Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is happy to award a GLAD[1] to The Citizen for its article, “High-performance pupils” (11/04/2019, p.5) which highlights the achievement of the grade 12 pupils involved and accesses them for their views.

 The article tells the story of matric pupils at a newly launched engineering school in Soshanguve (Soshanguve Engineering School of Specialisation) who successfully assembled a car in three weeks. The journalist, Rorisang Kgosana, notes how the pupils will be able to walk away having gained skills and knowledge of assembling a car, after having successfully rebuilt a BMW and a go-cart. It is reported that the BMW had been involved in a collision previously, but the pupils took it in and gave it a transformational facelift, fitting it with a new engine and car parts and converting it into a bakkie in a space of three weeks.

One of the pupils who worked on the project, 17-year-old Nkhangweleni Magari, is quoted saying, “We would knock off at 8pm and come in on Saturdays from 8am to 6pm. We learned all of these skills from our teacher because we do mechanical automotive engineering, so the knowledge we gained daily helped us to put this together.” 

Another pupil who worked on the car, Phumlile Wiso, is quoted as saying, “I have always been interested in motion and always wondered how a car moves. Rather than just enjoy the ride, I was interested in mechanical engineering.” 

The article is accompanied with a picture of Nkhangweleni standing in the vehicle she co-assembled flanked by [then] Gauteng education MEC, Panyaza Lesufi and Gauteng Premier, David Makhura together with other officials and schoolmates who can all be seen celebrating her and her schoolmates. This, together with how the journalist has written the article, portrays the children in a positive manner where they are both the heroes and centre of attention in the media and society that privileges adult-related stories and issues.

MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media[2] encourage journalists to access children and allow them to participate in the news, more so when the article highlights their achievements or when it is in their best interest to be accessed. This is important in challenging negative stereotypes about children that suggest they cannot and should not speak in matters that affect them as their views do not matter.

MMA commends The Citizen and encourages it to continue featuring children’s stories in their publication and to further continue accessing them when it is in their best interest.

Azola Dayile


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



The following is the journalist’s response to the commentary;

WOW. That’s nice. Thank you.