An everyday hero radio news editor who understands the heart of our nation

RHulani2

“Human beings are the ultimate team players. We all impact on the lives of others.”

If anyone is qualified to give an accurate diagnosis on what makes South Africans tick, it’s Rhulani Baloyi. She’s been a radio news editor these last ten years, and is living proof this Women’s Month that women are up to any challenge when they’re given a fair opportunity to prove themselves.

Rhulani was born with a severe visual impairment. By the time she was a little girl, she’d lost her sight completely. She has been blind most of her life (and all of her adult life). Yet she’s a dedicated, driven news editor. And she’s a Casual Day 2018 ambassador.

Rhulani’s typical day start at 4am. She clocks off at around lunch time. She’s written and edited literally tens of thousands of news stories on all manner of issues and topics. In fact, if you turn on the radio to listen to the news, you’re probably tuning in to the work Rhulani does in the background, behind the microphone. She loves her job.

The reason she’s been able to do this, Rhulani says, is because she’s been brilliantly accommodated by her employer, the SABC. Often, she says, people think first of what persons with disabilities cannot do. Her employer has thought first of what she can do, and has set up the workplace to enable her to be fully productive. This has made all the difference and has allowed her to build a career as one of the best radio news editors in the land.

It’s key, she says, to give persons with disabilities an environment that enables their optimal productivity. When we do this, we give persons with disabilities a way of contributing meaningfully to families, communities, the nation and the economy. It’s a significant part of the work Casual Day does every year: educate the population on the need for equity for persons with disabilities.

Rhulani’s job has taught her that South Africans care about each other and that ours is a deeply empathetic society.

Which is why, she says, Casual Day that’s celebrated on the first Friday every September has grown into such a big, important event on the national calendar. “South Africans like to get involved and help. Casual Day is the perfect opportunity to do this. It’s the best time to show that you care and to do something for someone who needs a helping hand.”

The theme of Casual Day this year is Be an Everyday Hero with Persons with Disabilities. For Rhulani, heroism is in the small things. “You don’t have to act to change a lot of lives for the better,” she says. “Just doing something to help one other person is heroic all in itself.”

Rhulani’s hero is her late grandad Joseph May Baloyi who took special care of her when she was a little girl. “He helped me grow up believing in myself. He taught me dignity; the value of other people and that human beings are the ultimate team players. We all have an impact, one way or another, on the lives of others. This is what the news is about. It’s about the stuff that happens to all of us: the things that unite us and the things that divide us, too.”

Casual Day is celebrated on September 7 this year. Be an Everyday Hero with Persons with Disabilities and buy your Casual Day sticker to show your support. Wear it proudly on Casual Day to prove to the world that you are acting to make the world a better place.

Buy your Casual Day sticker from Edgars, Edgars Active, Jet, Jetmart, Boardmans, CNA, Game, DionWired, ToysRUs, BabiesRUs, Alpha Pharm and Express Stores. More information on Casual Day from www.casualday.co.za

About the Author

Able online

Hi, I’m Able the Casual Day mascot and ambassador for disability. I encourage you to see the ABILITY in people and not the dis-ABILITY. We’re all able, we can all live our fullest lives if the barriers are removed. Join me each year, on the first Friday of September and raise funds to support organisations that render services in the field of disability. This year Casual Day falls on Friday, 7 September. Your donation of R10 for a sticker makes a difference and improves lives all across South Africa.

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