SABC1’s ‘Bona Retsang’ wins Wadada News for Kids 2015 international award

Bona Retsang’s entry into this year’s Wadada News for Kids International TV Awards has scooped first prize! The Bona Retsang submission, called “Super Madiba”, beat entries from 15 countries around the globe.

The award, which recognises excellence in television programming made especially for young people, was announced at the Wadada 2015 News for Kids Summit, held in La Paz, Bolivia, last week.

The annual summit brings together TV producers from participating countries to discuss youth-related issues and media innovations. A screening of the entrants’ programmes was followed by the awards ceremony, in which Bona Retsang took the top prize, beating hosts and 2014 winners Pica of Bolivia.

The award winners are voted for by a panel of young people and TV producers attending the summit.

The theme for the 2015 Summit was “Children deserve to know”.  Bona Retsang’s inspirational entry focused on the theme “Children deserve to know that they can be heroes in their communities” and used Mandela Day as a means of exploring the topic.

Celebrated on 18 July each year in honour of Nelson Mandela, Mandela Day is a global call to action based on Mandela’s message that every individual has the ability (and responsibility) to make a positive impact through public service. People contribute their time and skills on this day to serve others, inspire change and help make the world a better place.

In the short feature produced by Bona Retsang, three young girls from Girls and Boys Town (a children’s home in South Africa) take up the challenge to be of service to others and uplift the lives of their fellow humans.  They bake cupcakes and write inspirational cards based on the teachings of Mandela. They then dress up as superheroes and take to the streets to hand out their gifts and messages of support.

According to Bona Retsang Executive Producer Shane Potgieter, “‘Super Madiba’ is a powerful and heart-warming story about three young children who don’t have much but are nonetheless filled with hope and goodwill they want to share with others.”

“Being voted as the winners by our peers and colleagues from around the world was a humbling experience,” said Series Producer and Anchor Presenter Phethile ‘PK’ Khuzwayo.

Bona Retsang is broadcast every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on SABC1 from 16h00-16h30.

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Zack "Attack" Roberts and Marazza present Bona Retsang at the launch function.

6 February 2015. Johannesburg.

Vuselela-Media has launched a new South African youth news and current affairs magazine show “Bona Retsang” at an event in Norwood Johannesburg. Bona Retsang airs on SABC 1 every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 16:00. The content of Bona Retsang is made in collaboration with South Africa’s youth, mainly in the country’s underprivileged societies.

The show is unique in that it broadcasts content made on cell phones and entry-level camera equipment, made by high school students and youth community journalists from across the country. The aim according to Mthoba Chapi, a director of Vuselela Media (the company that makes Bona Retsang)  “is to get young people talking about the issues they face, but more importantly, showcasing young people who have solutions to these problems.”

“The viewer is a part of making the show by showing us how they have over powered the problem, hence the name Bona Retsang, a Sotho term meaning ‘Look at what we are doing’ says Shane Potgieter, a producer of the show.

The launch event for the programme, included a visit to the Bona Retsang studios where young journalists got a chance to see the creation of the show. A round table discussion, hosted by the Euorpean Journalism Center,  was held in which key project partners of the international journalism community and local project alliances was conducted to discuss what impact the project had seen amongst youth and the marganalised communities in which the project operated.

The Round Table discussion

The show is hosted by hip and well-informed young people:  Phethile Khuzwayo (Also known as P.K.) who is also the shows producer, up-and-coming hip hop artist S’phamanda “Maraza” Mhlongo and the zaney Zack “Zack Attack” Roberts.

Bona Retsang also brings the lives of those who are familiar to TV screens into the spotlight, celebrity guests, who help viewers believe that they too can overcome anything, by sharing their personal triumphs and failures.

Bona Retsang offers the viewer aspirational stories through user-generated content inspiring a ‘do-it-yourself’ attitude, combined with useful information, humor and all round entertainment.

Bona Retsang is produced by Vuselela-Media in association with Free Press Unlimited, The European Journalism Centre, loveLife and SABC Education.

Bona Retsang is on SABC1 every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 16:00, watch for yourself as the youth of Mzansi do it for themselves.

For more information about Bona Retsang visit the Vuselela-Media website or the show’s Facebook page.

Vuselela pre-launch round table Event.



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Bona Retsang gives SA youth a voice

A recent article was published in the Screen Africa Magazine, Broadcast, Film, TV, Commercials, New Media and Technology News about the work Vuselela Media is doing with Bona Retsang and our launch on SABC 1. To read the full article click on the link below.

Bona Retsang gives SA youth a voice.

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Vuselela Director Co- Authors EJC Handbook

27 January 2015

Maastricht, the Netherlands – The European Journalism Centre (EJC) has released Making the Media Work for You, a new publication and resource specifically designed for civil society organisation communicators.

Co-authored by veteran Reuters journalists Lisa Essex and Oliver Wates, and social media whiz Brandon Oelofse of Vuselela Media, Making the Media Work for You provides practical, cost-effective strategies for organisations that seek to raise and maintain their visibility and impact both in the real and virtual worlds. It also tackles some of the common misconceptions so often found between journalists and civil society organisations.

Making the Media Work for You ‘s content is multi-faceted and accessible: from hyper- local strategies like initiating and maintaining relationships with local journalists to organising social media fueled national campaigns, the Guide’s authors never stray far from the reality of limited communication resources that many civil society organisations face.

An online version of Making the Media Work for You is available for free here. Spanish, Swahili and Georgian language versions of the Guide will be released in the coming months.

Part of the European Journalism Centre’s Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored project Press Freedom 2.0, Making the Media Work for You is a collaborative effort of the consortium partners led by EJC which includes Free Press Unlimited, World Press Photo, Mensen met een Missie and the European Partnership for Democracy.

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Friday, 21 November 2014

2014 Vuselela Bona Retsang Community Journalism winners

The winners receiving their Boston City Campus bursaries. From left to right: Marazza (Show Host), Nontokozo Zulu (Boston City Campus), Linah Mganu (Best Community Journalism Report), Mcbiel Makoetsa (Best School Squad Journalism), P.K (Bona Retsang Show Host)

Vuselela Media NPC has announced the winners of the 2014 Bona Retsang Community Journalism Awards in a special awards ceremony on its television show “Bona Retsang”.

The annual awards celebrate the work of young community journalists across South Africa. The participants are high school students and young school leavers who take part in the bursary competition.  The competition is open to all community journalists in the Vuselela Media NPC network and includes journalists that shoot content using cameras on cell phones and entry-level camera equipment.

This year 7 bursaries were awarded with a total value of R210 000 for studies at any one of 40 Boston City Campuses nationwide.  Nontokozo Zulu handed over the awards on behalf of Boston City Campus.

Each year Vuselela visits more than 100 schools and works with over 3000 learners to create youth focused cellphone community journalism.  In addition it works with 25 communities across the country developing community journalists. The content created forms part of a three-times weekly broadcast of Bona Retsang, a youth news and magazine show that highlights issues important to young people in South Africa giving them a platform to be heard.

The awards categories and winners were:

Best Community Journalism Report:

1st Place, winning a R50 000 Boston City Campus Bursary was Linah Mganu from loveLife Emalathleni who created a report on “Nyope,” a dangerous street drug made from a mix of heroine and marijuana, that can also include rat poison and cleaning detergents.  2nd Place went to Anelisa Matabese, from loveLife Kwanobuhle in the Eastern Cape, for her piece on gender-based violence. 3rd place was awarded to Acornhoek community journalist Potlako Motgope for a piece on a young man who seeks forgiveness from his abusive past.  Both 2nd and 3rd place winners were awarded R25 000 Boston bursaries.

Vuselela Media Community Journalism "Best Report"

Nontokozo Zulu hands over the R50 000 rand bursary for Best Report to Linah Mganu from loveLife.












Best Public Service Announcement

The Public Service Announcement or PSA is an award given to community journalists who create a fictionalised advert that raises awareness on a specific social issue in the community. Itumeleng Lesenyeho from Kutlawanong in the Freestate won the R25 000 award for his “Drugs Destroy Lives” PSA.

Best PSA 2014

Open Category for Community Journalism

The Open Category Award is a new award added this year to accommodate journalism that takes other formats. This includes discussion, games, profiles and documentaries that have community appeal. The award is a cash prize of R2500. The Open Category Award was bestowed on grade 10 learners in the Upstart programme from Grahamstown who told the story of a disabled girl’s daily struggles in her community.

Community School Squad Award

The award for Best Community School Squad journalism was awarded to Mcbiel Makoetsa from Leshata Secondary in Orange Farm Gauteng, for his piece on the lack of facilities in township schools. He wins a cash prize and R25 000 bursary.  The 2nd place award went to Alicia Mbena of F.H. Makabela High School in Mpumalanga for her report on young peoples discrimination of albinism in township schools. Alicia was awarded a R10 000 bursary and a cash prize.   The 3rd place was awarded to Phomolo Talakatsi from Pule Leeu High in North West Province, for an inspirational piece on the affect of a feeding scheme on her school. She wins a cash prize.

Vuselela Media NPC School Squad Winner

Nontokozo Zulu hands over Boston Bursary to Mcbiel Makoetsa of Leshata Secondary in Orange Farm, Gauteng












The Special Award for Community Journalist of the Year

Vuselela encounters grass root talent across the country, and it was decided that this year, they would award a special award for Community Journalist of the year, based on consistent good work. This year Azile Elroy Maka, the community Journalist from loveLife Kwanobuhle in Uitenhage, Eastern Cape was awarded the R50 000 bursary prize.

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November, 2012 Vuselela flighted the first episode of Bona Retsang, our youth news and opinion magazine show,  on community TV. This November marks 2 years on community TV. Bona Retsang’s presenters and journalists submitted photographs of themselves as two year olds to celebrate the occasion. From Left Top: Shane Potgieter (Show Producer), PK (Show Producer/Presenter), Sihle Mbatane (Junior Journalist), Right Top: Zack Attack (Show Presenter), Sungeni Chitambo (Journalist) and Mthoba Chapi (Journalist/Vuselela Co-Director).  Happy Birthday Bona Retsang, here is to many more!


Bona Retsang turns 2

Bona Retsang Turns 2

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Vuselela Media NPC director Mthoba Chapi attended Highway Africa 2014 on behalf of Vuselela.  The annual gathering of journalists is the biggest on the African continent and held at Rhodes University in Grahamstown each year. The theme of this years Highway Africa conference was “Social Media: from the Margins to the Mainstream”.  Mthoba shares some of the insights from the conference and how learning can be applied to Vuselela.


Highway Africa 14

Mthoba Chapi


Social Media has taken over control from the newsrooms. Journalists no longer own stories. The public no longer sits back to comment at schools, homes or bars. Social Media has made it possible for me and you to get our stories across and to give our opinions about stories that touch us the most. Highway Africa 2014 was themed around Social Media.

Vuselela-Media attended the 18th annual gathering that was hosted at Rhodes University in Grahamstown on 7-8 September. Media personnel from all over the world got to experience Africa’s version of social engagement through various media platforms.


Mobile media platforms are used the most in Africa for social media engagement. There were discussions on how you can reach traditional media if you are already not making your own content cheaper. Also on how traditional newsmakers can grow their reach and user engagement on mobile platforms, mainly cellphones.

The issue of high data costs in most African countries was challenged and various mobile data companies that were present heard the call from traditional media to reduce data costs so that it becomes easier for you to access and share information.

The companies that provide the data gave their side of the story stating that data charges have reduced over the past number of years. This has been proven by how cheaper cellphones with data capability have become.

The issue of possible free wifi was also presented with the City of Tshwane launching its free wifi for the city that has already lunched in parts of the city, presenting how this will help in promoting use of social media engagement. This would also put pressure on data companies to reduce their costs.

The benefits that would arise for you and Vuselela-Media on the issue of cheaper use of social media would greatly be on how easy it would be for you to send content to us that we can broadcast on our various television platforms. You will have your voice heard, and as time goes by, it will not cost you a cent.

In the mean time we continue using our social media platforms for greater development.









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Vuselela at The Peermont Excellence Workshop

September 6, 2014

Vuselela Media NPC took part in the Peermont Excellence Workshop, held at The Ridge School,  which included schools from across Gauteng. The workshop included seminars and discussions that raised important issues around the future of young people in South Africa.  The theme of the workshop was “Born Free’s imagining the Future”.

Vuselela Media provided Bona Retsang community journalism training and worked with seven of the participating schools including Germiston High School, Lethulwazi Comprehensive,  General Smuts High, Sunward Park High, Tembisa High, Thuso-Lesedi Secondary and Unity Secondary to develop video material for the workshop. The community journalism created by these schools focused on stories of young people who were future focused and what they were doing to prepare for the future.

On the day of the workshop, Vuselela Media acted as the press team covering the event and collected stories of young people and the positive projects they were involved in.

Born Free Imagining the Future Peermont Workshop

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During May, Vuselela Media completed a 5-day training with the “Upstart” project. Our trainer Enathi Mqokeli and the group of grade 9 and grade 10 learners from schools in the Joza Township and surrounding areas of Grahamstown produced two videos.

Upstart, based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, is youth development and empowerment project. It provides opportunities for high school learners with limited access to resources to participate in a variety of programmes and activities. Using various forms of media, Upstart fosters inter-school activities as a way of breaking down racial, cultural and language barriers, and developing leadership skills amongst young people.

Grahamstown Upstart and Vuselela Media training

Vuselela Media's Enathi Mqokeli and The Grahmastown Upstart participants.

Vuselela trainer, and ex-Rhodes student, Enathi Mqokeli said that the Upstart participants were “Very inspirational” and that of the Upstart programme, “We have a young generation of budding filmmakers who will make a difference in their community and South Africa as a whole”

For anyone not familiar with the work we do at Vuselela, here are two exceptional videos from young people, about young people and some of the confronting issues they face.

Living with Disability

Young people making money

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Born Free, Imagining the Future

What does the 2024 look like? Vuselela Media NPC and the Peermont School Support Programme partner in 7 Ekuruhleni schools to understand what the future looks like for our born free generation.

Seven high schools on the east rand of Gauteng, part of the Peermont School Support Programme (PSSP), have been selected to create short videos on the theme ‘Born Free Imagining the Future’, the topic of this years Peermont Pursuing Excellence Workshop.

Vuselela Media NPC will conduct tailored workshops to get young people at PSSP schools to create videos on their ideas of what their futures look like. The storytelling workshop, run over three days, will involve young leaders, entrepreneurs and press team members of the schools.  Participating schools include: Germiston High , Tembisa Secondary, General Smuts High, Lethulwazi Comprehensive,  Sunward Park High, Thuto Lesedi High and Unity Secondary.

Vuselela’s Bona Retsang Community Journalism training equips young people with the skills to tell their stories in an engaging way using mobile devices such as cellphone and tablets. Once these videos are shot, they are edited on entry level software. The best content created is broadcast nationally as part of Bona Retsang youth news and opinion show.

The videos created by the learners during the training at these schools will exhibited at the Peermont Pursuing Excellence Workshop, to be held on the 6th of September. The workshop is an intervention to get schools and learners thinking about what the future holds and how they can start preparing pro-actively for the needs of their future.

To find out more on the Peermont School Support Programme visit their site:

Peermont School Support Programme and Vuselela Media NPC

Peermont School Support Programme and Vuselela Media NPC

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