Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) commends and awards a GLAD[1] to Daily Sun and IOL for positively reporting on children and accessing them for their views.

Daily Sun’s article titled, “Teen’s app at your service!”(06/05/2022) is written by Rapula Mancai and is about 17-year-old Kutlwano Tshatiwa who created an app which assists people in medically diagnosing themselves. The Gabonewe Secondary school pupil appears in a short video accompanying the article explaining how the app works and the accuracy it displays. Kutlwano is one of the pupils selected to compete in Eskom Expo for Young Scientists which will be taking place virtually in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States of America. Other than the video, Kutlwano’s photo where he is seen showing his app also accompanies the article.

The child is quoted in the story encouraging other children. He says, “Never give up. Don’t ever let negative peer pressure get you to end up doing wrong things.”

The second article which is written by Robin-Lee Francke is titled, “Cape Town karate kid brings home gold from league contest” (IOL, 29/04/2022) and reports on 10-year-old Qaa’id Randall who is a Karate South African (KSA) league tournament gold winner. A bright photograph accompanying the article shows the child smiling with his medal. Another photograph shows him standing next to his sensei.

The child is quoted in the article saying, “I started karate when I was six years old. My mom put me in karate, because I had anger issues and since then, karate has helped me with it. I like karate because you get to compete in tournaments, make new friends and learn different katas. It helps your focus and attention, and it is a place where I can be free.”

Both journalists do a stellar job in having the children’s voices heard in their own words instead of having adults speaking on their behalf.

The African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) which South Africa ratified in 2000 outlines in Article 7, “Every child who is capable of communicating his or her own views shall be assured the rights to express his opinions freely in all matters and to disseminate his opinions subject to such restrictions as are prescribed by the law.”[2] Well done to both journalists for adhering to this.

MMA congratulates Daily Sun and IOL for reporting that promotes children’s rights to participation and speech and, positively portrays the children involved as active citizens doing great things for their community and for the world.  We would like to encourage both media to continue reporting on stories about children and afford the children opportunities to make their voices heard when in the children’s best interest.

Written by Bantse Pelle Mokale

Edited by Lister Namumba

[1] GLADs are awarded to media for reporting on children positively and accessing them