European Journalism Centre’s project partner in South Africa, Vuselela-Media, officially launched a new youth news and current affairs magazine show “Bona Retsang” at an event earlier this month in Johannesburg. Part of EJC’s multi-year commitment to strengthening media literacy in the country, Bona Retsang will begin airing on South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Channel 1 every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 16:00. The content of Bona Retsang is made in collaboration with South Africa’s youth, mainly in the country’s underprivileged communities.
The show is unique in that it broadcasts content made on cell phones and entry-level camera equipment, made by high school students and youth community journalists from across the country. The aim according to Mthoba Chapi, a director of Vuselela Media (the organisation that creates Bona Retsang) “is to get young people talking about the issues they face, but more importantly, showcasing young people who have solutions to these problems.”
“The viewer is a part of making the show by showing us how they have over powered the problem, hence the name Bona Retsang, a Sotho term meaning ‘Look at what we are doing’ “ says Shane Potgieter, a producer of the show.
The launch event for the programme, included a visit to the Bona Retsang studios where young journalists got a chance to see the creation of the show. A round table discussion was held in which EJC and other organizations of the international journalism community and local project alliances was conducted to discuss what impact the project had seen among youth and the marginalised communities in which the project operates.
The show is hosted by hip and well-informed young people: Phethile Khuzwayo (also known as P.K.) who is also the shows producer, up-and-coming hip hop artist S’phamanda “Maraza” Mhlongo and Zack “Zack Attack” Roberts.
Bona Retsang also brings the lives of those who are familiar to TV screens into the spotlight. This includes celebrity guests who help viewers believe that they too can overcome anything, by sharing their personal triumphs and failures. The show offers the viewer aspirational stories through user-generated content inspiring a ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude, combined with useful information, humor and all round entertainment.
Bona Retsang is produced by Vuselela-Media in association with EJC as well as Free Press Unlimited, loveLife and SABC Education and is part of EJC’ s multi-year Press Freedom 2.0 consortium, a global media development programme funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.