At times of disaster, there is no more powerful medium than radio. Many think different stations are always at each other’s throats, (and in some cases that may be true), but when disaster strikes, or desperation exists, there’s no medium more equipped to galvanise and mobilise a community than radio.
And particularly, at times like this, when radio stations work together to escalate relief efforts.
Two years ago, David O'Sullivan - then at Kaya FM Breakfast - and I (Mix FM Drive in same broadcast area) put our heads and resources together, with ONE Financial Services’ generous help, to get Londani Loshaka a brand new, state-of-the-art canteen, so that they could feed the thousands of children in their community in Alexandra. Through this very informal collaboration, many others were inspired to step in and help as well!
Then, this week, through our OneWingz initiative, I approached my former producer, WR van der Merwe, now East Coast Radio’s Breakfast Show producer, after many JHB listeners to my JustPlainDrive Show were asking how they can help to provide support for the people in flood-hit KZN.
I remembered how powerful radio could be in this regard, when Capital Radio took the lead during the 1987 floods, and raised hundreds of thousands of Rands in donations and essential items for flood relief back then.
I also remembered that, during my time there, ECR would always play a leading role in the same way when any community challenge arose.
After pledging R20 000 through ECR, from our OneWingz fund towards their Disaster Relief efforts (partnering with Gift of the Givers), an anonymous JHB listener heard this and messaged to add a further R50 000!
38 years later and I am still amazed and humbled by the power of this wonderful medium!