Noor Janekie – South Africa

Date: August 24, 2015
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It is very educational, humbling and an eye opener indeed!

Noor is a vibrant, active and probably the most excited community radio station manager in the Limpopo region. Noor has traveled to many countries and describes himself as a versatile manager. He says the SADC protocol DVD and a short story called Dump City captured his attention and made him realise that women are hard workers. “As I was watching the SADC protocol DVD, I got a sense that women are tired of being sidelined and that there are men out there who are willing to be part of the change that is necessary.”

Noor is now a full-time station manager of the troubled Mokopane Community Radio. Before his appointment the station had a management and board reshuffle, this was a phase he describes as a huge setback in advancing gender issues in the media. “We have been disadvantaged and that’s something that is beyond my control; I believe that if there had been stability, our gender policy would have been signed.”

Noor attended his first ever Gender Links (GL) training in 2015 and he describes the experience as awesome, informative and needed. Although this was the first workshop for Noor, Mokopane FM as a station has sent a number of delegates to other GL workshops before the station had a complete change of the board of directors and management. “It is clearly a start over for us, but hopefully with the rest of the stations that have been consistent in the COE we will definitely learn more and probably catch up.” Noor notes as well a number of the commitments that the previous management made and promises to follow up and revive these. “My biggest task now as a station manager is to follow up on all the commitments that the station has had with GL and other partners and try to revive them.”

“I was delighted that there was a vibrant group of managers from different radio stations and this for me as a new manager meant new contacts and new insights into community radio management.” Noor says he enjoyed the workshop, however, he believes GL could add more activities to the sessions, such as group activities, so as to strengthen interstation relationships.

Noor says, as a Muslim, his attitude towards women has drastically changed. His religious inclination and his cultural practices could have influenced his decisions in the past, but all that will change. His personal experience with other community radio personnel has also humbled him and he believes his radio station will catch up with the stations that are progressing. “I believe Prof. Sheila is an inspiration, not only to women but to us men as well.” Her insights on gender and her passion about women’s empowerment are the basis on which I believe all will start working for change.”

Noor explained that his change in behaviour and attitude is a result of the new knowledge and insights gained during the COE sessions. Noor also explained that the sessions that Prof. Sheila and Sikhonzile presented during the workshop helped him learn and internalise easily. He also alludes to having found the open sessions and question and answer session to have had fruitful results.

When asked to give an overview of his thoughts Noor says: “Humility and gratefulness has infiltrated my life. I will give them all! The invites, preparation, time and effort is surely amazing. The concept of gender inequality, the presentation and the dialogue session was very powerful and informative.

“As managers, we need to inculcate within us a sense of being a transformative leader and an agent of change within the various media houses.” Noor believes the workshop was a step in the right direction in his organisational transformation. He hopes his board of directors will accept his recommendations and sign onto the gender policy and the language policy.

Noor made the following points about his programming: we need to have a gender specific programme in our programming line-up, we will engage more women sources in the news and we shall also engage men.

I would love to sign the Gender Policy and be the next person at the summit doing the most effective presentation ever. I am looking forward to networking with various media houses, as well as other Gender Links activities. The inspiration from the professor and Sikhonzile is of great importance and in them we totally rely


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