The question is, should the public broadcaster do what private radio stations like Radio 702 does? Radio 702 did exactly that to me several times. One time I wanted to challenge Hope Papo of the ANC who during a talk show said that journalists at journalism schools were not being taught to portray Africa in a positive light. Whose role is it to develop a curriculum that teaches African reality? Is it not Papo’s ruling ANC? In fact, as Sali pointed out, teaching positively about Africa should start at kindergarten, then primary and to high school and not at journalism schools.
If Siki Mgabadeli’s recent morning talk show on SAFM radio is anything to go by, then there’s no South African identity. Her predecessor, Tebogo Matima also had a discussion on that topic in the past and was equally befuddled, completely bamboozled. It is sad that the public broadcaster is used to trivialize issues of national importance. Matima and Mgabadeli betrayed their dilettantism. They really dabbled with a subject of national importance. Moreover, Mgabadeli’’s show was replete with cliché’s and anecdotes. She kept on asking, “Do South Africans have an identity”?
An identity in this context refers to who or what South Africans are, the characteristics determining who or what they are. There must be something that makes South Africans who or what they are, something common among them, an identity. What is it? A passport, as suggested on Mgabadeli’s show? A forged one also? Or a myriad of other preposterous and nebulous things that were brought up on that show which have nothing do with our national identity?