There were several examples in a space of two days in July of Daily Sun covering children in a positive and empowering way. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is pleased to award a GLAD to five different Daily Sun journalists for their stories.
In “Two young businesswomen win!” (24/07/2018, p.14), journalist Kopano Monaheng introduces readers to the entrepreneurial minds of two grade 10 pupils, Amohelang Molefi and Gugulethu Ngwenyama, who have been “customising letters and numbers on smart devices”, a service especially appreciated by the elderly whose eyesight is poor, Amohelang says in the article. The story also highlights the work of the Junior Achievers (JA) Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Academy which runs programmes that encourage pupils to start businesses. According to the article, the business owned by Amohelang and Gugulethu won the top prize in the 2018 JA Company of the Year contest.
The second article, “Kagiso writes all about love” (26/07/2018, p.25), by Collen Mashaba, reports about 16-year-old Kagiso Gumede who writes poems which she says, “try to warn children [her age] to love in the right way…”. The story reports that Kagiso has written several poems already, one of which also “encourages the youth not to be inspired by violence”, she is quoted saying. Again, the readers of this article got a chance to read a positive portrayal of a child’s ambitions to inspire other children with her poetry and become a professional poet.
Mathews Mpete tells the story of the 14-year-old football referee, Thato Makgoga, in the article “‘Mr Ref’ at 14!” (26/07/2018, p.33). Throughout the article we see Thato being accessed and quoted, sharing with the readers his experiences of being a young referee to not only players his age but also seniors and sport legends. The article portrays Thato as being confident and in charge of the game and, someone who is not afraid to hand out red cards, “but only when necessary”. The day after this story was published, Thato’s reported idol, Victor Hlungwani responded in an article by Jabu Kumalo titled “Top referee offers to help Thato” (27/07/2018, p.3) saying he was thrilled to read about the young referee’s story and would support the teenager to keep pursuing his passion.
In the article, “Young DJ is raising the roof!” (24/07/2018, p.3), Kgalalelo Tlhoaele tells the story of 11-year old Kano Motolong and his journey to becoming a Disc Jockey at such a young age. We learn of Kano’s commitment to music and aspirations to finish school and become an electrical engineer. Tlhoaele accesses and directly quotes Kano in the article, which is accompanied by a photo of him proudly sitting next to his DJ deck.
In fact, every one of these stories was published alongside a photo of the children featured in them. We see the young businesswomen Amohelang and Gugulethu standing proud and powerful, while Kagiso the young poet is seen holding a certificate of merit for her poem ‘Segarona’. Thato, the child referee is featured in three photos of him on the field with the players and striking an authoritative pose.
Overall, the above stories do an outstanding job of not only empowering the children in them by portraying them positively but also reminding their readers of the importance of hearing children’s voices, their achievements and aspirations in the media. We look forward to reading more of such stories by Daily Sun.
By Sandra Banjac
 A GLAD is awarded to journalists for portraying children positively and celebrating their achievements