youth of today – to create a word for climate change in Xhosa and other local languages in South Africa. Who’s up for the task?

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