Happy New Year indeed

Friends of WYC Radio proudly states: THANK YOU, KIITOS, BAIE DANKIE!


The rocks and the cherry on top: Martin, Natasha and Alsenio in Jozi summer.

In December 2016 we raised funds for Natasha Hein. She had been doing excellent work in checking, polishing and making flow the language of WYC Radio and WYC Media Lab since September 2016. She had been guiding both the leader guys Martin and Alsenio as well as the students. Since Natasha stepped in to the project in September, the written world of WYC Radio and WYC Media Lab stepped onto another level. The texts finally equalled the great audio, video and educational work done in the project. Natasha has made the language side shine, too.

In December we raised funds in order to pay Natasha a decent salary for her bright touch. In addition to the salary, another dream was at stake: a dream of paying Natasha a good writing course. We wanted to support her goal of developing as a storyteller and writer.

You made it all possible. 2017 will be a good year.

Thank you, Tanja Lebedeff, Ira Virtanen, Matias Harju, Riikka Ihamuotila, Katriina Puro, Kerttu Sirviö, Leena Osola, Tuomas Kaseva, Emilia Lehtinen, Anri Väre, Pieta Jarva, Rebecca Mattsoff, Jussi Osola, Sari Taipale, Anniliina Lassila, Linda Lönnqvist & Sanna Kailaheimo, Anita Väre, Alli Wartiovaara, Anna Hinkkanen and Emilia Toivanen. Because of you, Natasha will be payed for her one day per week work from September 2016 till June 2017.

Thank you, Arvi Kämäri and Matilda Sirviö. Because of you Natasha will attend a course in writing. When the name and time of the course are clear, we’ll let you know. Empowerment in sight.

The story of WYC Media Lab Productions, the small production house born on the foundings of WYC Radio, goes on. We’ll keep you posted as the year flies on. They’ll keep you posted e.g. on their Facebook page.


WYC Radio proudly presents: Language Master Miss T

Natasha Hein, Miss T (left), with her first talk show guest in April 2015. Nowadays she is the language master of WYC Radio. How come? Read on. Photo: Matias Harju.

It’s been four months. Four months of Northern blog silence. Four months of Southern work flow. Four months of trans-globe communication about WYC Radio’s successes and future plans. It’s been intense. WYC Radio has taken two big steps. Big for South. Big for North.

Firstly: a production house is born

The original WYC Radio is still going strong. Martin Bouwers and Alsenio Philander are facilitating their small student crew with pride, joy and courageous effort. The latest student work, CYPHER Zone by Orin, was published this week. Awe, Orin. In addition Martin and Alsenio are producing their own sound work and podcasts as well as supporting local musicians in their businesses. Awe, M&A.

However, to double the joy, a new little production house is born. It’s called WYC Media Lab Productions and it’s a longtime dream of many people. It’s created on the basis of WYC Radio and resides in the Westbury Youth Centre. Who runs it? Your people: Martin, Alsenio and their small team.

The freshest video of WYC Media Lab Productions. Dare to dream, published on the 25th of November 2016 with these words: “As young people, we have to dream. We have to dream about the future, we have to dream about our success until it becomes a reality. MEDIA LAB PRODUCTIONS was a dream and through hard work, late nights and perseverance we made it. Here’s a slide of the journey travelled thus far. Feel free to like, share and comment.”

So, dear Friends of WYC Radio, you’re free in a way: WYC Media Lab (which now entails WYC Radio) no longer needs your help in the sense of paying Martin’s and Alsenio’s salaries. You gave them the change to show they can do it. So they took it and the project now flies on its own. Non-monetary ways of supporting are of course welcome, yes please.

How did it happen? During these one and a half years the guys have convinced the Kone Centennial Foundation in such a way that the small-great-noble-wild KCF now provides Martin’s and Alsenio’s two day per week salaries every month. As to further future, it’s already in sight that even the KCF will be positively out in a while. The works of WYC Media Lab Productions are bringing in independent income, too. The independent income allows Martin and Alsenio to dedicate even more working days to WYC Media Lab and to pay little but meaningful salaries to their assistants, too. Awe.

WYC Media Lab Productions 2016 in action. Photos: Martin Bouwers.

Recently, in addition to sound work and the topmost fresh film above, WYC Media Lab has been shooting e.g. a support film to a local football team (coming up to this blog, too) and a fundraising film for an urban agriculture NGO (here below). They’ve also been photo shooting matric dances, weddings and other festive occasions. The work has taken the guys all the way to Cape Town, only to give an example. So, Westbury youth, watch them succeed through hard work. Join them. We’ll watch you.

Secondly: meet Natasha Hein, the Language Master

Even if WYC Radio flies on its own and has spread it’s wings to an airplane level, I, Kaisa, just couldn’t sit back. One young woman was constantly in my mind. Natasha Hein, Miss T, Your Girl T, My Southern Little Sister.

Natasha was one of the sheer top radio students in 2014–2015: a brilliant reporter and an even more brilliant talk show host. By the side of all this, she was a passionate writer. She wanted to learn and was always ready to revise. I even gave her some writing lessons and never stopped thinking that one day, somehow, I’d want to support her writing. She’s intelligent, I tell you. She’s the sharpest young person I met in Joburg during 2014–2015.

One of Natasha’s talk shows in 2015: A Mothers’ Day Special Edition with two sons.

So, the funding for the guys has been secured from August 2016 onwards. Yes, they do great work in terms of sound, image, education, setting an example, you name it. But. One thing. The language.

Even if other things were flying excellently, I was constantly giving WYC Radio feedback about their writing. Sorry guys, even if my intention was good, I was not always very nice. Then it hit me: WYC Radio needs Natasha. She was still around, in contact with me, always sharp. Very self-critical, too. She needed a Northern maniac to shout again: you’re excellent. And, with all my respect, the WYC Radio needed Natasha to make its words work and shine.

Last week-14Natasha and the guys recording sounds for the first Thank You
Friends of WYC Radio video in June 2015. Photo: Matias Harju

In August 2016 I asked the guys: what if Natasha would come in every time WYC Radio publishes something? Whether it’s a SoundCloud post, a Facebook post, a YouTube post, an important email, a client proposition, you name it, she would come in. She would check the language and give it her touch. I would pay her a one day per week salary for this – and if there was time left, she could assist in student matters, too, and from an even wider perspective, she could make future plans as to WYC Media Lab’s language needs. Maybe one day she could even give a writing course on her own at WYC?

Martin and Alsenio said yes. Natasha said yes. The management of the Westbury Youth Centre said yes, too. Kiitos! Natasha has now ben working like this since September 2016. The texts flourish. As week speak now in the end of November 2016, Natasha and the guys are working on a little teaser campaign showcasing WYC Media Lab’s skills and contacting new potential clients.

Decent work – decent salary

As the guys don’t need us anymore, would you help me fund Natasha’s work? Would you help me provide a job for Miss T? Would you help me make WYC Media Lab go strong also in terms of language? All ranges of little support are gold. The dream is to cover up Natasha’s one day salary for four months: September–December 2016. And onwards towards 2017.

If we don’t make it, I’ll take it from my savings. No worries. She won’t be left unpaid for the good things she’s done. I’ve just been a bit slow here. Sisters will back up sisters.

Or, if we top the salary amount, we’ll make another dream come true: the second dream is to provide Natasha a good writing course in journalistic and marketing web writing. We’re exploring good options already – and Nonkululeko Britton-Masekela, a Johannesburg radio star with a heart in WYC and a day job on one of the biggest radio stations, 702, has promised to help us. She has promised to ask for course tips in her live show from her listeners, from tens of thousands of people that is. So, we’ll certainly find a course. I wish Natasha could attend it and then give back to the Westbury youth. And to herself. She deserves it all.

If you have an euro to engage in this, this sub-page gives instructions on how to donate via PayPal. However the better and cost-free option is to circulate the support through Kone Centennial Foundation’s account FI14 1660 3001 0343 99 with the message of ”WYC Radio / Natasha Hein”. The time of this little fundraising starts now on the 23rd of November and ends on the 7th of December. Thank you, KCF, for making it possible like this.

Two more gifts to go

1) A short fiction text, a Westbury childhood memory by Natasha is right here below. It’s reblogged from her own blog.

2) A thank you video from WYC Media Lab to Friends of WYC Radio will appear here before November turns to December.

Have a good end of the year 2016. Awe.


A gift to Friends of WYC Radio: a short fiction text, a Westbury childhood memory by Natasha Hein. Natasha Hein? Natasha, Miss T, is the golden new language master of WYC Radio and WYC Media Lab. Her story is published right here above.





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Two years down the row: WYC Radio equals hope and choice

This time we’re not asking you for anything. This is simply to say: THANK YOU. WYC Radio is celebrating its two year birthday! The remarkable age is rooted to your support.

WYC Radio is going stronger than ever. Strong is gold, because the Westbury neighbourhood is going through tough times. The first half of 2016 has been a period of increased violence and innocent victims. It’s true that it has never been easy in Westbury. And of course the community has been equally blessed with great people and brave actions even during the hardest times.

Now, as the period of April–July has been a struggle, programmes like WYC Radio, places like Westbury Youth Centre and people like Martin, Alsenio and their crew stand out. They maintain a power of hope, choices and voice. Hope keeps you going, choices help you act and develop yourself and a voice makes it possible for you to define yourself. Yourself. Not by anyone else.

So, the South says thank you for these two years. This was made for supporters of WYC Radio in June 2016.

Some words and news about the latest months (all mothers, check at least the last one!):

So, April–July has been a struggle in Westbury. The Youth Centre and the Westbury Secondary School are doing excellent work. But even if people fight daily to build a better future, drugs, drug money and gangsterism are something to fight against… E.g. now in June, as people held a demonstration for peace at the annual Steven Pienaar Youth Football Tournament (Pienaar is a Westbury born and raised football player who has played e.g. in Ajax Amsterdam and SA National Team), the other guys came to the spot with guns and, well, you can imagine. You might also imagine the headlights that followed making the public image of Westbury even worse. From this perspective Martin, Alsenio and their students provide and example of success due to hard work, not due to drug money or parties. WYC Radio promotes options. It’s a tough job. The guys do it with pride.

The bright side of the Pienaar Tournament.

WYC Radio presents also a small but an important share of defining the public speech of Westbury. While the bad stories of the mainstream media bring in headline money, the good stories of WYC Radio bring in hope and alternative role models. They are as true. WYC Radio is their podium.

In addition to the journalistic work, WYC Radio creates small radio productions for e.g. neighbouring radio stations or nearby NGO’s and community projects. These productions serve as business contacts and experience for both the teachers and the students. They don’t come on a silver platter knocking on your door. They have to be caught. So the guys catch them. They work relentlessly for options and stories.


One more little BIG news. One of the first students of WYC Radio, Tshegofatso Mabe, is a radio presenter now! He started with Kaisa and Matias in September 2014. He worked like a maniac for the whole year, encountered a lot of challenges on the way, travelled to classes from extremely far (Jozi trains…), never gave up his dreams, never slipped the road even if life was hard, always battled till the end with the technical side (=till he won) and made our jaws drop to our knees as he started his show in the Setswana language. The seemingly shy guy talked faster than any Höyry Häyrinen ever. And now he has he’s own night slot on a Setswana speaking community radio station Ratlou FM in North West. He never gave up. And, mothers, this one is for you: his mother always supporter him no matter what. Ode to Tshego! Ode to Tshego’s mother!

Pictures of Mr. Mabe in his current studio will follow as we get them. This one shows him still in WYC Sound Hub in 2015. It’s a direct link to probably one of the first Tswana podcasts in the world.

So, two years have passed, thanks to you. Yes, if Kaisa and Matias hadn’t headed South in the first place, WYC Radio would never have been born (taken that Westbury Youth Centre received us and let us give a try). Yes, if the pioneer students hadn’t joined the programme and studied relentlessly, nothing would ever have happened. Yes, if the Southern and international partners hadn’t cooperated with WYC Radio, the programme would’ve only been a little studying game inside the Centre.

But all the rest is thanks to you. In the beginning (and on the way) you donated all the gadgets. Your first monetary donations made it possible to renovate the whole WYC Sound Hub to its current, brave, motivating state. Your other donations have payed a two day salary per week for the teachers of WYC Radio (the students who took over the programme as Kaisa and Matias left).

The first half of the second year (July–December 2015) was a struggle, as the teaching model of Kaisa and Matias had to be rethought. But you had the patience to wait, believe and to keep up your support. This second half of the second year (January–July 2016) has been a success. The production based model of working and studying truly works.

With your support the guys got a chance to show that WYC Radio is viable to continue its story and to make a difference. Due to this proven success, the initiator agent of Westbury Youth Centre, Kone Centennial Foundation, has now payed the guys’ salaries till the end of 2016. Thank you, KCF!

The embassy funding that has been mentioned various times along this year is still in progress. Nobody else has got that money either. It just takes time.

So, peace for now. Baie dankie. – Although it might be that will still approach you within the months to come. We have some little plans and dreams that would make the end of this year even better for WYC Radio and young people in Westbury. Be aware. Be proud of yourselves.


Photos of the Pienaar Tournament: Martin Bouwers and Jared M’Belle

New Campaigns, Higher Gains

Best Friends of WYC Radio,

Thank you for the past four months. Here in the North spring is turning into summer. Down in the South autumn is turning into winter. It’s time for a semi sum-up.

Come and hear what you’ve made possible in the heart of Westbury. See what the guys of WYC Radio have created with your support. Power!

Open workshop for WYC studentsWYC Sound Hub was  filled with students as the radio team put up an open workshop for the whole Westbury Youth Centre.

WYC Radio team scripting recruitment adScripting a recruitment ad for Westbury Youth Centre to be aired on local radio stations.

The year 2016 started with a new operating model: campaign based working. Everybody wanted the sounds and actions of WYC Radio to be more motivating, more clear, better framed and much more in contact with outside partners. Everybody wanted the little educational project to be more steady and sustainable. Not necessarily bigger but firmer and funnier.

So we created, together with Alsenio and Martin (the bright leaders of WYC Radio), a deal named ”two productions per month”. Two productions per month might sound minuscule. It’s not. It’s reasonable and it guarantees quality stuff. The reasons for two are plenty: The precious support of Friends of WYC Radio enables Martin and Alsenio to work for the project two full days per week. These two days include responsibility for the productions as well as for the old and new business and community contacts. Furthermore, as WYC Radio is an educational project, all the productions are done with students. The campaign based working provides the dedicated students not only with radio skills but also with co-operational joy. So, two productions per month (done in eight days) is a golden solution.

Dilaman Watts meets WYC RadioIn addition to the two productions per month, Martin and Alsenio also promised to either take the students to a radio excursion outside Westbury or to invite a sound professional to the Youth Centre. These exchanges happen every two months. Here’s the February story: WYC Radio invited music producer and hiphop artist Dilaman Watts (back row, middle) to share his views on creating a career in music business.

What kind of productions come into play? Both journalistic and promotional ones. The basic idea of two productions per month is to produce one promotional job and one journalistic one.

The promotional jobs can be e.g. adverts for local businesses or community projects or short social radio campaigns raising awareness of more general issues, such as substance abuse or girls’ human rights.

In February–April 2016 the guys have done e.g. jingles for a local, very popular breakfast show of Kofifi FM. They’ve also created two promotional adverts for the Westbury Youth Centre in order to call in new students via local community radio stations.



The journalistic productions, in their turn, are often podcasts or reportages that tell positive stories about Westbury. That was actually the original idea of WYC Radio already in September 2014: the goal was to take over the public speech of Westbury. Westbury is not only a community filled with problems. It’s a community also filled with good actions, hope, active people and success stories resulting from relentless trying. As the mainstream media doesn’t tell these stories, the young people in Westbury have to! Even more as they’re the best ones to do it.

Two of the most interesting productions of February–April 2016 (from the takapiru perspective of Matias and Kaisa) have been these ones: A Non-Proud South African (a short reportage about a guy who’d wish he’s country and community to be less racist; the reportage is made by a student, Tammy Hugo) and Uncle Couzen’ Lounge, Episode 19, Our Soil is Our Gold (a podcast show that tells about an organisation promoting urban ecologial awareness by e.g. putting up community gardens; the podcast combines studio work with field reporting in a personal way).



One last funny audio candy is no less than Miss South Africa. Or, well, one of the final candidates for the title. As she visited Westbury Youth Centre, the radio guys naturally recorded a simple WYC Radio promo with her. Way to go, crazy guys!

So, what now? Martin, Alsenio and the students will continue working with these guidelines till the end of June 2016. You made it possible till mid-May, Kone Centennial Foundation makes it possible till the end of June. Then there’s a well-deserved break. After that, we’ll be back.

The possible Embassy Funding for WYC Radio mentioned in the post of January 2016 is now postponed till September. It’s Africa. Things take time. However, three more funding doors have been opened along January–April 2016. Put all your thumbs up that they’ll light some fire to this business! The guys deserve it. Westbury deserves it. The little crazy project of WYC Radio is now flying. We hope it’ll finally get good, steady and official gasoline under it’s wings. We’ll keep you posted, DANKIE MOS, SUSTERS & BRUERS.

Miss South Africa finalist Rebekah Krossynski visits Sound HubMiss South Africa finalist Rebekah Krossynski visited the WYC Sound Hub studio and dropped a few lines for a WYC Radio promo ID.

Photos: Martin Bouwers, Alsenio Philander, Emil Williams and friends

Baie dankie, Helsinki 2016!

Keep it simple, sweethearts! Kiss. The January 2016 fundraising round proved to be bigger than we ever dared to wish. Altogether 14.000 rands has now been transferred to Westbury – thanks for every precious donator and a currency rate of dreams.

Kallio lahjoittaa 23.1.2016Feeding the fundraising chicken in Kallion lukio (Kallio Upper Secondary School)

We’re grateful for two reasons, to two directions. The story comes with pictures of WYC Radio in action in January–February 2016.

Reason number one: the funding proposal for the steady three-year embassy funding (more about that in the January post) will take longer than expected. Embassies work slowly. If things go well, the embassy funding will start running only in June 2016. However, WYC Radio will be alive and kicking almost till June, since the amount of 14.000 ZAR will guarantee Martin’s and Alsenio’s  radio facilitating salaries all the way till mid-May 2016. Mid-May is way further than the original aim of the end of March. So, dankie mos! Every cent of yours comes in need. Every cent is in action and traceable in your secret budget folder.

Alsenio and Martin scripting recruitment ad 2
Alsenio and Martin scripting a radio advert for the Westbury Youth Centre

Reason number two: WYC Radio 2016 is in full flames now. It’s flying. To be honest, the period of August 2015 – December 2015 was not easy. The reasons were plenty and times were tough. But as everyone learned from the struggle and as everyone kept the spirit up, a new kind of operating plan was created in the end of 2015. The new plan, a campaign based way of operating WYC Radio, has taken a strong and convincing start. Martin, Alsenio and the students have been Productive. Listen e.g. to a new radio advert of the Westbury Youth Centre (aired on local radio stations). Or lend your northern ear to a life story podcast of a young musician (a proud production of Uncle Couzen’s Lounge yet again). Or listen to the first ever publication of a new female student, my sweet proud Tammy (Kaisa greeting). Other productions have already been recorded. New publications are bubbling under.

Sound effects recording for recruitment ad
Field recording for recruitment adStudents recording sound effects for the recruitment advert – nearest to the ground: Bilaal Hendricks, a house musician who has made his way from humble Westbury grounds to Berlin festival stages (he wasn’t in Berlin, his music was, through SoundCloud, for thousands of people) and who is now hosting a small music production class in the Westbury Youth Centre

Tammy Hugo in studio
Tammy Hugo mastering the audio editing software while putting together her first interview

Training interviewing skills 1

Training interviewing skills 3

Training interviewing skills 2
Interviewing studies in action in the WYC Sound Hub (renovated to look like this thanks to Friends of WYC Radio)

Letonia Arnolds in studio 2
A future news reporter Letonia Arnolds training hard in the studio

And the two directions of gratefulness? Awe, North, for believing in WYC Radio. You’re the only funders. You’re keeping it alive. Awe, South, for overcoming the obstacles of 2015 and giving WYC Radio a brand new start of 2016. We’re proud to follow and listen to your story.  You’re next level awesome, as they say that side.

Photos: Martin Bouwers and Matias Harju

Martin Bouwers at Eldos FM: “It was a huge mountain I climbed”

Best Friends, keep warm in the North, keep cool in the South. Here’s finally the little thank-you-candy we promised in the previous post, where we summed up the year of 2015 and set up new sights for WYC Radio in 2016. Now here is something we lately found in our Johannesburg sound archives. Come listen to Martin Bouwers, the other current golden facilitator of WYC Radio, being interviewed at Eldos FM in March 2015 – when he, nostalgically, was still our student.

As you know, WYC Radio cooperates with local radio stations in Johannesburg. The most important, reliable and ambitious of them is Eldos FM in Eldorado Park. During the start-up year 2014–2015 of WYC Radio, Eldos FM aired some of our best student reportages and entire talk shows as a part of their prime time shows. Sometimes the students were invited as guests to the studio to discuss their shows and topics further.

This clip of three minutes brings you Martin a.k.a. Uncle Couzen as a guest at Eldos in March 2015. One of his greatest talk shows ”Uncle Couzen’s Lounge – Episode 4: Proudly different with a difference” had just been aired. The talk show was and still is a bewildering life story of Dominique, one of the only openly gay young man in Westbury. Martin invited Dominique to the studio in the name of Human Rights Day, asked him to share his life story and shaked many taboos in a sharp and courageous human touch way.

Eldos FM got convinced and aired the entire 40 minutes talk show. It was the first time in the five years of existence of Eldos when the station brought the issue of homosexuality live on air, open for any listener to comment on. And the listeners did, in a very good and human touch way. One step again was taken for a better world. Go, Martin, Dominique and Bevelyn of Eldos. The show was listened to in many places overseas, too, e.g. in Berlin and Helsinki.

The clip above is a small chat between Martin and Bevelyn in studio: Bevelyn asks Martin, what is WYC Radio and what part does this crazy little project play in his life.

So, have fun, take a break of three minutes to listen to something funny and passionate. And, dear Northern people, if you think it’s cheezy and pompöösi, it’s not. It’s passionate and South African.

Thank you for keeping this crazy little project of WYC Radio still alive.

Some more top stories (Kaisa’s and Matias’ favourites, that is), if you get excited and want more:

You know how Michael Jackson did it?

A product of WYC Radio’s Christmas radio advert workshop for Build It hardware store. Thirty seconds! Quality stuff.

Johannesburg Culinary And Pastry School – Radio Advertisement

Another brave 30 second advert production, this time for the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School. Entirely scripted, casted, recorded and edited by WYC Radio.

WYC Radio ID – The Original Drama Version

The last 30 second candy: the official jingle of WYC Radio. Entirely produced, naturally, in the WYC Sound Hub in May 2015.

World AIDS Day: HIV-TB care at Helen Joseph Hospital – Patient’s patience?


World AIDS Day: HIV-TB care at Helen Joseph Hospital – Doctor’s overview

Two fieldwork interviews on how it is to get treatment for HIV and TB at Helen Joseph hospital. The stories were done for World Aids Day for Eldos FM:


A quick but a sincere, even profound and still fun interview with the same Dominique who appeared also in Uncle Couzen’s life story podcast mentioned above. This five minute piece was done just an exercise but we decided to publish it as Groff’s first story. The drive is good!

The Classroom – Episode 7: What happens in lobola negotiations?

A talk show on bride price. In many South African cultures, even in the most urban settings, the tradition of lobola still exist. How does it work? How much and why do you pay for a girl?

Listen to the same show in Setswana language!

Carlo McFarlane: ”Find out what you’re good at, serve your gift, sharpen it”

An interview with Carlo McFarlane, one of the leaders of an art education NGO called 4Change. The interview is done at the 4Change Final Gala in the Lyric Theatre:

Let’s Explore Anything and Everything – Episode 3: Mother’s Day Edition

WYC Radio’s Lady no. 1, Natasha, Your Girl T., invited two special guys in studio to discusstheir relationships with their mothers.

Master Of Disguise – Episode 2: Gay and Lesbian Human Rights

Another podcast talk show on minority rights. Also this show was done for the Human Rights Day 2015. This one is a good picture of how many young people in our communities treat the subject in a very confused way.

Master of Disguise – Episode 4: “Westbury – Place of Dreams”  

A talk show on a documentary done about Westbury by a group of Finnish people.

Lyrical Verdict: “Focus on what you like, respect your elders & love your haters”

A musical interview with a young independent a cappella group from Pennyville:

Uncle Couzen’s Lounge – Episode 8.1: “Bang of the gun: everything stopped and everything started”

A long talk show, yes, in two episodes. But after a somewhat slow start it’s definitely worth it. 

Uncle Couzen’s Lounge – Episode 8.2: “Bang of the gun: everything stopped and everything started”

Uncle Couzen’s Lounge – Episode 17: ”Drugs Was My Daily Bread Until I…”

A life story talk show of a small woman, who finally changed from a person stealing cars and partying all night long to the responsible mother her children needed. Also an abusive relationship is now in the past.

Martin and Bevelyn at Eldos FM

Happy New Year, WYC Radio and Friends!

Awe, it’s been a while. Sorry for the northbound blog silence. Accompanied by blog posts or not, Westbury hasn’t been silent. WYC Radio has been busy with new people, new sounds and new challenges. It’s about time we sum up the end of 2015.

New students in action
New students take it over: field work on the streets of Westbury and editing in WYC Sound Hub.

As we, Kaisa and Matias, left back to Finland, two brave students took it over. Martin Bouwers and Chellon Garth Palmer, who had been working with us since day one, since September 2014, boldly agreed to continue WYC Radio’s story. They agreed to take in new students starting from August 2015, to teach and guide them with their best effort, to keep the WYC Sound Hub sizzling, to continue their own radio work and by all these means to keep telling true stories from the wild and precious Westbury. And so they did. Respect. Dankie mos. We’ve been in tight contact with the guys since July 2015. But as autumn in Helsinki has been more than windy, the blog gets alive and kicking only now. Hyvää uutta vuotta.

The new, second era of WYC Radio has of course been slower than the first one. Martin and Chellon have been working for the project for two full working days per week – compared to our five. But the most importantly, thanks to your precious support, dear Friends, they’ve been fully payed for those two days per week in August–December 2015. You’ve given them jobs in service of a good purpose and good sounds.

Thank you, dearest gadget donators of October 2015. Your treasures made it to the Wild West with the help of John Simon, the greatest Finland–SA courier on the planet.

How did it all go? How is it going now? It’s not simple to jump into teachers’ shoes and to take over a whole little educational programme. But Martin and Chellon did it. We’re proud of all their relentless efforts throughout the African springtime 2015. Especially Martin has established himself at Westbury Youth Centre as a guy who came in with nothing, built his life back from scratch and serves now as an example of not only radio but of a new life. His working ethics are one of a kind. His heart is too. Awe. In addition to his radio work, Martin has been given the responsibility of the Westbury Secondary School Matric Hostel Programme. But that’s another story. A good one.

As to WYC Radio, Martin and Chellon have truly dedicated their two working days per week for the students. They’ve stretched and tuned the schedules so that everyone willing to give an effort has been given a chance to do it. Martin’s been taking in two ambitious girls even on Saturdays.

The first WYC Radio student podcast was released in November 2015. Shanton Hilmer, a guy who’s been there since day one of the new era, from August 2015, dedicated his Mixbag Show for no less than Movember and men’s health. Go, Stanton! Other student reportages from the streets of Westbury are just a few editing clicks away from being published.

We greet every student publication with joy, since radio is not an easy or a fast medium to take over, especially in Westbury, where life is not easy in the first place and where lives, stories and challenges change sometimes without notice.

In addition to being a WYC Radio facilitator, Martin keeps up with his own podcast, Uncle Couzen’s Lounge. E.g. a show about Westbury’s own house music grand master, Cosmic Sky, was quite something in October. The show was realised with the best co-host in town: WYC Radio’s own Girl T. Natasha Hein. Oh sweet sharp Natasha! We miss you. Martin’s other shows in spring have dealt e.g. with helping abused women and children and building a new life after years of drug abuse.

September_2015_Uncle_Couzen_Girl_T_Cosmic_Sky_1_Friends_of_WYC_Radio.jpgUncle Couzen and Your Girl T in WYC Sound Hub Studio.

The African spring brought to daylight also reportages about e.g. Westbury Secondary School’s matric students and a new health clinic that finally got ready in the community.

2015 ended with the publication of a radio advertisement for the Johannesburg Culinary and Pastry School (realised in June 2015, finally out now) and a festivity campaign for the 50th anniversary of a local church. The church clip was aired on three local radio stations. Way to go, WYC Radio!


So, what lies ahead? Good things, hopefully. At the moment hopes lie in a large funding proposal which would enable a whole Westbury Youth Centre Media Laboratory for the years of 2016–2019. We’ve been assisting the main actor, KONE Centennial Foundation, in that process. Thank you for everything, John, Tiina, Riikka and crew. The big funding news will be out in March 2016. If the world is good, the funding will start running in April 2016.

The waiting time leaves WYC Radio a funding gap of three months in January-March 2016. Would you jump in with us? Would you help us keep the motor running? That would mean a salary of R2000 rand per guy per month.

We turn to you, since the treasure box of Friends of WYC Radio is empty at the moment. Your donations of June and August 2015 made possible the whole period of July–December 2015. Every cent has been used carefully for great purposes. (All you donators have the secret link to the exact calculations. Come check it!)

Now in 2016 Martin Bouwers will keep on leading the work of WYC Radio. He’ll get a new partner in January 2016: Alsenio Philander will jump in to be his equal colleague and the official sound engineer of WYC Radio. Alsenio was our top student of 2015. We worked with him in January–June 2015 and got sincerely convinced. He’s a sound man with a Capital S. He’s brave, he’s reliable, he’s a sound man. Welcome on board, Mr. Philander!

Alsenio Philander in class in January 2015. This is how the new sound facilitator of WYC Radio started his studies – recording a bicycle. Our man.

How to support? Like this. Or like it was stated in your emails.

Thank you for everything so far. The year 2016 will sound good. Westbury will keep growing its wings and flying high.

Dancing Dankie Mos

WYC Radio promised to thank you with a dance in the brand new renovated WYC Sound Hub. Kas näin!

The original dancer guy from the original fundraising video was so happily busy in the end of June that the schedules never collided with him. We forgive him, he has a brand new job! And you’ll forgive WYC Radio, since the radio guys can dance, too.

This one is exclusively for you, ever precious supporter. The WYC Sound Hub is now unrecognisable. By your grace. Watch it, folks!

If the YouTube video doesn’t play, try this Vimeo link.

Stay well, make it better, WYC Radio!

The first era of WYC Radio ended in the beginning of July. Matias and Kaisa flew back to the North Pole. Thank you for the brave start up year, every supporter. You enabled the Westbury students to make it all happen. It’s flying now!

July will be a silent month, as the new leading team is preparing the second era to start in August. When that happens, you’ll be sure to know it.

For now, for the farewell of the first era: some pictures, stories and successes from the 22nd till the 30th of June. We finalised the renovation. We threw a farewell party in the Continue reading Stay well, make it better, WYC Radio!