The Herald (South Africa)

Radio show host not all talk

Busy student with passion for community upliftment loves getting stuck in to help others

- Amir Chetty chettyam@tisoblacks­

TACKLING a university degree, getting involved in community service and hosting his own radio show are all in a day’s work for Vuyolwethu Kwindla.

Starting his community service work at a young age, Kwindla, 20, found himself regularly involved with projects as a member of the Muir College Interact Club.

“I am passionate about uplifting the area [KwaNobuhle, where he grew up] and whenever I see something wrong I try to help,” he said.

“I see a lot of potential in that community. The people just need a big break, so when I see something I can get involved in, I put my full force into it.”

Kwindla, who is studying for a degree in accounting and lives at a student housing complex in Summerstra­nd, was nominated in the youth category of The Herald Citizen of the Year competitio­n.

He has been involved in a number of community projects, including working with national NGO Love Life since 2013.

In Grade 10 at the time, he first approached Love Life with the intention of joining a youth radio station it was running then.

“I applied for the job and went through the interview process.

“I was accepted and it just took off from there,” he said.

“On the show, we would talk about a variety of topics like bullying and how to adjust to school and new environmen­ts.”

Kwindla said he would be part of the show every Saturday morning, before rushing off to school where he had sport commitment­s.

He also assisted the centre in other activities like hosting sports days and giving motivation­al talks for younger children.

He now hosts his own radio show, called “The Antidote”, which airs on Madibaz Radio on Mondays to Thursdays from 1pm to 3pm.

“To me, radio is fascinatin­g because you can bring up any topic and engage with the people, hear their opinions and spark conversati­on.”

He said he had helped matric pupils in the area last year with their schoolwork and still assisted pupils with maths and accounting over some weekends.

“I see a lot of children here [in KwaNobuhle] who are very dedicated to their schooling, and I know what they have to go through, leaving home early in the morning and returning late at night all in the name of obtaining an education, so I do what I can to help them.”

He and some friends started gathering donations from the community after a neighbour’s house was burnt to the ground earlier this year.

“Through the help of the community, we were able to collect many items including mattresses, clothing and food for the family.”

He also assisted a car wash with funds – of his own and from donations – to stay in business after the vacuum cleaner and high-pressure cleaner they had borrowed were claimed back by their owner.

Kwindla believes the biggest problem facing the people of KwaNobuhle is a lack of motivation, and he hopes to inspire young people to stay in school, as he did.

“Some of them think they are too old for school, but that is not the case, they just need to try.

“Education is freedom, and you need it to free yourself.”

He said his biggest motivation was the response he received from people he helped.

Olwethu Manell, 20, who nominated Kwindla, said he was an inspiratio­n to many young people in the community.

“He has such a passion and drive for community work. To see how far he has come, what he has done, and thinking forward to what is still to come, makes me very proud.”

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 ?? Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN ?? GOOD EXAMPLE: Vuyolwethu Kwindla tries to fill needs he sees in his community
Picture: FREDLIN ADRIAAN GOOD EXAMPLE: Vuyolwethu Kwindla tries to fill needs he sees in his community
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