After working at Izwi Lomzansi FM for 11 years, Andile Ngcobo walked away to establish his own online radio station in an effort to give people living with disabilities a platform.
Radio presenter, Andile Ngcobo Ngcobo’s, who lives with albinism, started saving money for this project 10 years ago. The station is based in Cornubia, Durban and has already employed 30 people who include radio presenters, technical producers and producers to work at Siyaviva Online Radio.
According to Ngcobo finding presenters for his station was easy since he runs Masiqoqane Albinism Foundation. Some of the presenters were physically challenged, while others had hearing problems.
The activist said he was excited that his dream had finally come to fruition. He said since he joined Izwi Lomzansi, which is dubbed KZN’s number one community radio station, he always wanted to establish a platform for people living with disabilities because of their seclusion.
“What I have started is a platform to unite the whole community, educate people about the life lived by people living with disabilities and discuss their challenges and life in general. I started the station because I know all the struggles faced by people living with different disabilities,” said Ngcobo.
Siyaviva Online Radio plans to have various programmes, including a cooking show that will show blind people that they can also cook. “What we have done as the station is to link the online radio station with Siyaviva TV1 which is a YouTube Channel. When our presenters are on-air people will be able to see them on our TV channel,” said the 29-year-old.
Dr Nondela Mzimba Dlamini made a noble contribution to the new online station by buying them broadcasting equipment worth R40,000. Over and above, Ngcobo believes that the killing of people living with albinism and other disabilities could be addressed if they could be given a platform in the mainstream television and radio broadcasting.
“My wish is to see SABC radio stations giving more people living with disabilities or someone who has albinism a platform. A lot of perceptions could change. People will realize that those people are also human beings and start taking them seriously because they are talented,” said Ngcobo.