Izwi Labahlali episode 1

Khaya Thonjeni (left) and Sinalo Nkatazo presenting the first episode of Izwi Labahlali (The Voice Of The Citizens)


Izwi Labahlali (The Voice Of The Citizens) is Grahamstown's first radio show whose content is, for the most part, produced and presented by citizen journalists.

The show gives newly trained citizen journalists who have completed a 6-week course in the Grocott's Mail Citizen Journalism Newsroom an extra platform (in addition to Grocott's Online) to report on what's going on in their communities.

The show was aired for the very first time on Wednesday November 5 from 17h00 to 17h30. The debut show, co-hosted by Khaya Thonjeni (Schools Outreach Officer at the School of Journalism and Media Studies at Rhodes University) and Grocott's Mail citizen journalist Sinalo Nkatazo, included mostly news and current affairs content, for example a segment relating to Grahamstown's new traffic lights.

As a way of encouraging citizens to take part, an SMS competition was held to encourage residents to share their views on the topic. Mavis from Xolani won R30 worth of airtime for her SMS. She texted: "Da robots are not the solution, instead they inconvenience us, da 4 way stop is the best."

"I was nervous but in the end it all went well," said an excited Nkatazo.

"I can say the first pilot of Izwi Labahlali went well because we managed to include the citizens in the choice of topics, production and presenting," added Thonjeni.

Grocott's Mail new media editor Michael Salzwedel said: "This show plays a significant role in realising our aim of making news something that is increasingly consumed - and produced - by all citizens of Grahamstown. We hope it will get people talking about issues that really matter to them, so that they can feel more of a sense of belonging in their communities." 


  • Length: 31:32 minutes (7.22 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Mono 22kHz 32Kbps (CBR)

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