Mandisa Madikane on the Impact of Journalism on HIV Empowerment

July 25, 2012

MS. GIBSON: This wonderful video is produced by Global Girl Media. For those of you that don’t know much about it, please go to their website. It is such an impressive initiative, training young, teenage girls around the world to be digital journalists and teaching them how they can harness digital journalism to inspire and affect social change. One of those journalists is now Mandisa. And I want to ask you, Mandisa, for all that you’ve gone through, I think your resilience is probably the most incredible part of this story. What led you, from this horrific experience, into journalism, and how has journalism allowed you to spread the information you want to about HIV and AIDS?

MS. MADIKANE: Firstly, I would like to thank PEPFAR, and secondly, I would like to thank the founders of Global Girl Media, because I think also what I produced and the community where I come from, we look at such opportunities that Global Girl Media gives to us, and when that opportunity came to me, I grabbed it very fast, and it’s an opportunity I don’t want to let go, because I speak for young girls who do not have voices out there. So my experience with Global Girl Media is one of the amazing things, because I think my message is getting – it’s out there very fast, globally, and I’m very surprised that my story’s been shown very far from home. So I would like to thank you all. (Applause.)

MS. GIBSON: Does it – what does the practice of journalism do for you personally? Does it give you purpose?

MS. MADIKANE: It does. It made a big impact into my life, because I never thought of journalism. I was one of those girls at school who wanted to do (inaudible) accounting. But because of at home we do not have money to do those things. And when Global Girl Media came to us as a way to – and when I was introduced to Global Girl Media, I never knew anything about camera, first of all. I never knew anything about journalism. I wasn’t interested in journalism, but when they tell us that we give training and the training was for three weeks, and for that three weeks, I have managed to do all the things. We’ve learned how to use a camera. We’ve learned how to interview people, which is something that I was never interested in. But the knowledge that I have and the knowledge that Global Girl Media does produce through young people, I’ve managed to do things like this.

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