Every year around Youth Month, politicians bemoan the country's youth as a lost generation who don't display the sort of resolve the class of 1976 did.
THINKING. Sandile Ntshingila confident about being the next MTV Base VJ.
For the most part they are right, with many kids today dressing up in school uniform on June 16 and then engaging in delinquent behaviour. It is easy to attribute these ideas to popular culture, especially the images youngsters see on TV screens that encourage sexual behaviour at an early age and which glorify violence and the objectification of women.
While this assumption forms part of populist rhetoric employed not only by politicians but parents as well, it neglects committed and focused youth who see beyond the immediate pleasures associated with deviant behaviour. Interestingly, three such individuals have made it to the final of the MTV Base VJ search.
Whoever wins the coveted position and ends up working for the global giant will be lucky, but more than anything the station will be blessed with a sensible person who is seemingly not too focused on the celebrity status that will surely follow. Maybe Tsholofelo Semenya, Cyprian Ndlovu and Sandile Ntshingila talk a good game, but this trio have good heads on their shoulders and will offer the channel and its audience something more than simple links to which video is coming up next.
After intense probing as to what attracted them to the opportunity of being an MTV Base VJ, none of them mentioned
the faux allure of celebrity and the supposed glamour and fame that it encompasses. Perhaps they are as politically astute as the elders who don’t give them a chance, because when asked what turn they expected their lives to take if they won, they responded in unexpected ways.
“I’m very focused on my ambitions and dreams. This is not about fame or the girls; its about doing something that I have wanted to do since Grade 10,” claims Ndlovu, 19.
“This opportunity is not about the car or the money, but the actual job of being on national TV and uniting people from different walks of life,” asserts Ntshingila, 23.
“We had a sneak preview of what the work will be like, and this will be quite a process, but I am prepared to work hard because this is what I have always wanted to do,” maintains Semenya, 21.
The three candidates will compete against each other in the grand final at The Venue, Melrose Arch tonight. Just a heartbeat away from winning the title, the three finalists stand poised on the brink of a life-changing experience. They stand a chance not only to work at MTV Base but to win a Citroën car as well. Starting from the November 1, the winner will also host their own brand new weekly music show on MTV Base, The Official SA Top 10.
The trio each have something different to offer. Semenya, from Kyalami, is a BCom student at Wits and has long had her heart in broadcasting although a life in television was not always in the pipeline.
“I was more into radio and I kind of stumbled into television, but broadcasting has always been a passion and goal for me,” she says.
“If I win I will get a chance to develop and take my talent even further. I am very personable and I am comfortable interacting with people.”
Ntshingila is an IT technician from Ridgeway who is multi dimensional and brings some kasi flavour to his presenting style.
“I think I am a unique talent, as I bring some Soweto flavour to what I do, and I can still interact and unite people from all walks of life,” he says.
“I am approachable and excited about the possibilities that exist when you win this competition.”
Durban-based BA student Ndlovu has some older music tastes that he reckons will stand him in good stead if he emerges triumphant.
“I’m into Tupac and Nas and of course the newer hip hop that is currently on the scene,” he states.
“My knowledge and focus will help and I would also like to continue my schooling via Unisa or other because I really do want to complete my degree.”