New season of TV health show starts Friday

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On Friday, the ninth season of documentary series Siyayinqoba (Beat It), which focuses on health issues, was launched at the White Space Rooftop Bar in Salt River. It will air on SABC1 from 6 October.

When it started in 1999, Siyayinqoba focused on people living with HIV/AIDS, but the series later extended into other issues. The new season features documentaries put together by four young women who run Girl Clubs in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The clubs, facilitated by the Community Media Trust (CMT), the organisation behind Siyayinqoba, linked young women and mentors at weekly meetings to discuss issues they faced in their communities. The women were trained to research, develop and produce content for their documentaries in CMT’s community journalism programme.

Ntombizodwa Gcabashe, 24, a trainee content producer, said her experience in the programme had been “challenging but fun”. She said the most challenging part was finding characters in her community who would be willing to share their stories of financial difficulties, gender-based violence, teenage pregnancy and sexual violence on national television.

Another trainee content producer, Siphindile Ngubane, 22, said she had always wanted to be a journalist and the programme had given her hands-on experience.

Some of the women featured in the documentaries were also present at the launch.

Sanelisiwe Malinga, 26, said she ran a campaign focused on educating women on reusable sanitary towels, especially aimed at women who could not afford pads. “Both women and men need to be educated when it comes to periods. They need to know that there are other alternatives available to them, and men can also teach their daughters, sisters or mothers about these alternatives,” said Malinga.

Lungile Ngubane, 25, told GroundUp her story of becoming a businesswoman. She had opened an internet cafe in her home in Edendale, Pietermaritzburg. She said her home was near several primary and high schools and learners often needed to print or photocopy documents.

“I am currently using my uncle’s laptop and printer … The only thing I own is my photocopy machine,” said Ngubane. She said she hoped that after the episode went on air “people will assist” her with the business.

Siyayinqoba (Beat It) Season 9 will air every Friday at 2pm on SABC1.

GroundUp is a project of Community Trust Media (CMT)

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