Every week a group of bubbly South African teens crowd into a studio to play hip-hop music and trade views on neighbourhood gun crime for their community radio show.
For them, these are not remote topics. The stories they discuss are devastatingly close to home for the young broadcasters — one reporter’s father was shot dead on her birthday, while another is the daughter of a reformed gun-wielding criminal.
The 20-odd teenagers who host Alex FM’s weekly “Bigger Than Life” radio show are determined to help stem the violence that touches so many lives in their densely populated and crime-ridden Johannesburg township of Alexandra.
“I can assure you that every single child of Alexandra can be a living testament … every night, from Friday to Sunday, or even sometimes on weekdays, we always hear gunshots — it is like an always thing,” 16-year-old radio host Jennifer Ngobeni told AFP.