Siyayinqoba Beat It!’s community journalists are back with a selection of relevant, compelling and engaging topics for the show’s sixth season on SABC 1. Starting off with an episode on the national HIV Counselling and Testing campaign (HCT), the largest of its kind in the world, the show examines the attitudes of young people in South Africa towards getting tested. Future episodes deal with issues like child-headed households, adherence as well as culture, traditions and customs.
Given the show’s commitment to showcasing living positively with HIV, the people interviewed are always treated with great integrity and compassion. The host, Nokubonga Yawa, and the journalists are young, dynamic people who have all been affected by HIV & AIDS and are involved in and committed to their communities.
Nokubonga, who is living with HIV, describes herself as a young and proud South African woman and activist. She sees it as her duty to educate young people, as well as fight the stigma around HIV. “I'm doing this to show that I care, not only about Khayelitsha, but also about the whole of South Africa”, she says.
Gauteng-based community journalist Portia Mogosetsi says “My knowledge of HIV & AIDS has increased and I’ve become more aware of other people’s needs in society since I have been working on Siyayinqoba Beat It!”
The current show will be the third season that is driven by community journalists. Every season, a new team is put together, trained from scratch and taught everything required to produce the show. The community journalists come from all around South Africa and are based in East London, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town and often venture to remote and rural areas. Many are HIV & AIDS activists in their own right, while others are driven by the impact the show can make on their peers.
Siyayinqoba’s main aim is to provide scientifically accurate information and often call on expert guests to clarify issues which arise in the inserts to give context to a story or issue and empower its audience. “Our vision is to inform our audience on all issues around health and HIV, especially sexually active young adults,” says Series Director Lucilla Blankenberg. “Siyayinqoba ultimately aims to inspire people to get involved in their communities and pay attention to issues, which affect our lives in South Africa.”
Siyayinqoba Beat It! is produced by Community Media Trust (CMT), a Cape Town-based NPO. It has gained accolades and millions of loyal fans since the first broadcast on Etv in 2003. The show is rated as one of SABC’s most successful shows, beating audience favourites Morning Live and 3 Talk. CMT, a not-for-profit media production company, has produced educational television in the fields of health, HIV & AIDS, education, gender-based violence and other topics of human rights and social development since 1998.
Siyayinqoba Beat It! is funded by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, UKaid from the Department for International Development, The South African Development Fund, Johns Hopkins Health and Education for South Africa and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa.
The new series of Siyayinqoba Beat It! airs on SABC 1 every Sunday at 12h30, from 7 November 2010. The stories will also feature in City Press and for the first time, on selected community radio stations in the Eastern and Western Cape.