/ 31 May 2011

loveLife launches reality TV show

loveLife, South Africa’s biggest and national HIV-prevention organisation, has launched a reality TV series on SABC1 to provide young people with a platform to “navigate challenges” that expose them to the risks associated with the pandemic.

Called Make Your Move, the show aims to equip young people with the tools to change their situations by themselves. The show airs each Monday from 7pm to 7.30pm.

loveLife’s Dianne Regisford-Gueye said: “Each episode is a chance for youngsters to tap into their inner strength and build on their potential to become the drivers of their destinies — no matter how hard their situations may be.”

Regisford-Gueye said recent statistics indicate a steep rise in new HIV infections, particularly among people between the ages of 18 and 22. She said close analysis of the situation clearly shows that socioeconomic and other factors “play a significant role in this transitional period in a young person’s life”.

loveLife’s strategy, she said, is to empower young people “with a strong sense of self-worth, identity and resilience” so that they are able to deal with the challenges they encounter during this critical period of their lives. It is hoped that the series will enable young people to become confident and believe in themselves so that they can avoid the risks of contracting HIV as well as take charge of their futures.

Regisford-Gueye says the range of topics handled during the series will reflect realities of millions of young South Africans. Topics include discrimination, sexuality and identity, teenage pregnancy, drug abuse and self-esteem.

The series has 13 episodes with a presenter who engages 13 young people from across the country. Each featured young person confronts a personal challenge he or she faces.

Naledi Moleo, aged 23, presents the show. Dumisani Phakathi, who originated the concept of the series, said: “We are saying it is cool to talk about things that are personal and painful because, when you do that, you begin a journey to a more positive place.”

Phakathi said Moleo was chosen because they were not just looking for a presenter but for someone whose personality would gel with the rationale of the show. It was, Phakathi said, Moleo’s “eagerness to learn and willingness to throw herself in the deep end that makes her an ideal example of a young person making her move”.

Resources or issues covered during the show would be packaged into learning materials that teachers, loveLife peer educators and young people are able to download.

They are available on loveLife’s website: www.lovelife.org.za. Young people are encouraged to take part in the dialogue around the show’s different episodes by using multiple communication platforms such as (MYMsta.mobi), facebook (www.facebook.com/lovelifeNGO).

Young people can also contact loveLife’s call centre on 0800 121 900 to raise concerns or ask questions related to particular episodes. Or they can send a “please call me” SMS to 083 323 1023.