Children Want Own Broadcasting Taste

Jacaranda English medium school pupils showing their theatre group slogan that resembles FREEDOM at the culture day celebrations that was held at Monarch Customary Court in Fransistown. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Jacaranda English medium school pupils showing their theatre group slogan that resembles FREEDOM at the culture day celebrations that was held at Monarch Customary Court in Fransistown. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

Children thronged Molapo Crossing Mall on Saturday to commemorate the International Children’s Day of Broadcasting (ICDB).

A variety of activities were lined up chief among them were platforms for child to be hands on radio presenters, take up both radio and TV interviews, do music performances, poetry recital, drama and dance.

Legakwe Sola, 15 years, describes the event as quite memorable and impressive for her as it ushered in hope for children’s broadcast participation in Botswana. “I am really impressed with changes that are occurring in our country. Being given an opportunity to engage and express our views, in broadcast channels such as radio and TV, is very interesting because most of the times we always listen to older people talking on our behalf,” says Sola.  She is grateful to the fact that children’s talents were showcased and she met other gifted young people at the event.

“This country is a gold mine for talent which is not yet fully exploited,” she adds.

Tavonga Mushushuti is a broadcast fanatic who never misses Yarona FM’s Flight 6210. The youthful radio station is his favourite locally. He objects to inadequate children’s programming in broadcast media, as the situation limits children’s participation, hence starving their (children’s) voice and opinion in many issues.

“The time has come for local broadcasters not to assume that children are of cartoons only, nowadays children are more knowledgeable, they know more things than adults do,” says the 16 year old lad. 

Tavonga proposes more of children’s programmes, and that scheduling needs to be cognisant of their school hours.

“Our voices need to be heard,” he says.  Tumelo Mmono, 15 years is excited that the day promoted the right of children to be heard and to participate simultaneously. He says as (future) world leaders, it is critical that they have platforms such as this one to express their views.

“It’s a really good event as it allows us to express our voices, talent and emotions,” says Tumelo.

He finds broadcast an incredibly interesting platform and likes news programmes the most.  Tlamelo’s interest lies in music, and he is still to make his choices regarding how he marries music and broadcast media as a profession.  Former chairperson of Children’s Consultative Forum, Karabo Loeto says it is worrisome that most of initiatives aimed at enhancing children’s participation are taken by guardians, government or the private sector.

The 17 year old says children want to be the critical players in such decisions as the person with the best interest of the child is the child.

“Our voices count in government and every aspect of life,” she says. “But this does not mean that when you get home you have to shout at your parents and do things that are not morally right,” The commemoration was under the theme “My Voice Count too”, and Yarona FM, Duma FM, Btv, Radio Botswana and RB2 “tuned into kids” as children were given an   opportunity to actively drive broadcast programmes.

Organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the main objective of the event was to highlight the importance of child participation as spelt out in Article 12 of the Convention of the Rights of the child (CRC) which asserts that children and young people have the right to freely express their views and that there is an obligation to listen to children’s views.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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