Itumeleng Thoabala (19) who was born and raised in Windmill Park wants to be a radio jockey in the future.
Itumeleng is currently completing her final year at Hillcross Business College in a Radio Production course. Like every child growing up, Itumeleng thought she wanted to pursue a career in medicine or aviation but her passion and desire led her on a different path. “I later realised that I had no passion for those careers when I was twelve years old,” Itumeleng stated.
She grew up in an informal settlement where electricity was inadequate, so she would listen to the radio as a form of leisure with her grandmother. “My granny would put the volume on the radio on full blast, it was annoying at first but it made me the person I am today,” Itumeleng affirmed.
Whilst listening to the radio she realised that her first love was listening to Keneiloe Nkamane from Lesedi FM radio station. Itumeleng then decided to take a deodorant container and pretend to be a radio presenter, that’s how she discovered her authentic passion.
Itumeleng would like to emulate Seipati Seoke (Twasa) one day because she is an inspiration to her. She says “I would love to see myself working at Lesedi FM because I love using the Sesotho language and I’m very protective when it comes to it”. As a young individual trying to pursue a career in media, Itumeleng yearns to inform the youth about current affairs and how we can take productive action. Itumeleng would furthermore ensure she uses her platform to acquaint students from townships and rural schools about different bursaries offered by private institutions. “Many children fail to further their studies due to lack of funding and knowledge, it extends further because they don’t have alternative ways to obtain funding,” Itumeleng explains.
She believes that the qualities that make a good radio presenter/journalist are: knowing the audience with which they are engaging with and a good journalist must use social media networks to interact with people. Since the fourth industrial revolution is becoming a big part of our lives everything is going digital. Itumeleng foresees radio stations being digital and more people listening to podcasts as they are popular now, more than ever.
“Young people have lost the culture of listening to the radio, they are always focused on social media and I think it’s time for the changes,” Itumeleng states.
Like everyone else, she came across her own difficulties while trying to share her career choice with the people around her. She was told she would not fit-in in the entertainment industry. “On most days those words affected me and I started believing them,” she claims. Itumeleng’s friend was able to restore her confidence and today she’s completing her diploma and following her dreams.
By Karabo Lekgwate