Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is delighted to give a GLAD[1] to SowetanLIVE for its article, “Soweto genius scoops bronze in maths contest” (05/10/2020) which highlights a 17-year-old-boy’s achievement. In the story, the child is interviewed on winning a bronze medal at the 61st International Mathematics Olympiad.

The article, written by Patience Bambalele, tells the story of young Kgaogelo Bopape who has managed to secure a bronze medal during an international mathematics competition. The grade 12 from Horizon International High School represented not only his school but South Africa at the event. According to the article, Bopape developed his love for mathematics when he was still doing grade eight.

The story quotes Bopape, highlighting his commitment and passion for the subject. The journalist notes that Bopape will be attending university next year and has made it very clear that his next focus is to study computer science.  

Bopape was quoted saying, “At first, I did not think that I would come back with any medal this year. I had to go an extra mile by improving my preparation. I did research looking for similar international mathematics competitions and I started practicing them to improve my game. It took me the whole year to prepare for the competition.”

The journalist reports on Bopape’s story in a manner that suggests that children can achieve amazing and great things for themselves and make their country proud. The journalist also portrayed the child as an achiever, a role that is empowering for children. A beautiful picture of Bopape with the bronze medal worn around his neck accompanies the story.

MMA’s 2020 research showed that only 7% of stories about children accessed children for their views.[2] Therefore, MMA awards this story a GLAD because the journalist goes against this trend of ignoring children’s voices in stories about them.

MMA encourages SowetanLIVE to continue to access children’s views and share the children’s perspectives in media coverage of them, especially when it is in their best interest. Well done!

By Jacques Ndong

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

[2] Report to be made available on