Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) commends Sowetan for a positive article about a young boy who “lives his dream on stage.” The article, titled “Great actor comes in dynamite size” (Sowetan, 22/03/2013, p.23), reported how 10-year-old, Karabo Oberem is a talented actor and the only child who was nominated in the ‘best newcomer’ category for the 10th annual Naledi Awards.
The article by Zoë Mahopo is deserving of a GLAD because young Karabo is accessed throughout the piece and is portrayed in a positive and empowering light. Mahopo described Karabo’s history of acting and the way in which he manages to cope with acting and keep up with school work. According to the article, Karabo’s involvement with The People’s Theatre productions resulted in him “spending only one term in school” yet he “still managed to pull off an 80% aggregate” Mahopo quoted Karabo.
Portraying Karabo as a resilient and positive minded lad, Mahopo reported that although Karabo did not win the award, he was still very happy to be a part of the event. “An articulate and confident speaker, Karabo, who did not take home the award, says ‘being nominated is an honour on its own.’”
It is important to give children the opportunity to share their views and to also take note of their achievements.
By providing children and young people with opportunities to speak for themselves – about their hopes and fears, their achievements, and the impact of adult behaviour on their lives – media professionals can remind the public that children deserve to be respected as individual human beings.
MMA Guidelines for Reporting on Children in the media also state that: “The way in which the media represents or even ignores children can influence…how the rest of society regards children.”
We congratulate Sowetan and Zoë Mahopo for this feel good article focusing on a young, energetic boy who is fulfilling his dreams.