We’ve all heard the saying, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

RX Radio takes this to heart by giving a voice to those who are the most vulnerable and voiceless in our society – children.

This year, which celebrates its fifth anniversary, the radio officially went on the air for the first time on Saturday, May 20, 2017.

Based at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital, it is one of the first radio stations in the world to have children and young reporters broadcasting from a hospital.

RX Radio broadcasts 24 hours a day, live and pre-recorded programs, including shows, music, podcasts and radio logs.

The station transmits sound and images via the hospital’s internal television system to all departments and public areas of the hospital.

It also streams the same content live on its website and app.

But Noluyolo Ngomani, station manager of RX Radio, says they are much more than just a radio station.

“We are also an advocacy unit, advocating for children’s rights, advocating for health promotion, health education and just to make sure children’s voices are widely heard.”

She says the main aim of the radio station is to create a platform for communication between hospitalized children, their parents and healthcare workers.

“Just to provide space for them to talk about issues that are important to them – especially children with chronic illnesses. They are rarely given the opportunity to talk about anything, even less about their health, their fears, their worries.

Ngomani says the station gives them the opportunity to be part of the conversation, to talk about advocacy work, children’s rights and the provision of services to them at the hospital.

RX Radio journalists Yaseen Blankenberg, Imaad Gopaul and Radley Theunissen.

She says they also wanted to help with the healing process of the children in the hospital.

“To create a space where they can be motivated, a platform where they can be empowered as children and, for future purposes, contribute to their development. Most of our reporters have now decided to open their careers and become journalists.

One of them is Emily Olivier.

The 14-year-old, who lives in Ottery, has been a reporter for RX Radio for four years. She explains that she does not go to the hospital, but often accompanies her twin sister, Hannah, to the hospital for appointments. Currently, she hosts a show called “Let’s talk with Emily”.

She says that before she started at RX Radio, she had no idea how much she would like to be in front of the microphone and the cameras.

“But now I love it and would really like to make a job out of it one day,” says Emily.

Radley Theunissen, 13, from Kenilworth, has been a journalist for six months. Diagnosed with a stage 3 brain tumor in 2018, he says he saw the other journalists in action during a visit and took an interest in them.

A self-described introvert, he says his first interview was nerve-wracking, although he cites it as his favourite.

“It was with my brother Leighton, 24, and my mom, Tania,” Radley pointed out.

“I asked them about things like what it’s like to be in the hospital with me. I always wanted to ask such questions, but I never really had time to have this kind of conversation with them.

Yaseen Blankenberg (12) from Hanover Park has been involved with the radio station since last September.

His favorite interview is also the one he had with his mother, Feroza, “because my mother means everything to me and I love her”.

Yaseen, who also wants to be a radio journalist when he grows up, says the experience has helped him talk about his feelings.

“I used to be shy to talk about my feelings, but now I’ve built them up so I can say what I feel and what I like and what I don’t like. My mum always asked me, ‘It’s ok, that’s it. go ?’ and I would just say yes, even though I wasn’t well.

Imaad Gopaul (10) from Pelican Park is a regular on radio reports. He joined the RX Radio team when he was only four years old.

Imaad says he was born upside down.

“I have a heart problem, so they had to operate on me because my hands were blue. They had to operate on me three times – once this year.

Today, Imaad does weather, traffic and sports reporting. He says his experience as a journalist has given him so many stories to share with his classmates.

“At school, when it’s story time, I can say that I met the president (Cyril Ramaphosa) in 2019. Hearing such stories, everyone in my class will be shocked.”

RX Radio has appealed to funders, philanthropists and the community at large to support the station with a donation.

“Children’s voices are still rarely supported, but they are needed in every conversation,” says Ngomani.

  • For more information about the radio station, visit www.rxradio.co.za