The company’s support will enable five young people at the Wits Radio Academy to gain skills they can use at their stations, and in the longer-run to build careers for themselves

Five Wits students are realising their dream of becoming the next big thing on the airwaves thanks to Kagiso Media. The radio division of Kagiso Media has committed five bursaries to Wits Radio Academy for the 2019 academic year. Nick Grubb, Kagiso Media Radio CEO, says nurturing young radio talent remains crucial for the success of radio stations.

“We will win or lose in the competitive arena of radio entertainment via our talent – both in front of the mic and behind the scenes. We need compelling people to be compelling to audiences.

“We have partnered with the Wits Radio Academy for many years and these new bursaries reflect our desire to provide tangible opportunities for their excellent graduates,” Grubb said.

Radio remains a popular medium in South Africa. According to the latest Broadcast Research Council RAM release, radio reaches 90% of all South Africans, with some 35-millon listeners tuning in any time during the week.

The bursaries will assist young people like Thando Masinga who was a 2018 bursary recipient, with a background in community radio but was unable to further her studies without assistance.

“I started radio in the Vaal and later in Eldorado Park and was never able to afford varsity fees until applying for this bursary. I’ve worked since high school, so it was a true blessing to be able to study at Wits. I look forward to putting the skills to use and ploughing back into community radio.”

She says the course has been life-changing for her.

“It helped me sharpen my passion and taught me a lot I didn’t know about radio. The practicality of the content and wonderful lecturers also helped put a lot into perspective,” she said..

Prof Franz Kruger, Wits’ Head of Department for Journalism and Media Studies, says the university’s Advanced Radio Certificate has been called the most effective support for skills development in the community radio sector.

“We are very grateful that Kagiso is enabling additional people from the sector to benefit from its uniquely practical approach. The Certificate course has shown itself to be an important talent pipeline for both community and commercial radio, and for this reason alone deserves investment. Kagiso’s support will enable five young people to gain skills they can use at their stations, and in the longer-run to build careers for themselves. Some students have gone on to establish their own radio stations or online streaming platforms,” Kruger said.

The total value of the bursaries is R105,000 (R21,000.00 for each student).