A PanSALB Multilingualism Awards Nomination for VUTFM’s multifaceted voice behind Current Affairs Show.
By: Puleng Maphisa – 08 February 2024
If being multifaceted was a person, without a doubt, that would be Thabo Difero! He is an Assistant Registrar in the Registrar’s Division at the Vaal University of Technology by day, and in the evening from 18:00 – 20:00 every weekday, he steers the Centre Stage Show, a Current Affairs slot on VUTFM.
Asked when did the radio bug bite him, he says he first found his passion for radio in 2020 amidst the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic. Initially drawn to music and magazine shows, fate had other plans as he found himself assigned to the realm of current affairs and talk shows. Despite lacking initial experience and passion for the genre, Thabo’s dedication and time investment saw these unfamiliar territories flourish within him, marking a point of no return in his broadcasting career.
Thabo’s shows are predominantly presented in vernacular, resonating deeply with Vaal residents while also accommodating a diverse audience with various linguistic backgrounds. The transformation of his radio career was fuelled by creativity, innovation, and lateral thinking, finding a perfect outlet for his hobbies and a space to connect with a broader audience.
Collaborating with his colleague Oupa Sefatsa, also a part of the Current Affairs presenters, Thabo emphasizes the importance of hunger for information to attract listeners. Staying informed involves keeping up with new developments through reading, watching, and listening to various media platforms. Their dedication to constant research and networking with professionals ensures the relevance and impact of their shows.
Although VUTFM is a community radio station, Thabo and Oupa transcend local boundaries by addressing national and international issues, given the diverse student population at VUT. They recognize the critical role radio plays in providing a platform for society to engage, discuss, and propose applicable solutions to existing problems, thereby contributing significantly to cultural enhancement and the evolution of new perspectives.
Thabo and Oupa’s commitment to promoting linguistic diversity has earned them a nomination for the PanSALB Multilingualism Awards for 2023-2024. This prestigious award acknowledges individuals who champion multilingualism, fostering social cohesion and nation-building through media and community engagement. PanSALB, short for the Pan South African Language Board, is an organisation in South Africa established to promote multilingualism, to develop the eleven (11) official languages, and to protect language rights in the country.
Expressing their gratitude, the pair attribute their success to their loyal listeners and the unwavering support from VUTFM. Their journey has culminated in being selected as nominees for the PanSALB awards, a testament to the hard work and dedication they invest daily in making their show a success.
VUT congratulates Thabo and Oupa for their well-deserved nomination, recognizing their significant contribution to the PanSALB 2023-2024 radio awards. The award ceremony is set to take place on the 29th of February 2024 in KwaZulu-Natal, an event they eagerly anticipate as a culmination of their tireless efforts and passion for radio broadcasting.