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ROXANNE JOSEPH: Seven months since the death of iconic former president, Nelson Rolihahla Mandela, South Africans gear up to spend 67 minutes of their day giving back to their country.

Nelson Mandela International Day was launched in recognition of the late statesman’s birthday, July 18, in 2009, by the UN (United Nations) General Assembly. It was in response to a call Madiba made a year earlier, when he asked the youth to “take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world’s social injustices”, according to the official Mandela Day website. “It is in your hands now,” he said.

ROFHIWA MADZENA: The Joburg Radio Days conference ended today with a focus on the youth segment of radio consumers. Rofhiwa Madzena weighs in on the debate.

The Debate
Radio today does not focus enough on the youth , according to one of the speakers on this morning’s opening panel on the final day of the 2014 Joburg Radio Days conference at Wits University. Speakers on this panel tried to outline their various approaches to attracting and servicing the youth market.

ROFHIWA MADZENA: The length of the pause a South African teenager took on television today was a little more than just awkward. She was asked, in an interview, about the significance of June 16th.

The pause led to nothing but a confession that said she did not know the significance of the day, except to say that “on this day we wear our school uniform and don’t go to school”.

That pause though was more than enough time for me to formulate my dramatic shock at the ignorance of young South Africans who now understand very little of the patriotism and hope for a bright future which was expressed by the youth of 1976.

VIOLET MDULI: How many of us have ever had “the talk”? The sex talk, with our parents. I first had the talk at the age of 12 with my grandmother. Was it awkward? Very much so. However, l am grateful to my grandmother because “the talk” shaped among other things, my knowledge on sexual related diseases and how best to prevent them. The same sadly cannot be said for everyone.

LAURIE SCARBOROUGH: Too many times have I heard the refrain “if you don’t vote, you can’t complain”. It seems a rather narrow and weakly supported view that is dropped into conversation around election time. And while my left thumb is still stained a henna brown, I thought I’d be the devil’s advocate for a day.

So firstly, as a wise comedian by the name of George Carlin once said, “If you vote, you have no right to complain.” Dear Georgie argues that as soon as you participate in the voting system, you enter into the “game”, if you will. Voting has rules, and one of those rules is that somebody wins. You have accepted the invitation to the game and played it. You legitimise the voting system, even if you disagree with it on some level, by participating. You are then responsible (or collectively responsible with the other 18 million people who voted) for the outcome of the vote, regardless of whether your party wins or not, because you accepted the rules. He argues that someone who doesn’t vote, therefore has every right to complain because they are not responsible for the scoreboard results. 

KATY SCOTT: It sits untouched in the assignments tab on Vula. You browse by every once in a while to check up on it with some vague hope that it may have disappeared. 

Oh would you be so lucky. As the due date draws closer you reassure yourself that there is still time, there is always time. With great reluctance you open it 15 hours before it is due. You start off slowly, handling it with such care. Three hours later you’re 100 words in. Somehow you’re still positive, you’ve got this. Time pushes on. The letters on your laptop screen start to dance about and you take a break from Microsoft to mindlessly scroll down some form of social media. You whatsapp a friend for encouragement, only to be disheartened by discovering that they are 3000 words in. You seek comfort in the contents of your fridge.  

ROBYN AUSMEIER: Press freedom is a crucial part of our democracy.  It enables ordinary citizens to have a say in the country.  The ability to write and speak what we feel in public is a basic human right that should be afforded to all people.  Countries across the world battle with this liberty on a daily basis and South Africa itself has a past riddled with censorship.  On May 3rd, in honour of media freedom, local and international communities celebrated World Press Freedom Day. 

World Press Day was first established by the United Nations in 1993 to reassess the role of the press in countries around the world.  Every year, there is an international conference on this date which hosts various organisations and media professionals from a range of countries. These groups come together to discuss a way forward and debate topical issues relating to media freedom.  The conference is centred on a different theme each year and this year’s theme was"Media Freedom for a Better Future: Shaping the post-2015 Development Agenda".

DEREK BUCHLER: It has taken me a while to respond to the article "Could You Lend Me Some $ugar, Sugar?" for a number of reasons, one of them being that I did not know if it was even worthy of a reply.

The contention that trading for a sugar daddy is "prostitution camouflaged as profitable companionship, but “prostitution” connotes a person offering their body as a commodity for an unworthy purpose" is what raised my hackles. Did the author of this article, slap it together as a form of titillation, a piece of warbled upper class 'gazing' at 'what the rest of them are doing'? Did 'she' even for one moment think about body as commodity and what is 'unworthy purpose'? My dear sista writer, all our bodies are commodified and paid for by whoever makes it possible for us to don our Gucci jeans and tottering heels!

The Chains are yet to be broken

Athini Majali

Athini Majali As the day approached to make a mark and challenge the current predicaments that face South Africa in the interim, I felt more than obliged to raise my voice and choose how I would like the country to be governed. Repulsed by the manner in which the word ‘democracy’ has been used as concealment for atrocities and as a method to raise political agendas, I was convinced that change was needed.

Liam Stout: For once in my university career, I managed to crawl out of bed before the break of dawn. With ID in hand, I was met outside by a fantastic sunrise, befitting for what lay before me. I was about to vote, for the very first time, as a 'Born Free’.

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