Navigating the storm

My journey to mental wellbeing

by Musa Kuzwayo, community radio youth reporter at Alex FM
12 February 2024

For Musa Kuzwayo, high school was a constant struggle to fit in – until he became a community radio youth reporter at Alex FM. Working on the UNICEF-supported mental health project, he found a platform where he could express himself, and help others to do the same.

A smiling young man wearing a dark suit.
Musa Khuzwayo/2024

In the quiet corners of our minds, battles are waged daily, unseen by the world.  For me, one of those battles raged during my high school years. It was a battle of friendships, self-discovery, and the quest for mental well-being.

High school is a time when we are meant to discover who we are, make lasting memories, and form friendships that will, supposedly, last a lifetime. But sometimes it's not that straightforward. My high school years were marked by the struggle to fit in, the fear of being judged, and the weight of expectations.

I found myself navigating the hierarchy of social dynamics, trying desperately to belong. The desire to be popular, to be liked, often overshadowed my sense of self. Friendships were, at times, a source of joy but also a wellspring of anxiety. I was trying to be someone I wasn't, and it took a toll on my mental health.

“My journey was not just about personal growth; it became about empowering others to find their voices and embrace their uniqueness.”

However, despite the trouble of high school life, I realized that something needed to change. It was during a particularly difficult moment that I stumbled upon an unexpected source of support – the youth community reporter role. Little did I know that this would become a turning point in my journey to mental wellbeing.

As a youth community reporter, I discovered the power of my voice. I found a platform where I could express my thoughts, fears, and aspirations. It was liberating to share my experiences and connect with others who faced similar challenges.

“Through radio, I found solace.”

My journey was not just about personal growth; it became about empowering others to find their voices and embrace their uniqueness. Through my role, I began to educate others, delving into their struggles and triumphs. What struck me most was the resilience and strength within our youth community.

I heard stories of perseverance, of overcoming adversity, and of finding purpose in the face of despair. It was inspiring to see how sharing our stories could light the way for others in the darkness of their own battles.

In a world where mental health struggles are often hidden behind masks of strength, it's crucial to remember that we are not alone. Through our stories, we can be a beacon of hope for others, guiding them through the storms of life towards mental well-being.

UNICEF has been working with Radio Workshop to support young people to lead the mental health conversation and talk more freely about challenges to reduce stigma and shift the narrative.

About Blog

The UNICEF South Africa Blog provides a platform for children, young people and leading child rights experts, including UNICEF staff, to share their insights and opinions on child rights and wellbeing. The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and may not necessarily reflect UNICEF's official position.

Explore our blog topics: