Tonight with Lester Podcast

Beautiful News

Guest : Riyaad Avontuur Riyaad Avontuur has been clean for 390 days and counting. But it’s been a long journey to get here. When he got involved with the wrong crowd and started using drugs, life became increasingly difficult. Avontuur spent 10 years in and out of rehabs and missed out on being there for his family. Recovery isn’t instant. This time, Avontuur needed to fill the days of sobriety with positive intent. He took up running alongside his daughter – an activity that’s given both Avontuur and his community in Bonteheuwel a head start to success. Every time Avontuur and his daughter ventured out for a sprint, children would approach them: "Uncle, can we come run with you?" he recalls them asking. Avontuur realised the kids needed to occupy themselves and keep away from negative influences. “There's so much more in my community beyond drugs and crime,” he says. By approaching principals in nearby schools, Avontuur gathered learners who were interested in athletics and eager to have someone coach them. Earlier this year, he began the Bonteheuwel Central Athletic Club with just two members. It’s now grown to over 60 children chasing their purpose. Running the club has guided Avontuur away from his old vices, and towards a position of leadership. His past has shown him how easy it is to veer off track. But it’s also taught him it’s possible to move on, no matter where you come from. “I finally feel that I can contribute something,” he says. Avontuur is turning each step of his recovery into great strides, both for himself and the kids of Bonteheuwel.

Latest episodes in this series

#Im4theArts #ArtistsLivesMatter

19 February 2020 | 14 Minute Listen

Guest : Sibongile Mngoma | Founder of Facebook group at Im4theArts | Late last month opera singer Sibongile Mngoma tweeted: I have been silent for a very long time about the plight of the Arts and Artists in this country for a very long time. Now I'm choosing to do something about it. I'm an Artist. A very good and passionate Artist. What I have experienced in this country boggles the mind. Poverty is standard. Theft of IP is business as usual. Funding from the DSAC is reserved for those who have connections. When you open your mouth bazokuvala. Otherwise your reputation becomes fair game. This is the script for many artists in SA and now you're making a stand and start the support group #Im4theArts - you're speaking out just as director Mmbatho Montsho did earlier today when she tweeted an open letter at President Ramaphosa detailing some of the issues that bothers artists. The inequality that is still found in the entertainment world is one of the issues that Mmabatho talked about. Mmabatho tackled issues such as the differences in budgets between productions for black content and those of white content, such as MNet. She also talked about inequality, how women are still sexually harassed and exploited. In her letter, the actress said the opinions and problems of black storytellers are only important to the government when elections come rolling in. She made sure that the letter's content was backed by all her colleagues before sharing it on social media, tagging the president.

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