Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is delighted to award a GLAD[1] to Sowetan for its article, “’I’ve only seen him on TV’ “: Zinhle,7, overjoyed to meet Ramaphosa” (26/09/2021) which highlights a seven-year-old girl’s excitement to have had a chat with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The article which is written by Amanda Khoza tells the story of young Zinhle Mchakazana, a seven-year-girl from Ekurhuleni who dreams of becoming a doctor one day and who wanted badly to meet President Ramaphosa. In the article, the child’s mother says that Zinhle had been crying non-stop because she wanted to meet Ramaphosa.

The story has extensive quotes from Zinhle, highlighting her conversation with the President when she did meet him. She is quoted saying, “Ramaphosa said to me I should go to school and grow up to be an ANC member”.

The child is then quoted again sharing her feelings after meeting the President. She says, “I’ve only seen him on TV. I was happy when he carried me. He gave me R480. I’m going to…buy school clothes.”

While MMA cannot comment on the President giving the child money, we are pleased that Sowetan reported this story with the child’s voice. This was against the norm observed where children hardly speak in coverage involving them.[2]  

Congratulations to Sowetan and Amanda Khoza! It is always great reading articles where children’s voices are included.  We look forward to reading more articles which include children’s voices during the election period.  Well done!

Written by Jacques Ndong

Edited by Lister Namumba

[1] A GLAD refers to an article where the rights and welfare of children have been promoted.